February 24, 2020
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How Veterans are Learning Tech on the Job | JPMorgan Chase & Co.


When I found out JPMorgan Chase
was hiring veterans, it was an out-of-body experience
for me. My name is Ubong Samuel Akpan. I was an E4 Specialist with
the United States Army. And now I’m a software engineer
at JPMorgan Chase. After 5 years with the Army, transitioning into the
real world was difficult. I was an electronic technician, and that’s not what I wanted
to do. I was stuck in a career where
I didn’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. I had better goals and visions
for myself. Over 200,000 veterans leave
our military service every year. JPMorgan Chase is really
focused around how do we help those veterans
transition? I taught myself to code at home. But it was difficult to just
transition into a position that required
professional experience. So I was stuck. It’s like the chicken and egg
question where, “How do I get this experience
if I’m not given a chance?” JPMorgan Chase stepped in and
snapped a finger and my fate changed. – Yes.
– The port could change… Tech Apprenticeship Program is
where we select military veterans to go through
a software engineering bootcamp. And for one year, they come and
learn on the job as software engineer
apprentices. When I found out I was going to
be working for JPMorgan Chase, it was unreal. They didn’t require you to have
the job experience. It only required that you were
willing to put in the work. Coral: As long as you have
the aptitude and passion, you can be admitted
to the program. Ubong: Being around veterans
in the workplace is like working with
your family. [blocks clanking,
woman screaming] You have people who know
where you’re coming from, and people who are going in
the same direction that you are going. It is awesome. [cheering] So we are actively bringing
veterans in because of all of the experiential diversity
that they bring. They think outside of the box. It’s the can-do attitude,
it’s the strong work ethic. It’s the right thing to
give them a chance, but it’s also good for business. It is definitely a win-win
for everyone. My job is awesome. You’re given time to acclimatize
and grow in the field, and then you’re allowed
to express yourself. We are the cash cows. This is the greatest team
in the world. [laughter] Ubong: I learned from them and
they learned from me. When I start designing, it just feels like I should be
doing this. The apprenticeship program
is not the end. It is the beginning.

Tony wyaad

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