A-LIGN launched its first cohort in the Corporate Fellowship Program with Hiring Our Heroes in August, a partnership intended to work with transitioning military service members and connect them with opportunities for hands-on corporate training and mentorship.
In recognition of Veterans Day, A-LIGN honors all the heroes that serve and have served our country, while celebrating the contributions of the veterans in its fellowship program over the last 12 weeks.
“The shadow projects have been the most impactful experiences at A-LIGN. After learning the intricacies of the Payment Card Industry (PCI), I was able to work on multiple shadow projects with various PCI team members. Not only did this help me understand the process, but also displayed how each individual got the same result despite varying personalities and methodologies.”
– Michael Lewis, United States Air Force Veteran
When launching the program, Tony Bai, Federal Practice Lead at A-LIGN and 20-year Air Force retiree, shared, “I’m proud and excited to see A-LIGN take part in this great program. I’ve always volunteered to help transitioning veterans, and I’m looking forward to helping A-LIGN mentor them as they learn and grow in the cybersecurity and compliance industry. As a veteran, I’m always trying to pay forward all the help I received when I transitioned out of the Air Force from those that went through the process before me.”
Since the start of the program, Michael Lewis also shared, “I would be remiss if didn’t thank Tony Bai for leading A-LIGN’s initiative with the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program. Veterans are sometimes an untapped resource, and I think this program has opened the door for possibilities for both future veterans and A-LIGN.”
Understanding that veterans can be a valuable asset to organizations, A-LIGN designed its program to focus on their skills and experiences to maximize their fellowship and help them reach their full potential. The fellows already had highly desirable and transferable skills that were critical to civilian jobs, but they now have a strong understanding of the security and compliance industry after completing the program.
“My operations background in the Marine Corps and critical skills like effective communication and attention to detail have helped me easily acclimate to the compliance work at A-LIGN. Effective communication is critical when asking questions to a client and ensuring that written observations are clear, concise and relevant to the assessment objective. Attention to detail is essential to ensure the content of the work is accurate and meets the intent of a given control and the audit.”
– Patrick Morse, United States Marine Corps Veteran
“My experience gained in the military working as a Quality Assurance Inspector in aviation and ensuring compliance with written directives helped with my A-LIGN fellowship. Leading and working with diverse teams to complete tasks throughout my military career helped as well.”
– Jay Howie, United States Air Force Veteran
“Transitioning into a new position was fairly easy thanks to my particular military experience,” Michael Lewis shared. “Most military members are accustomed to either a new job, location, or expectation. The initial training was a lot to digest, but time management, effective communication and flexibility all garnered from my military life was helpful.”
The fellowship gave veterans exposure and training to the privacy and compliance industry, but more importantly, it allowed them to share their diverse perspectives, experiences and skills with our organization.
As the fellowship concludes this week, Jay Howie stated, “I appreciate the opportunity A-LIGN has given me taking me on as a fellow. I feel my transition into the civilian sector will be much smoother as a result. I would like to truly thank everyone for their hard work and dedication bringing me on as a fellow from the interview process, on-boarding, and throughout the audit projects. I realize a lot of valuable time and resources were taken to host us and I am grateful for it.”
This Veterans Day, A-LIGN reflects on the opportunity to positively impact the military community and is honored to facilitate the transition and professional growth of veterans.