From tanks to tech: Spotlighting veterans at ServiceNow

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  • 2022
November 10, 2022

3 veterans at ServiceNow: Herb T., Shanequa L., and Mike M.

ServiceNow employees Shanequa L., Mike M., and Herb T. all have something in common: They’re go-getters. They’re the kind of people who don’t waste time wondering “Can I do this?” because they’re already out the door tackling that goal.

In light of that, it’s probably not surprising that they have something else in common: military service and the Veterans at ServiceNow Belonging Group.

Shanequa, a senior technical support engineer at ServiceNow, serves as a sergeant for the Florida Army National Guard in what she calls a “part-time” role as a noncommissioned officer. She recently completed a monthlong service providing relief aid in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Mike, a senior design recruiter at ServiceNow, served four years in mechanized infantry. He spent most of his time in South Korea. Herb, a NextGen Program manager, served 20 years as a drill sergeant and a Green Beret.

 

The trio’s careers have taken them across the world, from Afghanistan to Germany. They flew aboard Black Hawk helicopters and drove Army tanks. The skills they learned along the way are evident in the way they speak and carry themselves, as well as in the passion and commitment they bring to their work at ServiceNow.

Growing out of their comfort zones

Mike recalls being stationed in South Korea “a shock at first.” After taking a few weeks to find his bearings and settle in, he learned to embrace the cultural differences and thrive.

Within his unit, “we learned how to navigate those situations and work together as a team,” he says. Now, as a recruiter, Mike emphasizes this teamwork aspect as “really the key to success in the tech industry and at ServiceNow.”

“In the military, you come across all types of different people from all types of different backgrounds, temperaments, and personalities,” Shanequa explains. “Understanding people enough to be able to communicate with them, no matter where they come from…that exchange has helped me tremendously here at ServiceNow.”

“There's no greater diverse organization than the U.S. military,” Herb adds. “In most cases, [service people are] coming from different walks of life, different backgrounds, different genders, races, creeds and working as a team for one common mission. And the only thing that matters is getting the job done.”

The military also instilled in the three a deep sense of confidence and conviction to stick to their values. Before working as a noncommissioned officer, Shanequa was afraid of public speaking. Now, “I have troops underneath me that I’m responsible for,” she says. “It’s really pushed me to speak in front of them.”

In South Korea, Mike completed two 25-mile ruck marches. A ruck march is an incredibly strenuous military drill during which soldiers march across difficult terrain while carrying up to 70 pounds of gear.

“It was really tough, but I was still able to do it,” he says. “I accomplished something that a lot of people can't or have never done.” In his career now, Mike finds himself reflecting on that experience as proof that he’s capable of anything.

“We take pride in what we do, in how much of a help that we are,” Shanequa says. “It takes a special person to be able to go away from their family and help somebody else.”

Starting a new chapter

To anyone transitioning out of the military, Shanequa “would tell them to hold onto their values that they’ve developed over the years in the service, because those are valuable on the civilian side."

But transitioning to the civilian world isn’t always easy. “When I left the military, I had no clue what I wanted to do,” Herb remembers. “But I knew I didn't want to go back to where I came from.”

I accomplished something that a lot of people can't or have never done. - Mike M., Senior Design Recruiter, Remote, CA


Mike also felt a bit lost. “How do I translate what I did here—driving a tank, planning formations, planning squad activities?” he asks. “It wasn’t clear how the systems that [the Army] had in place would help me figure that out.” After a meandering postmilitary career, Mike finally found ServiceNow during a recruiting apprenticeship.

Leaving the regimented military schedule was a hurdle. In the Army, there’s a lot of daily structure, he says. On the civilian side, you don’t have that. “It was a little bit of a rough transition.”

“The Green Berets have a motto of being quiet professionals, and we take that to heart,” Herb adds. “But then it’s just all bottled up,” he says, referring to the experiences. “So, the more I was able to start talking about it, getting it out…I see the good it does for me, but also the good it does for other people.”

Shanequa thrives in balancing her ServiceNow job and military career, but she also feels the disparity between the worlds. “We’re really rigid [in the Army],” she says. “There’s a way to be, and that’s it. On the civilian side, it’s more open, so it takes us a while to kind of loosen up.”

Welcoming more veterans

“It helps for our colleagues on the civilian side to be understanding and welcoming—team-oriented. That’s what we’re used to,” Shanequa adds. “My colleagues are very team-oriented. Everyone carries a load. They’re always eager to help one another. That’s one thing at ServiceNow that I’m really grateful for.”

In his role at ServiceNow, Herb works relentlessly to bring more veterans into the company. “I knew I wanted to go to a company that was making an impact” in bridging the gap between service members and the civilian world, he says. “[Veterans] can come here and grow with our company, and with our partners in the ecosystem.”

A NextGen volunteer, Mike is helping a 20-year veteran translate his resume to the tech industry. Mike recommends veterans “start early, do research, ask questions, and find networks that build support. It’s OK to reach out,” he advises.

ServiceNow partners with Hirepurpose to build connections with the veteran community. Our Solution Consulting Academy recently expanded to include veteran outreach.

“A lot of veterans don’t know about [tech] jobs,” Shanequa notes. Our Veterans at ServiceNow Belonging Group kick-started the Leadership Excellence Program to help veteran employees enhance their skills in the workplace.

Shanequa, Mike, and Herb prove that a military background is a no-brainer asset to any company. The Army instills confidence, empathy, and resilience, which all three have used to their advantage in each phase of their careers beyond the miliary.

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