TangoAlpha3 is excited to introduce a new content series focused on highlighting the many excellent veterans we’ve assisted in finding job placements. 

The Veteran Spotlight series is a chance for us to catch up with our community of veteran talent. We discuss things like how their current job placement is going, what it was like while on the job hunt, as well as any challenges they may have faced while transitioning from the military to the private sector. In the end, it’s a great way to highlight excellent people and provide an inside vantage point into some of the services we provide and industries we serve.

Doc Simmons

Doc Simmons

Network Specialist - Walter Reed Medical Center

 

Doc supports Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, which–with nearly 7,100 dedicated staff members–is one of the national largest and most renowned medical centers in the United States. Furthermore, being Walter Reed ties into the Military Health System, it is an enterprise within an enterprise and successfully sustaining their LAN/WAN environment necessitates a combination of experience, adaptability, and commitment that is hard to come by. Likewise, Doc’s background as a 25N (Nodal Network Systems Operator) in the US Army really stood out to us as such a role generally requires the ability to wear multiple hats in a complex enterprise environment. Moreover, Doc continues to serve in the US Army Reserves, which demonstrates a sense of dedication to mission beyond what is compulsory. TangoAlpha3 couldn’t be more proud of the work he has done, and continues to do, supporting one of the largest and most dynamic health IT environments in the world.

We recently sat down with Doc to catch up and ask him about his experience on the job hunt and what’s it’s been like since being placed at Walter Reed.

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What was your initial job search experience like?

When I first started applying for jobs I was confident and excited. I have a good resume and experience, and with my veteran status, I felt good and applied to only certain jobs I felt were at my level. Two months later I had gotten zero call backs – zero interviews – so I re-focused and started applying to any IT position, from help desk to fire alarm installation. Three months later, I had not received even one call back; I was extremely disheartened. I almost was ready to work as a shopping cart guy at Walmart. I applied to almost 150 different positions across the U.S. on five different job search sites. Finally, on month six, I started getting offers and call backs and interviews faster than I could handle. I learned patience is the key to job hunting.

Did you face any challenges when you first transitioned from the military into the private sector?

I am not actually fully in the private sector. I am still in the reserves, so I get to split my time which helped keep a feeling of normality. The biggest challenge faced transitioning from active duty was the lack of structure. It seemed as though the stress of having to find a job and have a paycheck appear suddenly did not have a clear way forward, and I felt I had no support to ask advice from. As much as Active duty can seem a little complex in how they operated at times, they always had a way forward.

What is a typical day at work like for you?

The average day at work is never the same. We are in the middle of numerous projects, so I am typically trying to keep track of the new equipment being placed on the network and answering the phone, but there are also days I spend wishing the phone would ring to make the time go faster. Over all the day-to-day duties are fairly consistent and present a welcoming challenge.

How has your military training and experience helped you in the private sector?

My military experience is the only reason I was able to get a job in the private sector. When you are able to put ten years of experience on a resume and list of equipment a mile long and your experienced with it, it really helps. Another large way my training has helped is the Army gave me fantastic work ethic. Even if I do not know the system or there is a knowledge gap on a topic, I will work twice as hard to learn the material or to complete a project.

 

What advice would you give to transitioning veterans looking for their first job after leaving the military? 

My advice is to start looking for a job as soon as possible because it could take quite a bit of time. Be sure to remain patient throughout the process and be open to learn from each interview and question. Lastly, don’t settle just anywhere. Get to a place you want to be; you’re starting a new career and journey, so don’t settle, but reach for a goal and conquer it.  

 What has your experience been like working with TangoAlpha3?

TangoAlpha3 has been the best civilian company I have ever worked for. The staff and recruiters are sincere and hardworking. I have spoken to many recruiters and companies over my journey. Most will be pleasant and helpful until you’re in the company then they are like ghosts and you can never get help again. Not this company. They have been there every step of the way going well above and beyond what is expected. It will be a sad day to transition out from under this company and I look forward to the time I have left to work with these amazing people.  

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Whether you are a veteran looking for your next job opportunity or an organization looking to hire highly skilled talent, we’re here to assist.

 

Please do not hesitate to reach out:

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