How to Transition from the Military to Corporate Life | Veterans Panel Fireside Chat

What is it like to transition from the military and into a career? Four veterans from the Army, Air Force, and Marines share their journey, their struggles, accomplishments and their advice to find a job they love. This is part of The Niche Movement fireside chat tour where we sat down and interviewed for veterans who found their niche. The Niche Movement Fireside Chat Tour brings together a diverse population of career-ready millennials, from college students to more experienced professionals for monthly events and on-going digital discussions about finding your niche--and a company where you can grow--in the new job market. The events will cover topics such as finding your niche, entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, and personal branding. Fireside chat guests include thriving young professionals from companies like HBO and General Assembly who have a compelling story, unique career journey, and have found their niche, loving what they do. All interviews will take place in front of a live audience as part of a series of 3-hour events organized across the country, starting with D.C., Philly, NYC, and Boston.

The Panelists

Johanna Ciezczak graduated from Purdue University in 2008 and commissioned as a 2ndLt in the Marine Corps. She served 7 years active duty as a Military Police Officer being stationed in Okinawa, Japan and San Diego, CA. She deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit on WESTPAC 12-2 as the Anti-Terrorism Force Protection Officer. After getting off active duty in 2015 she worked for Oracle Corporation as a Project Portfolio Management solutions consultant and was co-chair of Oracle’s Military and Veteran Employee Network. Currently she is the Salesforce Administrator for The Mission Continues, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower veterans who are adjusting to life at home to find purpose through community impact. She is an avid runner, completing 4 marathons for Team Kelly, a memorial running team in honor of 1stLt Robert Kelly.

Scott Cooper spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, retiring in 2013. He served five tours in Iraq and two in Afghanistan. He now serves as the National Security Outreach Director at Human Rights First, working at the intersection of human rights and national security. He also founded and leads their project, Veterans for American Ideals, a nonpartisan movement of military veterans who are continuing to serve by sharing their stories, speaking out about American ideals and values, and advocating policies to support refugees, counter anti-Muslim bigotry, and bring civility and unity to the country.

Lourdes Tiglao She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Maryland University College, a certificate in graduate medical education from Georgetown University, and finished her World Executive MBA degree from George Washington University. She is a US AirForce veteran who served in the medical field aspart of the 3-person USAF Critical Care AirTransport Team while also serving as a memberof the International Health Specialist Team forthe US Air Force, a team that used medicine asan approach to crossing cultural barriers.  Hercareer in aerospace medicine deployed her tomultiple countries, including Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and the Philippines until 2007. Lourdes currently serves as the Strategic Partnerships Officer for Team Rubicon Global, responsible for establishing relationships with the 50 most disaster-prone countries around the world.

Terron Sims is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point. While deployed in Iraq, Terron established and mentored the government of Baghdad’s Tisa Nissan District, where he served as the primary liaison to the CPA, the UN, Baghdad City Hall, and Iraq’s federal government. Additionally, he was the Wasit Province’s primary military liaison officer. Terron’s final Army assignment was supervising and designing a $29 Million dollar real-world fighting village for the Joint Readiness Training Center.Terron Sims, II is the Senior Partner and founder of Doug Pollard, LLC. He is on the Board of Principals of the Truman National Security Project and was on Secretary Clinton’s (HFA) National Security Policy Team, serving on the Veterans and Military Families (VMF) Policy Working Group. In 2014, Governor Terry McAuliffe appointed Terron to serve on the Virginia Military Advisory Council. Terron has written two books and regularly tutors and mentors young people in Arlington and is an education and community activist throughout northern Virginia.