Marine Veteran William Figueroa shares how the Marine For Life Network helped him transition from the Marine Corps to the civilian world successfully. Below, he discusses how using his networking skills and connections through the Marine For Life Network helped him secure a meaningful place in the civilian workforce.
“I joined the Marine for Life national LinkedIn group a few months ago and received great tips and advice. [Before that], I worked at Marine Corps Base Quantico, specifically at The Basic School as the Small Unmanned Aerial System (SUAS) Program Manager. Going through the steps of transitioning out, like most Marines, I began to realize the struggle of trying to find exactly what I wanted to do, which is working with unmanned systems. I looked at Amazon (due to their prime air future delivery system) and came out with nothing. The same thing happened with Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Atomics — the list goes on. Eventually, through networking and regular contact with a retired LtCol (USMC), I had an opportunity to be interviewed by a great organization in good old Huntsville, AL. I am proud to say that after a few interviews and negotiations, I will soon be starting my career in the field I want.
I could not have gotten where I am without networking. Networking can be extra work, but it’s worth it; I come from an artillery background, and before, the most I could find was a security job relating to that field. If you are transitioning out with a year left, please look at programs such as the Corporate Fellowship Program or the Onward to Opportunity Program. I was lucky to find my dream job, but the help came from people in this group and they can definitely point anyone in the right direction."