Veteran’s Journey to Employment

Submitted by Michelle Ruegsegger

“I was laid off from my previous employer in April of 2107. During that time, I went to my local Michigan Works! I registered for unemployment insurance, worked with the staff regarding job leads and attended some workshops that were offered. Through-out that timeframe, I diligently searched for jobs that I was qualified for. I applied for several positions, went on approximately four interviews and attended a few job fairs. I was frustrated with my job search experience given the fact that I possess a master’s degree and was experiencing difficulty in securing a decent paying job. It was at this point, that I seriously considering relocating out of state for work.

In October 2017 during a workshop at Michigan Works! I was told about the ‘Veteran Employment Boot Camp’ for the second time. I was informed that it was a good program for veterans and their spouses and that I should consider attending. Initially, I was hesitant concerning participating in a week-long workshop regarding finding employment. Reluctantly, I signed up for and attended the November 2017 workshop. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality and organization of the program. The staff at the ‘Veteran Employment Boot Camp’ at Michigan Works! Macomb/St Clair are knowledgeable regarding resume formatting and writing, relevant information to include in cover letters, resumes and interviews. The staff was very professional, efficient, veteran focused and sensitive to the challenges veterans face. Furthermore, the staff was very informative regarding navigating and using the Michigan Works! website.

During the one-week ‘Veteran Employment Boot Camp’ several presenters from partnering agencies were brought in to present to the participants regarding community resources that is available to veterans and their families. The resources that were offered were extremely helpful and I utilize the following resources: The Macomb Vet Center, Volunteers of America and Financial Planning.

I definitely learned a lot from the ‘Veteran Employment Boot Camp’. I incorporated the strategies that I learned in my cover letter, resume and during interviews. In the beginning of May this year, a friend referred me for a position at Ciber. I submitted my cover letter and resume for the position and a week later I was contacted for an interview. I went to the interview feeling confident and equipped with the strategies I learned at the Boot Camp. I was offered the position of Parts Management Analyst at Ciber and began working on May 29, 2018. I am excited about my new position in the automotive industry.

I am thankful to the staff/team at the ‘Veteran Employment Boot Camp’ for encouraging and equipping me through my unemployment journey.”

Olivia Parks– United States Navy Veteran