Willems in work gear in front of an AT&T truck

Michael Willems

Life in the military is one of discipline. Roles, attire, behavior, and order of command are clearly defined and set in tradition. Civilian life can seem very unstructured by comparison and transitioning into a civilian career can seem impossible.

For military veterans like William Boyer and Michael Willems, an essential part of easing the culture shock following their military careers was finding a company that held similar values.

“I chose AT&T because I wanted a career with structure and stability,” said Willems, a Marine Corp Veteran. “AT&T offered competitive pay, great benefits, and opportunity to move up in the company that felt very similar to getting promoted in the military.”

Fellow Technician and Navy Veteran Boyer shared this sentiment. “My career at AT&T shares many similarities with my military service,” Boyer said. “The camaraderie among co-workers, concern by leadership, and the recognition received for hard work are all common traits.”

With the familiar atmosphere came the opportunity to use many of the skills they learned during their service.

Applying Their Knowledge

Technician work is very hands-on. It requires both the technical know-how to execute installations and the personal skills to engage with customers throughout the day.

“My career in the military made me a critical thinker, detail-oriented, and resilient,” Willems said. “My job in the military required me to think outside of the box and perform under pressure. As a Premise Technician, I call on those same traits to complete an install or repair. Ultimately, my mission is to leave the job looking better than it did before I arrived.”

In addition to the technical expertise that helps with the execution of service installs and repairs, stress management is key. Each day, a technician receives their work schedule. You are never certain what challenges may arrive on a job and a technician may fall behind. Keeping a level head and thinking creatively helps overcome those issues. “I call on my technical savvy, stress management, and situational awareness from the military every day,” Boyer said.

Creating Connections

Boyer saluting

William Boyer

Another major benefit from their military experience both men talked about was their ability to connect with customers.

“My time in the military allowed me to understand and appreciate a broader view of people, their cultures, their beliefs, and their values,” Boyer said. “It has also led to stronger interactions with those individuals who have served in the military.”

Willems shared similar a sentiment and remembered a time where shared military background helped him complete a job. “I had a customer who was a bit nervous about the install,” he said. “When they found out I was a veteran, we got to talking and discovered we had the same job in the service. As we talked about our shared experiences in the job, it lightened the mood and made the install go a lot smoother.”

Boyer has had the same experience and added, “It’s such a wonderful opportunity to share our stories and to thank them for their service, too.”

Sharing Their Experience

While Boyer and Willems have found their place at AT&T and are applying their valuable knowledge in the field, not every veteran has an easy time finding where they fit in their post military career.

Willems advised, “Look for a job within the company that reflects what you did during your service in some way. Find out what it takes to get that position. Reach out to someone doing it or a recruiter and get as much information as you can about the job.”

“AT&T is a wonderful place to begin a post-military career with great growth potential,” Boyer said. “They value their Veterans and understand the sacrifices they made for their country.”

If you’re a Veteran looking to build your post-military career, bring your talents and dedication to AT&T.

Learn More About Veterans at AT&T