Honoring veterans and embracing their value in the workforce

Veterans share their experience in the military and how they apply it in their roles at Viasat.

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Viasat recently received recognition from two organizations as a great place for veterans to work. It was selected for the 2023 HIRE Vets Gold Medallion Award and earned a spot on the 2023 Military Times Best for Vets: Employers list.

The HIRE Vets Medallion Award is the only federal-level veterans’ employment award that recognizes an organization’s commitment to veteran hiring, retention, and professional development.

The Military Times describes its annual survey as the most comprehensive annual ranking of the country’s best employers and organizations with military-connected employment programs, benefits and support efforts.

At Viasat, we’re proud to support veterans and their career goals. This Veterans Day, we caught up with a few veteran employees to learn about their experience and the value veterans bring to the workforce.

Hugh Keir | Project Manager

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Hugh Keir

After serving as a Sniper in the British Army’s Parachute Regiment, today, I project manage on the Global IT team, primarily focusing on internally focused projects to improve our IT infrastructure and services. I joined the company after a former leader invited me to apply for the position. At the time, my initial reaction was one of uncertainty: “I’ve never worked in communications, let alone the satellite communications industry—why should I apply?” He envisioned my unique background and principles as assets that could be integrated into his team while also allowing me to gain industry knowledge as I progressed. As a veteran, I believe we possess a natural inclination for bigger-picture and strategic thinking. Our military training has honed this ability, enabling us to plan for multiple scenarios, both at our own level and one or two levels higher, all while maintaining the capacity to swiftly adapt to changing situations. At the core of our approach is the unwavering commitment to the mission – consistently asking, “What are we trying to achieve, and what must I do to steer us toward success?” This mindset proves invaluable for shaping business strategy and making decisions in intricate, high-pressure, and rapidly evolving environments.

Bridget Guerrero |Director, Global Security Services and global lead for the Viasat Veterans Alliance

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Bridget Guerrero

I served as a Communications and Intelligence officer in the Marines and my son is currently serving as an infantryman in the Marines. Back when I was ready to find a new private sector role a year ago, he’d just completed bootcamp and moved to the Fleet Marine Force. When I saw the job opportunity posted at Viasat for the role I now hold, I was laser focused on coming aboard. Being able to contribute to a great company that provides clear, reliable communications to the warfighter just stoked my Momma Bear passion to keep my kid safe. It may sound crazy, but it fuels me every day. The core skills we are taught as Marines have served me well in my personal life and professional career. Discipline and preparation are key components to being a successful Marine and that parlays well to the private sector. Veterans can add incredible value to the workforce – a veteran paired with a good leader and a great mission can be a secret weapon. We have a mindset to work hard, we’re open to learning new skills and bringing people together to contribute to common goals

Alan Nelson | Program Manager, Broadband Services

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Alan Nelson

When I was preparing to transition out of the military as a U.S. Navy Submarine Officer, along with finding a mission I could support, my top priorities were to work for a company with a great culture and room for growth. Frequently, during the transition period from the military to the private sector, we are told that, “Your first job/company in the private sector won’t be your last,” and “expect to change jobs about every year until you find a good fit.” I wanted to find a great company where I could pursue and grow into my next career/mission instead of job hopping until I found something good, and was fortunate to land at Viasat.

I had learned about Viasat initially through my first USC MBA leadership course and later on had an opportunity to attend the Veterans Transition Workshop that Viasat hosts. This event shot Viasat up to one of my top three desired employers. Later, when people asked how challenging it was to start working at a new company in the private sector, I explained it was just the same thing I had been doing for the last 25 years and this is my new role to learn and contribute. As military service members and spouses, we change jobs and locations every 2-3 years. Most of the time, you move to a completely different role with little to no additional formal training. To be successful, it requires a growth mindset to learn new things quickly and adapt to the new roles, teams, and environment.

Since I joined the company, I’ve tried to apply the values of Service and Teamwork I learned from my military experience to my role at Viasat. As a submarine officer, teamwork was essential to our daily survival operating in an extremely hazardous environment. We had to train our people thoroughly, and ultimately trust each other to do our jobs right so that we all remained safe and successfully completed the mission. I try to bring those lessons from the military to Viasat in supporting our own value of One Team – Collaboration.