For job-seeking veterans at campuses across the country, the transition from soldier to civilian is becoming easier because of corporations such as Tech Qualled in Fort Worth, Texas.
Established in April, Tech Qualled is a company that aims to recruit and train military veterans who have earned their bachelor’s degrees for high-paying sales roles in corporate America.
Co-founder of Tech Qualled Nick Breedlove said any enlisted person who has used their Post-9/11 GI Bill to attend a school such as LSU and is actively seeking a white-collar job is able to apply for Tech Qualled’s services.
Breedlove said the program’s application process involves one phone interview and two behavioral video interviews before a selection board determines an applicant’s entry. Roughly 20 percent of applicants reach the selection board, he said.
Since the beginning of its outreach strategy in August, Tech Qualled has reached more than 20 college campuses in Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana, and, Breedlove said, one of the student applicants was an LSU MBA graduate.
Adam Jennings, LSU’s Veteran and Military Student Services coordinator, said career field integration is a large part of VMSS’ efforts because of the number of older students who are enlisted as military veterans.
“Things that may be fairly simple for others who graduated high school, attended college and had the assistance of a guidance counselor are more difficult for those coming from a military structure,” Jennings said. “It takes some getting used to the civilian structure.”
“What’s unique about our program is that we’re doing pure entrepreneurship — we’re trying to meet an unmet need,” Breedlove said. “Our program opens up doors to talented, motivated, intelligent, well-spoken veterans that want a job in a meritocracy that they themselves would not otherwise be able to open.”
Breedlove, a former active duty naval pilot and recent Harvard Business School graduate, said the idea for Tech Qualled came from veterans Jim and Karen Sherriff, who both had a desire to give veteran leaders the opportunity to integrate into the “limiting, lucrative” business technology world.
“I thought it would be a tough transition because I left my comfort zone and everything I had ever known, but it really wasn’t — it was very smooth,” Breedlove said.
Breedlove said Tech Qualled works with companies that generate billions of dollars worth of revenue — all of which look for veterans with the kind of 10-week training program Tech Qualled provides.
“There are two things military vets need to start leaning on a year out of school, and that’s have a realistic expectation of your salary and never underestimate the value of your network,” Breedlove said.