Veteran Job Search: The Curtis Stewart Story

Veteran Job Search The Curtis Stewart Story

Meet one of our recent graduates, Curtis Stewart. We were lucky enough to find Curtis during his veteran job search and quickly got him enrolled in the VAe training program.

Curtis is originally from Brevard County, Florida. He moved to Tallahassee to attend college. He then joined up with the Army; first as a reservist and then full active duty in 2005. Unfortunately, a knee injury forced Curtis out of military service. We recently had an opportunity to sit down with Curtis to talk about his post-VAe endeavors:

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Interviewer: So Curtis, tell us a little about yourself.

Curtis: Well, I served with a field artillery unit in South Korea in the DMZ. I was then sent to Fort Lewis in Washington State and then back to Korea. That’s pretty much all in my service jacket. But what you may not know is that while I was in High School, I was part of the FBLA. That’s the Future Business Leaders Of America program. It was there that I got hooked on Japanese culture. I started studying Japanese and going to Japanese restaurants to practice my skills.

FBLA Logo

Interviewer: Wait, go back… Tell us a little bit about your time with the FBLA.

Curtis: Well, with the FBLA program I got to meet with business owners all the time. We were required to wear formal business attire. We also learned what business “etiquette” really means (laughs). It was here that I learned that Japan was the international business hub. I got to meet Japanese business owners and decided this was where I wanted to focus my efforts.

Interviewer: What next?

Curtis: Well I graduated High School, and I wanted to see the world. So I enlisted. I got to go to Asia… Korea. I fell in love with Asia and especially Japan. So I went back to school and earned my degree in East Asian Economics.

After I finished school my wife and I agreed moved to Japan to teach English. But then my wife got cold feet, and we wound up staying in Florida.

Interviewer: So then what happened?

Curtis: All of my focus had been on East Asian studies. There’s not many job opportunities for that particular skill set.

Interviewer: Then what?

Curtis: Well, I did what any other veteran on a job search would do. I went to the VA. Part of my veteran job search was to find a skill set that I could use anywhere, anytime. It was actually the Veterans Administration that sent me to VAe®.

Interviewer: So why did the VA recommend you to VAe®?

Curtis: Well, like I said, I like electronics, and I wanted a skill set I could use anywhere. So, I like what you had to offer, so I enrolled.

Interviewer: So what did you like most about our program here at VAe?

Curtis: Your flexibility. You offer great flexibility with my class schedule, and I also enjoyed the small class sizes. That gave me plenty of opportunity for one-on-one time with instructors.

Interviewer: What else would you like to tell us about your experience with our program?

Curtis: Honestly, your schedule flexibility worked out great for me. Don’t get me wrong; it was hard getting through the program. Had to work and go to school, went to work for a moving company, and your organization gave me the flexibility I needed. I could go to school in the morning and work in the afternoons. Then at night I could do course work from home. And if I ever got stuck, you guy’s were always available. And your instructors are great. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Interviewer: What was the primary benefit you received from VAe training?

Curtis: Becoming a certified electronic technician, something that’s needed throughout the country. Job openings are everywhere. Makes you available to work just about anywhere, which is nice, not limiting you to certain region or certain area, I can go to just about any city and find a decent job

Interviewer: How can we improve our program to better meet your needs?

Curtis: Can’t think of any improvements, everything was well laid out. If I was at home when stuck on something, all I had to do was send an email or make a call. And the response was always really quick. I honestly don’t know how to improve on that.

Interviewer: Do you feel like VAe prepared you well for your job?

Curtis: Yes I do, I feel very well prepared for my job. We got every amount of tools, projects, and help we wanted. Even after we’re done with the program, we’re allowed to go back for help if we need it. They tell us if you’re at work, and you need our help email us, and we’ll help you out as much as we can. Can’t beat that.

Interviewer: So can you tell us a little about your employment experience after completing the course?

Curtis: Sure. As I told you, it was great becoming a certified electronic technician, because it is a skill set that is needed everywhere. When I started looking there were open positions in Japan, Guam, and Virginia was a hot spot. I also looked pretty heavily at Colorado.

Matt saw that I was a mechanic in the Army. So Matt recommended the Vet to Tech program at Audi. Wow… Audi?

Audi Logo

I really didn’t want to be a mechanic again. But given I was familiar with mechanics and a certified electronics technician, I thought it would be pretty cool to work for Audi. So I applied and was accepted into the Vet to Tech program.

