As a current member of the Kentucky Army National Guard and an Operation Iraqi Freedom veteran, Mike Powers knows the rewards and challenges that come with building a military career and professional career simultaneously. His experiences have made Mike ideally suited to serve as TEKsystems’ Veterans and Disabilities Outreach Coordinator, a role that provides him the opportunity to help fellow veterans find success in our company.
Here, in his own words, Mike chronicles his career at TEKsystems and shares his perspective on how TEKsystems supports its employees that also serve or have served the U.S. as part of its military. His account speaks to the support other veterans can expect to find at TEKsystems.
I have been fortunate enough to be a part of TEKsystems for over 15 years while concurrently serving as part of the Army National Guard. TEKsystems has both collectively and individually been a strong supporter of my military career.
TEKsystems hired me in 1998 as a recruiter after college. As I spoke to information technology professionals about positions with TEKsystems, I learned the business industry. Specifically, I learned a lot about the different positions and culture of each one of our clients in the state. A year later in 1999, I was promoted to account manager for prominent IT clients. I was responsible for growing the careers of recruiters reporting to me and solving the needs of our IT clients while building personal relationships with hiring managers in the area. As military drill weekend and flight training requirements expanded, my peers at TEKsystems helped maintain a level of consistency for customer satisfaction. This support continued during my frequent mobilizations for flood, fire and hurricane relief. This team environment is a driving force in our superior customer service for clients.
After a Bosnia mobilization, I moved into a role in which I utilized my knowledge of IT and government business. I was partnered with an account manager who focused on the business needs of government integrators throughout Kentucky along with military bases and stations. As my responsibilities grew at TEKsystems so did my army responsibilities. My director of branch operations worked closely with me to help me work efficiently so that I was able to meet the growing demands for more time at the National Guard. Again, TEKsystems was very accommodating of the time when I was required to perform training. In 2004, I was mobilized for deployment to Iraq and spent over 16 months away from TEKsystems. My first level managers during these visits not only supported me professionally, but helped take care of my family, communicate with me overseas, sent me packages, helped my wife with work-life balance and kept my business contacts updated about me. During my time in Iraq, I regularly received letters and packages that contained items we used for goodwill packages such as soccer balls, candy, clothes and kids toys. Peers in other city offices would even check in on me with genuine concern and provide support. After my return from mobilization, my director provided me time off that was above and beyond USERRA regulations in order to reintegrate with family and acclimate to home life again. This time and the support of my peers during my deployment allowed me to return to my role in 2006 with seamless effort.
In 2010, I began a new role that was national in scope as opposed to state focused. In this role, I was part of a team working with our national military clients to support their IT needs. This role helped deliver IT professionals with clearances to high-level projects for the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, FBI and TSA. This role exposed me to government work at a very high level. I also had the pleasure of meeting with national entities that help to employ veterans. I worked closely with MTS, ACAP, ESGR, TAPs and other contacts at several bases in each state. The satisfaction of helping fellow service members and their family members find work locally or nationally was personally rewarding and fulfilling.
This role brought me to the attention of a TEKsystems colleague who was creating a new role within the company. I was afforded the unique opportunity to determine a strategy for the company to attract and retain veterans and people with disabilities for our internal positions. This philanthropic role has allowed me autonomy to collaborate and align with organizations that specifically support service members and their families. We work with Wounded Warrior, JOFDAV, Student Veterans, Military Spouse Employment Partnership and many others. I also have begun working with the veterans inside of TEKsystems to identify ways the company can help meet the unique needs of prior and current service members. We are also working to help identify local avenues to reach veterans seeking a career.
Throughout the years I have had to attend army schools, support relief efforts, deploy and maintain flight time weekly, all with the support and flexibility of my management and teams. I have learned how rare this culture is after working in business for 15 years. The culture of TEKsystems is relationship-based and unique. The service mentality provided to our customers is mirrored internally. I am fortunate to have begun a career with TEKsystems in 1998, and now I am in a role to directly help fellow service members become a part of this outstanding company. I know that veterans are team-oriented and I feel this company is a great fit for veterans because of how highly everyone here values that trait.
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