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Skills and confidence equal potent combination for service men and women

Chris shaking hands after the graduation ceremony.
“Find a mentor in the area you’re seeking to enter. They are invaluable: you can use them to gain valuable insights, check your assumptions and learn from their experience.”
Soldiers check the flags for the graduation ceremony.
“Better understand your strengths. When you assess yourself more accurately, you’ll discover new opportunities. If you haven’t already, read the book “StrengthsFinder 2.0,” get it and take the strengths assessment — it’s well worth it.”
“Network like crazy. Use LinkedIn, ask for help and don’t be shy about reaching out to those who have served in similar units, geographies, branches of the armed forces or any other affinity connection you can make.”
“Believe in yourself. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Learn from the bumps in the road, be patient and be persistent. You are your best recruiter. Corporate America needs you even if it sometimes feels like the door won’t open.”

On Friday Microsoft vice president of Military Affairs, Chris Cortez, had the honor of speaking at the graduation ceremony for more than 220 soldiers at Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). On-base and off, there are 40 colleges and universities that offer certificate and degree programs to men and women stationed at JBLM, like Chief Warrant Officer 5 James Israel, who earned a bachelor of science degree in management studies from the University of Maryland University College.

Warrant Officer Israel is one example of the many talented men and women who are transitioning out of the military. They already have the raw talent, and all it takes is a little more education to turn them into exceptional leaders in whatever field they choose. As Cortez said on Friday, with the training they received in the military, and the confidence that they can get the job done, there’s nothing that can stop them.