Sense of Duty

guy headshotIn 2001, Guy Thomas was enrolled at the University of New Orleans. While studying for a Business degree, September 11th happened, and he heard his call to arms.

“I joined the Louisiana National Guard and went to basic training,” Guy said, “Right before senior year, I was deployed to Iraq for a year and a half.”

Guy returned to New Orleans to finish his degree in 2005; Hurricane Katrina devastated the city that same year. To get his feet back on the ground after the hurricane, Guy worked as a franchise owner for several years as his family – and home – recovered. It wasn’t until 2012 that he decided on a change, applying for a technician opening with us. He soon transferred into a management position as an Outside Plant Engineer.

“When you go into the military, you learn how capable you can be in so many different situations and the sense of duty that comes with that. It’s why many people who join the military pick up skills and aspects of leadership you can’t find anywhere else.”

Perhaps it was that experience that gave Guy the determination to tackle his dreams.

Pivoting Towards Technology

“Six months after I started, our previous CEO Randall Stephenson had a big town hall conference. He announced our transition to a 2020 workforce, and, needing a skill pivot, I took that message very seriously – enough to finish my degree, change it to Computer Science and keep my skills relevant with nanodegree programs.”

Going back to school was an easy decision. Going to school while working full time wasn’t so easy. Having a veteran background and the AT&T tuition reimbursement benefit (among other perks) helped lighten the load. Guy also connected with our veteran community which provided him with additional perspective and support.

“AT&T is very veteran-focused. They don’t just say it – they do it. We have veterans throughout all levels in our company – from those working in the field, to management, to supervisors.”

After finishing his Bachelor’s in Computer Science, he applied to our Technology Development Program. During his rotations, he helped develop numerous applications that streamlined processes that cut down valuable time and in turn saving the company money. There, he secured a promotion to Principal Software Engineer and is now serving our Human Resources department, leading creation of applications and data delivery tools for People Analytics, AT&T University, and the DEI team.

Learn more about careers for veterans at AT&T