Our CEO, Paul Otellini, often has open forums where he’ll give us a business update and open it up to Q&A. His open forums change sites so different employees get a chance to attend, while the rest of the company can tune in via a webcast. Last Monday was different though. Last Monday Paul met with employees, but there was no business update and there was no Q&A. Instead there was sincere gratitude, recognition and 1:1 conversations with employees and a guest (if they brought one) about anything from work to family to football! (One attendee, Brian, said he got to talk to Paul about football and he kidded him about his Steelers lanyard!)
This special group of employees I’m talking about is Intel employees who are U.S. military veterans. Paul held a special meeting with 50 of the 3,000+ employees at Intel who are U.S. military veterans, and a guest of theirs, to thank them for their service to the country and to Intel. Paul presented this group with a “challenge coin,” a memento that reflects a U.S. military tradition meant to boost morale, recognize service and accomplishments. The Intel challenge coin reads, “Intel Military Veterans—You Make Us Stronger.”
Jeanne was among the vets who met with Paul. Her reaction to the event? “We arrived about 15 minutes before the CEO, and the feeling was of anticipation. The room was beautiful and there was just a lot of camaraderie between everyone. Seven flags representing [the state, the country and] all branches of our Military were there. It was exciting to see people you have known for years but didn’t know they were military and now we’re coming together in this way too.” Jeanne shared how much she wished one of her fellow Intel colleagues and friend, Carlton, also of Arizona, could have attended. He is one of 8 U.S. employees currently taking leave from work to actively serve our country.
This event was just one of the ways that the company wanted to show our appreciation for veterans. It was also our way to show our support to our veterans and to hire people who exemplify Intel Values—and we’ve found that the same values that exemplify America’s military make veterans an ideal fit for Intel. In the words of our HR VP, Ardine Williams, a veteran herself after serving in the U.S. Army Signal Corps, “This Veteran’s Day, we say thank you for what you have done for our country and what you do for our company and our communities.”
Transitioning from military life to civilian life is no easy feat, but according to several Intel military veterans, Intel made it easy. After graduating college, Jeanne served in the U.S. Air Force for seven years on active duty before joining Intel 16 years ago. “The values are so similar you can slide into Intel and it’s a pretty easy transition because those leadership and results orientation skills just help that along. I’ve been proud to serve for both [Air Force and Intel], and this event connected those two careers for me in a way that felt like being at home with family.”
Brian joined Intel 11 days after his decision to take retirement from the Air Force last September. “The transition wasn’t a big adjustment—I was used to doing what I’d been doing for the last 22 years in the Air Force, and Intel wasn’t so different, we’re just troubleshooting electronics on a different scale. And what I like is at Intel I have more freedom to be creative and make things better.”
For those of you who are going to be making the transition, we know how overwhelming it can be. Brian shared, “If you’re retiring or separating from the Military, it can be overwhelming. You feel like you are out there shaking the bushes to find out what’s available to you and you’re on your own. So when a corporation is out there wanting to come and get you and bring you and your skills on board, that sticks out as meaningful to me.” If you’re a veteran, or know a veteran, who is looking to make the transition and searching for a job, learn more about Intel’s military hiring initiative to see if we have an opportunity for you. And if you’re making the transition and looking for some help, John, a Navy veteran with 18 years at Intel, wrote a great blog post on transitioning and gives advice on finding the right job and planning for transition.
While Paul can’t reach every veteran personally, a challenge coin will be given to all U.S. employees who currently serve or have ever served in the military. His parting words? “This is the nicest thing I’ve been able to do in a while. Thank you!”
Thank you to all of our veterans and your families for your sacrifice, service, and commitment!