In our Veterans on a Mission series, we’ll highlight veterans who have put their service-learned skills to work – and have helped us become one of G.I. Jobs’ Top Military Friendly Employers.
Chris Sambar is one of many veterans using his military background to make a difference within AT&T. As Senior Vice President of the FirstNet project, he is responsible for overseeing the development of a wireless broadband network built specifically for first responders. With his former experience as a Navy SEAL, he loves that the culture at AT&T is centered around morals and brand pride. See how he was able to continue his development and professional growth in his post-military career.
Branch of service:
Current position at AT&T:
Vice President Corporate Strategy
What skills did you bring with you from the military that help you in your current role?
Coming from the SEALS, I had extensive leadership skills that will benefit me throughout my career. My determination to accomplish my goals all stem from the foundation of my military training.
Are there any similarities between the military and AT&T that helped your transition to the company?
I was hired on into a Leadership Development Program which allowed me to complete three customized job rotations. That includes two supervisory roles in high-growth areas of the company like Technology and Customer Care. I was able to gain global perspective in other functional areas, including Mobility, Marketing, Sales, Finance, Strategy and network technical operations. I was also able to network and learn from other veterans through AT&T’s Veteran ERG.
In addition, when I was deployed for OIF they were very supportive of my family and I. Pay and benefits were not an issue and they welcomed me back with open arms.
How did you know what career was right for you after transitioning?
I was able to apply the military training I had received into the civilian sector in an environment where my service was appreciated. Once I became familiar with the culture, engaged with other employees, I knew that AT&T would be a growing opportunity.
How is the culture at AT&T is similar to the military?
The similarities between military and AT&T culture are centered around morals, brand pride, the relationships that go beyond co-workers and willingness to cohesively accomplish goals. There are a lot of veterans here and it is a very supportive and positive environment just like the military. There is also a strong emphasis on ethics here similar to the military.
Would you recommend AT&T to your military friends as an employer?
Absolutely, great company that really supports veterans and their efforts to integrate back into civilian life.
What advice would you give to veterans who are looking to make the transition into the civilian world?
Try to become very familiar with translating your military skill sets into civilian language. Research the companies you are interested in to ensure that their values match what you are looking for and that they have a veteran presence to ensure you are coming into an inclusive environment.