Are you considering joining the military and curious about post-duty opportunities?
We sat down with veteran Jed Deocampo to learn about how the military shaped him, his civilian career path and how that translates into his current work at AT&T.
Where Did You Go to School?
After graduating high school, I received a congressional nomination to attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. West Point is one of five federal service academies requiring a congressional nomination to attend. This means a senator, congressman, the vice president or president of the United States personally selects you to attend. It costs $400,000 per student to attend for four years. However, attendance is paid for in its entirety by the federal government. Upon graduation, each cadet is commissioned into the United States Army as a second lieutenant and serves for five years. During my time at West Point, I majored in civil engineering and was the drumline section leader for the spirit band.
What Have You Been up to Since Graduation?
After college, I was commissioned into the United States Army as a second lieutenant. I served as a platoon leader for the 58th Combat Engineer Company and as an executive officer with Bravo Company, 169th Engineer Battalion. While in these positions, I learned how to problem solve and employ creative solutions given limited resources in austere environments. I helped train deploying units in route clearance techniques, obstacle emplacement and civil affairs engagement. I was also lucky to support the training of the Army’s technical engineers, interior electricians and divers. Upon completing my service duties, I moved to Chicago to continue my career. I received an offer to work at AT&T and decided to accept it! Fresh out of the military, I was in search of meaningful work and was lucky enough to find just that at AT&T. AT&T turned out to be a fantastic place to work, filled with some of the best people.
What Are Some of Your Passions and Hobbies Outside of Work?
In high school, I played snare drum on the marching band drumline, and I was also company commander for my Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) unit. But since graduation, I have been primarily training for strength lifting and strongman competitions. When I am not doing physical activities, I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, and occasionally showing off some of my gaming skills on the PS4.
Tell Us A Little Bit About Your Work at AT&T.
I currently work in the Technology Development program at AT&T, which has been an awesome experience so far. Growing up, I always had a passion for math and science, and I’ve used a lot of what I learned in those classes at AT&T. In my work, I use analytical and business management skills to predict future financial costs for the business. I also work on business case analyses, which is using math to model best- and worst-case scenarios for a given business decision.
What Is the Work Culture Like at AT&T?
In my experience, everyone is super hard working, passionate, smart, and most of all, fun. AT&T makes working enjoyable for everyone. Plus, I get to use math to solve difficult financial problems, so I would say the overall culture is challenging, yet very rewarding.
What Are Some of the Skills You Learned in the Military That You Feel Prepared You to Work in Your Current Role?
The military taught me a lot. Most importantly, I learned the discipline to do the right thing, even when no one is looking.
Can You Share an Example of When You Used Your Military Skills at Work?
Hurricane Maria knocked out 100 percent of the power in Puerto Rico and left the island in a state of emergency. Due to my military background, I was trained to deal with a vast array of environments, which equipped me with the experience to help a community in need. In Puerto Rico, I volunteered to help with the logistics of getting our employees fed so they could rebuild the network.
What Advice Would You Give to Other Students Considering Going Into the Military?
The decision to serve in the military should not be taken lightly. You’ll be challenged and tested every day. However, the work is highly rewarding and the lessons you’ll learn are invaluable. Lessons such as self-sacrifice and putting the success of the team before yourself are hard to instill in the business world. Thinking tactically and strategically to win in any arena -- whether in business or the battlefield -- is also something I learned while serving. Military service ultimately taught me more about myself than any other life experience I’ve had thus far and prepared me for a successful career at AT&T.