Tag Archives: Qualled

Optimized Veteran Training for Civilian Careers

“Veterans: You know the value of hard work, respect, ownership of mistakes, and fixing the problem and not the blame.  You have the character foundation.  You have a leg up. Now you need to add a new skill set for civilian careers.”

– Tina Indalecio

I recently had a chance to interview Tina Indalecio, Director of Instructional Design at Tech Qualled, a training and placement company.  As a learning scientist, Tina offers more than a teaching background to enhance veterans’ transition experience.

Below, read how her unique expertise brings a fresh perspective on the value of veterans in the workforce. Learn how she has worked with the Tech Qualled team to design training that optimizes veterans’ potential.


What distinctive values do you personally bring to the Tech Qualled learning process?

After six years as a college professor, I chose to go back to school to understand the psychology behind how we learn. Having a background in learning science allows me to apply cutting-edge instructional design principles and the appropriate Civilian Careers for Veteranslearning theories into our program. As a result, information retention increases, and our learning outcomes are dramatically improved.

How is the experience tailored for veterans?

In three ways…

Learner-Focused Approach. The learning content is structured with the learner in mind, how military veterans think and what they bring to the table in a classroom, is very different than how a civilian thinks. That needs to be accounted for when developing our program content.  The training program is both immersive and integrated. Take the skill of prospecting, for example… The content is designed so that while they’re interacting with the material and researching the industry, the learners are by proxy developing skills necessary to be successful in sales. There is also just enough ambiguity built into each assignment to challenge rigid thinking and move the learner towards solving complex business challenges.

In addition, the course materials are continually refined based on the feedback from our candidates and data from how each cohort performs. Constant analysis of performance and outcomes enhance the program over time in a way that uniquely resonates with veteran learners and helps produce outstanding candidates for our client companies.

Individual Attention. We are about quality, not quantity and work to ensure a positive learning experience. Our small cohort sizes allow us to tailor the learning experience and respond quickly when learners have questions or need assistance. We know that every veteran learner will have different Civilian Careersneed levels. Two courses with identical content will have completely different learning outcomes if there is no response from the instructor or limited engagement in general, versus having a high-touch online learning environment. Our cohort sizes allow us to respond quickly to each learner, and time to devote to those who have higher needs so every learner feels supported. Learner frustration can directly decrease learning outcomes.  The benefit of this approach is to increase the overall learner experience and put the learners at ease psychologically.

Unique Business Model.  Our value as a training company means we are not the traditional churn-and-burn recruiting company that is only focused on the number of candidates we place. We value relationships with our candidates and client companies. That’s one of the reasons why we continually refine our program by focusing on relevant industry content to avoid cognitive overload and to highlight the information the learner needs to focus on in order to be successful once they are placed with a company and to create effective and efficient training. We also have a very steep vetting process when selecting our cohort candidates, but once you’re in, it’s a very rigorous experience, emphasizing maximized value and growth. We also have very strong relationships with the partner companies looking to hire our candidates.

Internally at Tech Qualled, we have cohesiveness, leaders giving praise, and team members that feel very valued. That sets our company apart, and in my experience, that is missing at most companies. The lack of feeling valued as an employee is a main reason why people job-hop.

What kind of candidate does best in the program?

I do not think we would have the same level of success with most civilians as we do with veterans. Our candidates tend to be very respectful and appreciative of the opportunity, and very eager to learn. In my experience, that level of enthusiasm and motivation is not as prevalent with many civilian college and adult learners. Veterans also tend to be highly competitive and motivated to do extremely well, which also differentiates them from typical students. To capitalize on this quality, we use gamification and other competitions within the program, which resonate well with our candidates.

What are the greatest struggles veterans encounter with the program?

The biggest learning challenge is to move away from a regimented way of thinking. Telling our learners that they need to come up with a creative solution is very difficult. In the military, you’re taught not to be autonomous, and there is very little latitude for creative thinking. We are training them in a field that requires them to think outside-the-box every day, where there is no hand-holding. We really challenge our candidates to get out of their comfort zone to be more creative thinkers and problem solvers.

Finally, what advice would you give veteran learners who are starting the program?

You have invaluable experience, and understand the structure, respect, discipline, and hard work. These are all critical to your success in sales.

You did so much training and preparation in terms of time and commitment for your rank and roles in the military… Why do less for your first civilian career? You were often given all the tools you needed to be successful, but in an environment that lacked learning design. You adapted and figured out how to use those tools. Take that initiative with our program, and you will be successful here, too.


