U.S. Navy corpsman Domingo Sosa wasn’t sure where to start or how to break into a new career field when he decided to transition into the civilian workforce.
Luckily, the base where he was stationed, Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, participated in the Employment Navigator and Partnership Pilot Program. This program, led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service, provides one-on-one, personalized assistance to help transitioning service members and their spouses chart their course to meaningful, lasting careers.
Sosa learned about the ENPP during his Department of Labor Transition Assistance Program workshop in May 2021, in advance of his pending December 2021 separation date. For Sosa, the choice was clear. “I chose to work with an Employment Navigator because I had no clear view on life after the military,” he said. “Working with my EN helped guide my decisions toward my new career.”
Sosa’s Employment Navigator, Erik Orezechowski, worked with him to understand his needs, interests and goals, and helped him develop a plan to achieve his desired career path. Together, they explored potential careers, discussed training services and employment mentorship, reviewed Sosa’s resume and identified his need for career mentorship.
After discussing the benefits of a mentor during their second meeting, Orezechowski referred Sosa to ENPP partner American Corporate Partners, a national nonprofit organization focused on providing transitioning service members with critical career services, including mentorships.
ACP matched Sosa with his mentor, Joe S., former senior vice president of Global Technology at Bank of America and a current client sales engineer at the technology company MuleSoft. Their conversations helped affirm Sosa’s interest in pursuing higher education in cybersecurity and information assurance.
“My mentor is someone who I respect and strive to be like and has coached me with interview techniques and career goals to pursue,” said Sosa. “The ACP Mentorship Program has been life- changing.” In monthly meetings, Joe and Sosa worked on mock interviews, networking and coaching to prepare for Sosa’s job search.
Following these sessions, Sosa applied to the Microsoft Systems Software Academy and was offered a role as a server and cloud administrator. MSSA provides transitioning service members with a 17-week training course for high-demand IT careers in cloud development or cloud administration.
Sosa graduated from MSSA on Feb. 9 and accepted a role with Randstad to train as a Genesys implementation engineer, a role he started on Feb. 21. Sosa credits the skills he developed through ENPP with easing the transition from the Navy and is excited to launch his new career.
Tim Winter is the director for Transition Assistance Programs for the Veterans’ Employment and Training Service at the U.S. Department of Labor. Follow VETS on Twitter at @VETS_DOL.