Hiring Our Heroes: Master Sergeant Jamila C. Ayala
This summer, Cox Communications is pleased to partner with Hiring our Heroes to provide help and support to veterans, transitioning service members, and military spouses as they find meaningful employment opportunities outside of their military careers. Through the Corporate Fellowship Program, Cox is providing on the job training and helping our service members bridge the gap between their military service and civilian careers.
We sat down, virtually of course, with some of those participants to see how their time at Cox is going and what advice they have for others in the military who are looking to begin their civilian careers. Today, hear from Master Sergeant Jamila C. Ayala.
Q: Can you tell me a little bit about your military careers?
J: I served 24 years in the Army in the enlisted corps and am retiring as a Master Sergeant. Most of that time was as a mechanic and then maintenance supervisor, but I also performed supply, training, and personnel management functions. Over the years, I have developed my organization, time efficiency, communications, problem solving, and leadership skills. Which have all assisted me during my transition. But there have still been some challenges.
Q: What are some of the challenges you and other members of the military face when trying to get civilian jobs?
J: I would say some of the biggest challenges we face are trying to decide what we actually want to do with the next chapter of our lives, how to articulate and translate what we did in the military into civilian language and adjusting our expectations because we essentially have to learn a new trade. But the partnership between Hiring Our Heroes and Cox Communications has been wonderful.
Q: How are Hiring Our Heroes and Cox helping to solve some of those challenges?
J: Hiring Our Heroes provides training on civilian employment cultures and standards and everyone at Cox has been amazing, welcoming, and patient. They have alleviated a lot of the anxieties that I had entering the civilian workforce. And I’m really impressed with the fact that almost everyone that I’ve met at Cox has been with the company for at least 15 years. That employee longevity speaks volumes about the company and their attitude toward their employees.
Q: Is there any advice you would like to give to other military professionals who are looking for civilian jobs?
J: Some advice that I’d give transitioning members is to definitely start networking, start humbling yourself, and adjust your expectations. Remember you had to learn and grow into the superstar that you are now in the military. That means you also have to give yourself some time to learn and grow in your new civilian role. Cox has been amazing, and I am truly blessed and enjoying this new chapter in my life.
Thanks to Master Sergeant Jamila C. Ayala for her time and sharing her story. Click here to read more stories about life at Cox or visit our Veterans page to learn more.