Sometime toward the end of 2017 when I knew my military career was coming to a close, life was very uncertain. I had been getting advice about making the transition for years, but never really took it seriously. Then all of a sudden, BAM, life happens. I was doing everything in my power to set myself up for success. Like the skies parting and the angels singing, Justin Ossola from Tech Qualled (who I later found out was one of the founders) contacted me via LinkedIn about a possible Account Executive Job and training program.
At the time I had never heard of the program and was extremely cautious about committing myself to anything. Justin explained what being an account executive in the technology industry was. I found that my career experience was uniquely matched with being an account executive. I had spent two years in recruiting, the closest you can get to sales in the military, and I had over eight years of Signal/IT experience. When Justin explained the career field and what it consisted of it was as if he’d just described peanut butter and jelly.
I was hesitant still and unconvinced of the viability of the program. I used the techniques learned while in Army Recruiting to conduct research on anyone and everyone associated with Tech Qualled, and I unexpectedly found that this was a very serious program with some amazing results. Within days I was fully committed to the selection process. It was challenging and required serious effort on my part, but when I received the acceptance phone call I knew my life had changed in a way that I never predicted.
The most challenging part of the training was fully immersing myself in it. Like I said, life was happening and Tech Qualled is very serious about their training. The time requirements were very reasonable to complete the training; however, I knew I was making a complete life change, so I used the resources and tools Tech Qualled provided to fill all of my available time.
I went through the program between March and June of 2018, and I had never met or even heard of any of the members of my cohort. During those few weeks, I’ve made life-long friends and have an open line of communication to anyone in the cohort. In fact, I’ve reached out to multiple other cohort members and they’ve all been like an open book. This is definitely one of the most beneficial aspects of going through Tech Qualled, I was never alone in my journey into an account executive job.
Finally, as the training ends and life started to hit (I just started terminal leave), the big question was what’s next? There were multiple opportunities and lots of concerns about “fit”. Every person at Tech Qualled would hear my concerns and answer my questions. I felt embarrassed by my lack of knowledge/experience, but they really carried me through.
Overall, my transition from the military was incredibly smooth. Except for CIF (central issuing facility/ where you turn your equipment in). I left the Army knowing I had a new career ahead of me and that the team at Tech Qualled genuinely were going to work their hardest to see me be successful. It was an absolute blessing and miracle that I was afforded the opportunity to go through the Tech Qualled program, and get an Account Executive job.
Erik McAndrews is a former Army Officer and Tech Qualled graduate. He is now in an Account Manager role at Splendid Technology Services and is based out of San Antonio, TX.