In our Veterans on a Mission series, we’ll highlight the best and brightest veterans who have put their service-learned skills to work – and have helped us become one of G.I. Jobs’ Top Military Friendly Employers.
Learn how United States Army veteran Jonathan Parsons discovered the possibilities of a civilian career through a weekly job advisor session, and how he has used his military experience to excel in the retail business unit.
Branch of service:
United States Army
Current position at AT&T:
Retail Sales Consultant
How did you know what career was right for you after transitioning?
I first considered AT&T as a potential employer when I was searching through job postings and noticed that they hold a job advisor webinar for veterans every week. I attended one of JoHanna Martinez’s sessions and she answered all of my questions regarding potential employment at AT&T. One of my biggest fears leaving the military was losing the sense of camaraderie that was ever-present in the military. I relayed this concern and she reassured me that if you join the veterans Employee Resource Group and have a team player mentality, you will be able to come pretty close to the same sense of camaraderie.
What skills did you bring with you from the military that help you in your current role?
The skills I acquired from the Army have translated into the ability to listen, understand and respond to our customers. I can handle most stressful situations simply because these situations aren’t life-and-death. Yes, they are uncomfortable, but in the grand scheme, anything can be fixed or made right for the customer as long as you are willing to find a way to fix the problem. I hope to use the skills I have learned over my 10 years in the Army as an analyst to move into a position where I can grow outside of retail sales. That is my goal and these are just the stepping-stones.
Jonathan is a true joy to work with and a valuable asset to our team. He is honest, dependable and always willing to lend a helping hand. He shows a strong sense of leadership by providing suggestions and feedback to improve not only the team’s results but also team morale. I find it more than refreshing to have a team member display the level of integrity Jonathan has while giving his 100% effort every day he is in my store. The sky is the limit with him and I am excited to be a part of his journey!
- Wendy Hamilton, Store Manager
Do you think AT&T is an inclusive environment for veterans?
I think AT&T builds an inclusive environment for veterans. This requires a lot of patience, time and money, and I am truly thankful that AT&T supports those efforts. AT&T also builds a conducive environment that allows veterans to succeed, I see it in every facet of our company. When someone asks what I did before AT&T and I tell them I was in the Army, I always see a brighter smile or I receive a heartfelt thank you. I’ve created a network that will support my career success.
How is the culture at AT&T similar to the military?
I have a strong sense of values that were instilled in me from the Army and I feel that AT&T mirrors them. Integrity is a value I personally hold above all, and AT&T displays that daily. Integrity doesn’t just mean being honest; it also means having the strength to admit something is wrong and be accountable. At our store and among my co-workers we strive to have integrity and accountability every day and our customers appreciate it.
In the Army, our core values almost spelled leadership: Loyalty Duty Respect Selfless-Service Honor Integrity Personal Courage (LDRSHIP). Every leader I’ve met at AT&T has been more than willing to be just that. They always hold me and themselves accountable while staying respectful and keeping their sense of duty. I admire the leaders I have met thus far in our company.
Would you recommend AT&T as an employer to your military friends?
I would recommend AT&T (and have) to other veterans, especially those who are just separating. When you first get out you need AT LEAST six months to decompress and shake off the uniform. AT&T fosters that environment and builds you up to a different type of standard.