I actually started with Audi on January 4th, 2016. Working with Audi is a phenomenal experience. And Capital Eurocars in Tallahassee, Fl gave me all the help and support I needed. I went to the tech school, graduated with ease. Worked at Capital Eurocars for about a month and then it was off to the official Audi School which was located in Atlanta, Georgia. Then, I went back to Eurocars.

Loved Audi, loved the people.

Interviewer: Anything else you want to add?

Curtis: Yes, a shout out to Matt. Matt was great.

The program I attended was in 5 sessions. After the third session, I start working with the VA to work on my veteran job search. I put together a resume, practiced interviews, and so much more. Matt was there. Every step of the way. Whenever I needed anything, he was on it. He sent my packet out to several dealerships I wanted to work at. He was the one if you remember, that got me into Audi.

Even after graduation he has been reaching out to me. Mostly to stay in touch and see how I’m doing. In fact, he still checks in on me now and then to make sure I am still doing good.

Interviewer: We’re about to wrap up here. Anything else you want to share?

Curtis: Absolutely. I wanted to share some veteran job search tips for military members going back into the civilian world.

When I first got out, I made a mistake and didn’t go straight to the VA. It wasn’t until I met an older (more experienced) veteran who asked me why I wasn’t registered with the VA. Especially if I was on a veteran job search. So I took his advice and registered. When I did, a whole new world opened up. Heck, I even got a free cell phone.

VA Signature Blue Logo

Second, when I got out and didn’t have a job, I was nit-picky, constantly underfoot and driving my wife crazy. I should have gotten involved in a community organization… something to keep me busy until I found work. Trust me; it would have made things a lot easier around the house.

Look, there is going to be an adjustment period when you get out of the military. Get plugged in to support organizations. Keep your mind and your hands busy while you are out on your veteran job search. I promise you; it will make your life, and your job search so much easier.

Bottom line. Go to the VA as soon you get out.

There are a boatload of benefits that you won’t know about or miss out on because you did not register.

Interviewer: We actually wrote a blog post on that very issue Curtis. It is titled; “Important Military Discharge Advice To Transitioning Service Members.” Thank you for bringing up that very important issue.

Interviewer: Thanks for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Curtis.

Curtis: You’re welcome.

Meet one of our recent graduates, Curtis Stewart. We were lucky enough to find Curtis during his veteran job search and quickly got him enrolled in the VAe training program.

Curtis is originally from Brevard County, Florida. He moved to Tallahassee to attend college. He then joined up with the Army; first as a reservist and then full active duty in 2005. Unfortunately, a knee injury forced Curtis out of military service. We recently had an opportunity to sit down with Curtis to talk about his post-VAe endeavors:

Interviewer: So Curtis, tell us a little about yourself.

Curtis: Well, I served with a field artillery unit in South Korea in the DMZ. I was then sent to Fort Lewis in Washington State and then back to Korea. That’s pretty much all in my service jacket. But what you may not know is that while I was in High School, I was part of the FBLA. That’s the Future Business Leaders Of America program. It was there that I got hooked on Japanese culture. I started studying Japanese and going to Japanese restaurants to practice my skills.

FBLA Logo

Interviewer: Wait, go back… Tell us a little bit about your time with the FBLA.

Curtis: Well, with the FBLA program I got to meet with business owners all the time. We were required to wear formal business attire. We also learned what business “etiquette” really means (laughs). It was here that I learned that Japan was the international business hub. I got to meet Japanese business owners and decided this was where I wanted to focus my efforts.

Interviewer: What next?

Curtis: Well I graduated High School, and I wanted to see the world. So I enlisted. I got to go to Asia… Korea. I fell in love with Asia and especially Japan. So I went back to school and earned my degree in East Asian Economics.

After I finished school my wife and I agreed moved to Japan to teach English. But then my wife got cold feet, and we wound up staying in Florida.

Interviewer: So then what happened?

Curtis: All of my focus had been on East Asian studies. There’s not many job opportunities for that particular skill set.

Interviewer: Then what?

Curtis: Well, I did what any other veteran on a job search would do. I went to the VA. Part of my veteran job search was to find a skill set that I could use anywhere, anytime. It was actually the Veterans Administration that sent me to VAe®.

Interviewer: So why did the VA recommend you to VAe®?

Curtis: Well, like I said, I like electronics, and I wanted a skill set I could use anywhere. So, I like what you had to offer, so I enrolled.

Interviewer: So what did you like most about our program here at VAe?

