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Former Sergeant Credits USO/Hire Heroes Workshop with Helping Him Land Engineering Job

Thursday, December 26, 2013

By Eric Brandner

Sudheer Banala knew mastering the unwritten rules would be key.

Thirty years old and looking to separate from the military, Banala had the skills for a job in the tech industry, but didn’t know how to lock one down.

So when he was presented with an opportunity to attend the USO/Hire Heroes USA Career Transition Workshop at Fort Campbell, Ky., he jumped at it.

“[In the] military, we have a different perspective,” he said. “But [workshop instructors were] able to show us the real scenarios, the real situation on the civilian market by sharing their experiences. That was fantastic.”

Banala – who injured his back and neck during a training accident – learned about the workshop through his warrior transition unit. Once enrolled, he worked with an adviser to refine his resume, learned how employers wanted to hear about his skill sets and took part in a mock interview with a local hiring manager.

“One person who I interviewed with was a manager from a bank,” he said. “[Doing well in that interview] made me feel confident.”

USO/Hire Heroes USA Transition Workshops are a starting point for wounded, ill and injured troops, their spouses and caregivers to enter the civilian job market. The trainers at the workshops are veterans, former human resources specialists and corporate recruiters who share their expertise with service members.

The workshops – held throughout the country near military installations – run two days and are often complemented with subsequent USO Career Opportunity Days, where area employers conduct additional mock interviews that sometimes turn into real job offers.

Banala combined the skills he learned in the Army with the finer points he picked up during his USO/Hire Heroes experience to secure a job as a software test engineer at Asurion.

“[Workshop advisers] help us to understand that it’s just not your resume, but your personality, and how to answer a particular question,” Banala said.


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