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Memorial Day: A Veteran’s Story of Remembrance and Military Transition to Corporate Life

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Posted in:  Company, People

Memorial Day is a holiday that we recognize in the United States that honors the sacrifice of military members who have lost their lives.

In honor of this day, we spoke with one of our Veteran employees, Brittney Linville, Manager of Global Enterprise Procurement. She shared her experience in the military, after the military, and the resources she uses to stay connected to and supported by her military community.

Can you tell us about your military experience and your transition back into civilian life?

I joined the Army in 2003 after graduating from high school, as it was the option available to me to help pay for my college. I was in the Military Police Corps – law enforcement in the military. It was the hardest job a woman could do at the time, so of course I picked that.

My time was spent primarily overseas in combat deployment in Iraq. Unfortunately, my service was cut short after an injury, which forced me to make the transition out of the military sooner than I had hoped. It felt chaotic and I was not necessarily prepared for it, so unfortunately I didn’t take advantage of the opportunities available to service members to make the transition smoother. And at that time, there weren’t many resources to transition into a corporate career path – you had to know someone already or have an idea in mind of where you wanted to go.

After your time in the military, how did you come to find Highspot?

Throughout the course of my career I’ve been really fortunate to make a lot of great partnerships and friends, one of them being Brahm Heyman, Sr. Manager, Enterprise & Strategic Sales at Highspot. We worked together previously. On LinkedIn, he was posting often about how much he loved working at Highspot. I was looking for a change, and so when I saw a role open up for an Enterprise Procurement Manager role, I took a gamble. It’s a decision I’m really proud of making. 

What guidance would you give military members as they prepare for the culture shift from military to corporate?

I know a lot of service members see their expiration of term of service date, or ETS date, as the light at the end of the tunnel – they just need to make it to that date, and then they’ll sort out their future. Instead you should be planning for your future while you’re still in the military. Work with your leadership to leverage the opportunities available to you now. Invest in yourself and your future to make sure you’re setting yourself up for success.

Today, there are more resources that help you transition to corporate life, and a lot of companies have invested in helping Veterans make the transition to a career. Many corporate organizations are forging strong partnerships with the military, like DoD SkillBridge, which is an official program of the Department of Defense that allows them to have interns in a corporate environment while that person transitions out of the military. This allows them to learn skills on the job, which in most cases, leads to an ongoing career with the company after their service ends.

What does Memorial Day mean to you?

Memorial Day is really important to my family and me. As a combat Veteran, I’ve unfortunately known people who have lost their lives in service to their country.

My family and I take the opportunity on Memorial Day to remember SGT Julia V. Atkins who was unfortunately killed in action where my husband was wounded. We use this day to remind people of who she was and the sacrifice she made to support our country. We teach our daughters about who she was, how important she is, and my husband will share pictures of when they served together to keep her memory alive.

How have you seen other Veterans support each other on this day?

We have a common phrase throughout all the branches of the military: “Check on your buddy.” Memorial Day is a day to remember the people we lost, and make sure that we’re checking in on the people who are still here to make sure that they’re doing okay too.

There are resources available for Veterans to connect with their community that can be helpful as well. Local Veterans Centers often offer many resources, and if urgent support is needed there are various crisis lines.

You are a big advocate for Veterans at Highspot, can you share some of the things you are doing?

I’m currently working to establish an Employee Resource Group that supports Veterans and military family members, so that we can make sure Highspot is a great employer for our military members, their families, and our veterans.

We also just signed up for a new partnership with Service2Software, which is a DoD SkillBridge program that allows transitioning Veterans to have access to corporate environments as they’re getting out of the military. In this specific case, we are partnering with Service2Software in order to hire software sellers. I’m really excited about this partnership because software and tech sales is not an avenue most Veterans explore, since it’s not something they are as familiar with or it’s not a skill they think their military service would apply to. In reality, it’s often a great career path for long-term success.

Outside of work I’m passionately involved in the community to help ensure that Veterans are succeeding after military life. I’m involved with various organizations here in the Seattle area, including Bunker Labs and Outdoors for All.

How has Highspot supported you as a Veteran?

Highspot shines a light on Veterans and ensures all people are treated as people first, employees second. The company values different perspectives and ensures all voices are heard.

I love that Highspot has given me a platform to share my passions with other employees and to talk about Veteran-related issues that people may not be familiar with. This helps educate people who may not have exposure to the Veteran community and understand what we value.

After leaving the military, it can often be hard to reconnect with your community and feel like there is a sense of belonging. Seeing Highspot take an interest and helping me to build back that connection makes me feel supported, and I know that I, and the things I care about, matter.

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