Curtis: Your flexibility. You offer great flexibility with my class schedule, and I also enjoyed the small class sizes. That gave me plenty of opportunity for one-on-one time with instructors.

Interviewer: What else would you like to tell us about your experience with our program?

Curtis: Honestly, your schedule flexibility worked out great for me. Don’t get me wrong; it was hard getting through the program. Had to work and go to school, went to work for a moving company, and your organization gave me the flexibility I needed. I could go to school in the morning and work in the afternoons. Then at night I could do course work from home. And if I ever got stuck, you guy’s were always available. And your instructors are great. I couldn’t ask for anything more.

Interviewer: What was the primary benefit you received from VAe training?

Curtis: Becoming a certified electronic technician, something that’s needed throughout the country. Job openings are everywhere. Makes you available to work just about anywhere, which is nice, not limiting you to certain region or certain area, I can go to just about any city and find a decent job

Interviewer: How can we improve our program to better meet your needs?

Curtis: Can’t think of any improvements, everything was well laid out. If I was at home when stuck on something, all I had to do was send an email or make a call. And the response was always really quick. I honestly don’t know how to improve on that.

Interviewer: Do you feel like VAe prepared you well for your job?

Curtis: Yes I do, I feel very well prepared for my job. We got every amount of tools, projects, and help we wanted. Even after we’re done with the program, we’re allowed to go back for help if we need it. They tell us if you’re at work, and you need our help email us, and we’ll help you out as much as we can. Can’t beat that.

Interviewer: So can you tell us a little about your employment experience after completing the course?

Curtis: Sure. As I told you, it was great becoming a certified electronic technician, because it is a skill set that is needed everywhere. When I started looking there were open positions in Japan, Guam, and Virginia was a hot spot. I also looked pretty heavily at Colorado.

Matt saw that I was a mechanic in the Army. So Matt recommended the Vet to Tech program at Audi. Wow… Audi?

Audi Logo

I really didn’t want to be a mechanic again. But given I was familiar with mechanics and a certified electronics technician, I thought it would be pretty cool to work for Audi. So I applied and was accepted into the Vet to Tech program.

I actually started with Audi on January 4th, 2016. Working with Audi is a phenomenal experience. And Capital Eurocars in Tallahassee, Fl gave me all the help and support I needed. I went to the tech school, graduated with ease. Worked at Capital Eurocars for about a month and then it was off to the official Audi School which was located in Atlanta, Georgia. Then, I went back to Eurocars.

Loved Audi, loved the people.

Interviewer: Anything else you want to add?

Curtis: Yes, a shout out to Matt. Matt was great.

The program I attended was in 5 sessions. After the third session, I start working with the VA to work on my veteran job search. I put together a resume, practiced interviews, and so much more. Matt was there. Every step of the way. Whenever I needed anything, he was on it. He sent my packet out to several dealerships I wanted to work at. He was the one if you remember, that got me into Audi.

Even after graduation he has been reaching out to me. Mostly to stay in touch and see how I’m doing. In fact, he still checks in on me now and then to make sure I am still doing good.

Interviewer: We’re about to wrap up here. Anything else you want to share?

Curtis: Absolutely. I wanted to share some veteran job search tips for military members going back into the civilian world.

When I first got out, I made a mistake and didn’t go straight to the VA. It wasn’t until I met an older (more experienced) veteran who asked me why I wasn’t registered with the VA. Especially if I was on a veteran job search. So I took his advice and registered. When I did, a whole new world opened up. Heck, I even got a free cell phone.

VA Signature Blue Logo

Second, when I got out and didn’t have a job, I was nit-picky, constantly underfoot and driving my wife crazy. I should have gotten involved in a community organization… something to keep me busy until I found work. Trust me; it would have made things a lot easier around the house.

Look, there is going to be an adjustment period when you get out of the military. Get plugged in to support organizations. Keep your mind and your hands busy while you are out on your veteran job search. I promise you; it will make your life, and your job search so much easier.

Bottom line. Go to the VA as soon you get out.

There are a boatload of benefits that you won’t know about or miss out on because you did not register.

Interviewer: We actually wrote a blog post on that very issue Curtis. It is titled; “Important Military Discharge Advice To Transitioning Service Members.” Thank you for bringing up that very important issue.

Interviewer: Thanks for your time and for sharing your thoughts, Curtis.

Curtis: You’re welcome.

ELECTRONICS CAREERS FOR VETERANS, Everything You Need To Know  And How To Get Started
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