I owe much of my career success to my time spent in the US Coast Guard. Not only did the Coast Guard help fund my college degree, it provided me the education and experience for not one, but two careers!
I began my military career in 1989. In 1991, I was sent to Public Affairs "A" School and learned how to take photos, write press releases and stories, and how to deal with the media.
After six years of the Coast Guard, I took my college degree and four years' experience as a Public Affairs Specialist and was hired as a Marketing Coordinator at a local hospital, then went on to become Communications Manager for Cleveland's chamber of commerce.
I was in my job about a year and then 9/11 happened. By 2001, I was in the Coast Guard Reserves and was called up to work in the public affairs office. While I was on active duty, a civilian job opened up with the Coast Guard in the civil engineering unit as a Contract Specialist. My familiarity with the Coast Guard helped land me the job, but I had no idea what the job entailed. So the Coast Guard, once again, sent me off to numerous classes to learn about Federal acquisition regulations.
Today, because of all the knowledge, skills and abilities the Coast Guard afforded me, I can proudly say I am a GS-14 Lead Contracting Officer working at NASA and now retired from the Coast Guard. Joining the Coast Guard was the smartest career move I ever made and helped me pave the way for a successful career.