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Veterans command good career opportunities

Companies value their discipline and versatility
Posted at 6:46 PM, May 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-25 21:46:12-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - After years of serving our country a lot of veterans look forward to using what they learned in the military--  to build strong civilian careers.

Local companies seek out veterans to add to their workforce.

Brian Upshaw is a financial advisor at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.  It can be demanding.  But the demands were much different when he was a Marine in Fallujah, Iraq, running heavy equipment in combat conditions.

"It's pretty easy to stand in front of a crowd and talk to someone about their finances if you have already been in a situation where, well nobody's shooting at you today so it's a lot easier to talk to someone about their finances, so..."
After the Marines, Upshaw finished a finance degree and found Merrill Lynch liked his leadership, discipline, adaptability and the drive to get the job done, and then some.

"There are a lot of sayings in the military of, it's not good enough to be excellent.  You need to be elite. You need to do more than what's required of you because that's ultimately going to be the best for you."
Bank of America says it's hired seven thousand service members in the last four years and it hopes to hire at least another ten thousand.  It makes special efforts to hire veterans
Companies like Tucson Electric also value the veterans strengths.
TEP strives to hire veterans and is part of a national program that lets people finishing their last six months in the military work with companies to learn what could become their civilian jobs.

TEP spokesperson Joe Barrios says, “We've had more than a dozen service members come through that program to serve internship roles through the company in a variety of different areas.  We have a number of them that are interning now and that program has actually resulted in a few hires, either as full time employees or as long term contractors."
Brian Upshaw says people leaving the service should understand their military specialty is just part of what they learned.

"Just because you drive a tank or you shoot artillery rounds or you're on a submarine or whatever it is, doesn't mean that you don't know how to be a leader, or that you don't know how to work with people who have different backgrounds or who have different opinions than you."
And he says those people skills are what leads to success.