Civilian Careers:

To find out more, or to apply for the Tech Qualled Launchpad Academy, visit www.staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com or contact Meredith Davis at meredith@staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com. For employers interested in hiring our candidates, please reach out to Nick Breedlove at nick@staging.techqualled.flywheelsites.com.

Veteran’s Journey to High-Tech Sales

In June 2015, I made my decision to leave the military and walk away from a promotion to the rank of Major. I had a fairly successful career in the U.S. Army, which made this veteran’s journey a particularly difficult one. Career progression in the military is much different than the civilian workforce. Additionally, there are assigned career managers for every rank cohort. Now a veteran, I was stepping outside of that familiar construct to be mired in ambiguity – all in an effort to have more control over my life.

veteran's journey

Scott Schreiber — U.S. Army veteran and recent Tech Qualled graduate.

Not knowing at the time what would best suit me, I knew I needed to do some self-discovery. I realized early on that I had an affinity for, as well as an innate disposition, for sales. I took multiple aptitude tests that would assist in my decision to pursue a particular career path – everything pointed to outside sales. I began researching industries and became increasingly enamored with high-tech sales.

I was already working with a Junior Military Officer (JMO) veteran recruiting firm prior to identifying my real interest in high-tech sales. At that point, it seemed like the right recipe to facilitate my transition – except there was no path to high-tech sales via the recruiting firm I was partnering with. In order to get into the industry, I wanted to as a veteran, I’d have to leave the comfort of knowing I can get “a job” with this firm to pursue what I really wanted to do. Ambiguity was my new normal.

Now a “free agent” in my transition, I began reaching out to military veterans that were account executives in the high-tech space. I had a few informational calls with directors and VPs where I quickly realized I needed validation in sales. Though they were impressed with what I had learned from reading numerous sales books, it wasn’t enough. I received a lot of “sorry, but not yet” answers.

Veteran's journey

The Challenger Sale is incorporated into Tech Qualled’s Launchpad Academy which is an e-learning course specifically designed for transitioning military veterans.

A mentor referred me to Tech Qualled, a company that trains veterans to break into the high-tech space in outside sales roles. Tech Qualled’s Launchpad Academy was the sales training/validation that I was looking for. The program’s instruction is led by former Cisco executive Jim Sherriff, CEO and co-founder of Tech Qualled. The first seven weeks consisted of virtual training focused on laying the foundation of sales knowledge utilizing the Challenger model from CEB’s book, The Challenger Sale. The challenging, self-paced curriculum stimulated my intellectual curiosity and pressure-tested my business acumen. Tech Qualled’s program culminated in a two-week sales boot camp that is – in my opinion – the most valuable experience of the entire program. It was a tremendous opportunity to sharpen my sales skills and validate that I was ready to take on an outside sales role.

Tech Qualled’s Sales Boot Camp is hosted in downtown Fort Worth, TX where I met the other 15 members of my cohort – all high performing officers in the military. We kicked off Day 1 with the Dallas Improv Troupe to harness our active listening skills and polished our communication skills on Day 2 with intensive public speaking training from DMH Consulting. These experiences set us up for the rigorous role-playing we would conduct for the remainder of the boot camp.

In rapid succession we rehashed every part of the sales process and heavily reinforced the material with role-playing led by Jim Sherriff and other Tech Qualled staff members — many of whom are veterans with experience in high-tech. Their coaching and feedback were tremendously helpful as they ramped up the intensity of our experience by bringing in C-suite executives to participate in a panel discussion and role-playing as well. Therein lies the greatest value of Tech Qualled’s program – the invaluable feedback by a former Cisco sales executive as well as the insight and feedback from CXOs whose peers we will be calling on.

veteran's journey

Cohort 4 veteran candidates participating in the Sales Boot Camp in Fort Worth, TX.

Our two-day capstone event, Victory Forge, was our chance to piece together our experiences in hopes of closing a deal with our tough, tenured role players. Broken up into small teams, we had to secure an initial meeting, identify opportunities within a few short sales calls and execute a plan of action on the chosen opportunity or opportunities to pursue and close.

Tech Qualled provided me and other veterans with both an extremely valuable experience as well as high-quality sales training. My new manager has referred to Tech Qualled’s program to be like a “mini sales MBA” designed specifically for military veterans. Within a month following graduation from the program, I accepted a position as a Business Development Manager with CEB selling for their middle market HR practice. I would not have been able to break into sales at the level I did without a program like Tech Qualled.

The conventional way for JMO veterans to transition is to leverage recruiting firms and get a job in a role they can best sell you as. The better way forward is to identify what you really want to do and take big, bold steps to get there. If you are a veteran and you want to get into high-tech sales, mitigate the level of ambiguity and take your big, bold step with Tech Qualled.