US Army 1997 to 2019
Salesforce Staffing Consultant Computer Futures
Why did you join the military?
I joined the military because I needed money to pay for college. I was fortunate enough to receive a full academic scholarship for high school, but there was no way I could afford college. I took out student loans to cover the first 2 years of college, but then I found the Army ROTC program at Syracuse University. They helped me pay for college and opened the door to a career I had never considered.
What were your role and your responsibilities while you were serving?
For the first 10 years, I served in multiple leadership positions as a Field Artillery officer. These early years were the most formative for me, both as a leader and a person. Those lessons learned leading, training, and caring for Soldiers laid the foundation for the values that would guide me in the military and beyond.
The last 12 years, I served as a Simulations Operations officer, providing virtual training environments training Soldiers. This allowed me to continue serving Soldiers while developing hard skills and capabilities that were more in-demand in the civilian sector.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being able to serve Soldiers and also to be as present as possible for my family. Military service is difficult in many aspects, and we faced challenges that others could only imagine. To lead and train Soldiers while in uniform is both one of the greatest blessings and most difficult burdens I have ever had.
What is the one thing you miss about your time in the military?
I will miss the camaraderie with my fellow Soldiers the most. I heard somewhere that camaraderie is created through shared misery. We certainly faced some difficult situations, but through those, I forged lifelong bonds with my teammates.
Where did you grow up, what kind of family did you come from?
I was born in Newark, NJ. My mother immigrated from Honduras, and my father came from Puerto Rico. My family was poor and we lived in the projects. I was told from a very early age that education was the path to a better life. So my parents pushed me to excel in school because they knew that if I did well enough, I would create opportunities for myself to live a better life.
What challenges or blessing stand out from your history?
Though we were poor, I learned that hard work and education were the keys to a better life. I always knew we were poor, but we never had a poverty mindset. I knew that if I worked hard enough, good things were sure to come. The biggest blessing my parents gave me was that determination to continue working, no matter how hard things get.
How did you find Merivis? What about the program made you join?
I met Nolan Melson at a Veteran networking event at SXSW ‘18. I told him what my job was and that I was retiring from the Army in the following year. I had never heard of Merivis (or even Salesforce) before that day. I Googled Salesforce that night and knew then it was a massive opportunity.
What is your #MerivisMoment?
There are so many, but I think the most surreal moment was when I sat down with Stephanie Herrera and Danny Cohen to ask for career advice. At the end of the meeting, Stephanie told me that she wanted to work with me. THE Stephanie Herrera wanted to work with me!
Another favorite is my very first day in the admin cohort, I showed up wearing a shirt and tie and Kate graciously told me that wearing a tie (especially my red power tie!) was not part of the Austin tech dress code.
What are your career goals now that you are Salesforce certified?
To be the best Salesforce recruiter I can be. Also, to change the negative perception of the recruitment culture. I never thought I would be a recruiter, but I enjoy the opportunity to help people find their next careers in the Salesforce ecosystem. Truthfully, I haven’t done this type of grunt work since I was a Second Lieutenant, but I enjoy the challenge.
What is one skill or value military and/or military spouses have that would benefit a hiring organization?
Dedication to getting things done. We often have a different perspective on what we consider to be difficult than other people.
Sum up your Merivis experience in just one word.
If you could give one piece of advice to new students going through the Merivis program what would that be?
Make every effort to connect with as many Merivis alumni as possible. They are amazing resources for you personally and professionally.
How has your life and/or career changed as a result of the Merivis program, resources, and community?
I have met so many amazing people that I never would have thought possible. It’s often said that it’s what you know, it’s who you know, that will make you successful.
Of the people you met in the military, who had the biggest impact on you and why?
The leaders who truly took the time to care about me as a Soldier and a person have made the biggest impact on me, They helped to shape my own leadership style.
What’s something that you get out of Merivis that you don’t find anywhere else?
The deep personal and professional bonds that you form with your classmates. Some of the greatest bonds I have built in the Army were in a small unit setting. Having shared experiences with my classmates led to new friendships. Coming back for multiple classes only increases those bonds with new classmates.
A lot of people talk about community when we talk to them about Merivis. What do you like about the Merivis community?
I don’t like the Merivis community, I LOVE the Merivis community! We truly want to help each other succeed.
How would you describe the people you’ve connected to through Merivis?
They are wonderful people who are driven to improve their own lives, and help others do the same. We all have different stories, but we all share similar dreams. It’s like the military where we all come together from different places, but bond together through our shared experiences.
If you could add something to Merivis, what would it be?
More funding to help the program expand. Merivis has fantastic people, from its students, to coaches, to volunteers and board members. But we can only reach as many people as our funding will allow.
Connect with Merivis Graduate, Roger Miranda on Linkedin