VIQTORY was founded by 3 Navy Veterans in 2001 and our overarching goal has remained the same ever since: to connect the military community with civilian opportunities. Whether that be joining the civilian workforce or exploring educational and entrepreneurial opportunities, we’re proud to say that we have been doing just that for almost two decades. We pride ourselves on our ability to sit down with a client, review the wants and needs of their organization, and provide solutions that ultimately allow us to assist in finding quality military veteran and spouse hires.
In 2020 the employment landscape was shaken to its core as the coronavirus swept across the nation leaving employers understaffed, underfunded, and underwater as the country began to shut down and Americans began to become confined to their homes. We saw an astronomical shift in norms from in-person work, to remote/virtual alternatives and it seems as though they are here to stay. Over a year after the initial government-ordered shut down in March of 2020, companies operating under more progressive remote policies are not only surviving, but thriving. So much so that many of those organizations are ditching their traditional in-office structures and even taking the employee recruitment process virtual. Welcome to the G.I. Jobs Virtual Career Expo (VCE):
G.I. Jobs Virtual Career Expos are the virtual counterparts to the traditional job fairs that many of us are familiar with already. The difference lies not only in obvious in-person vs. virtual comparisons, but they allow you to conserve two of your most precious commodities, time and money while gaining another, top-quality talent. Powered by Brazen, a robust virtual event platform, we are able to do what we are most passionate about at a low cost of entry for our clients, connecting the military community to civilian opportunities. You may be thinking, “great, another chatroom-style event with hundreds of job seekers clamoring for my attention,” BUT, at the G.I. Jobs VCEs, the chatroom is a thing of the past.
This intimate format provides you with the ability to chat one-on-one with military veterans and spouses who are there to get more information about your employment opportunities via our video chat feature while also providing you with the ability to conduct four text-based chats simultaneously. The upside? You get dedicated time to chat with individuals during which you can get the recruitment process started. Once a chat has run its course, you’ll be able to funnel these individuals directly into your talent pipeline and schedule your next steps in the process with the click of a button. And the best part about tapping into the military community… the number of quality candidates you gain access to along with the experience, leadership, and work ethic they bring with them. The downside? We’ll let you know if and when we find one.
We don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. As mentioned before, the purpose of these events is to connect you with transitioning service members, veterans, and military spouses. VIQTORY is the bridge between your organization and the military community, and nobody does it better. So when we were in need of a Client Success Manager where did we go? You got it, the G.I. Jobs Virtual Career Expo. Our VIQTORY team set up their employer booth, and let the talent come to us. In a matter of no time, we reaped the rewards of tapping into the military community and added an active duty military spouse to our team, Client Success Manager, Rachel Pitts. Rachel’s personality, experience, and aptitude would have been enough for us to bring her on board, and having a military spouse on the team is an awesome bonus!
Any employer knows that a go-getting, well-rounded employee is a hot commodity that’s harder now than ever to come by, and I would say that Rachel fits the description to a tee. Prior to joining the VIQTORY team, her career took her as she put it, “ALL over the map!” Rachel has been everything from a licensed realtor and a licensed life insurance agent to a server/bartender, a licensed teacher, and a library program director before filling the role here as our Client Success Manager. Her role is essentially to be the liaison between our clients and everything that goes into fulfilling the parameters of their marketing campaigns on the backend. If you’re a client and you receive a call or email from VIQTORY, chances are its Rachel on the other end.
I wanted to get Rachel’s perspective on the job search process in this unforgiving climate as someone who’s recently gone through it successfully. Here’s what she had to say. “I was about to move and I spent a lot of time looking at jobs online. There weren’t any openings to transfer my current library position and I knew I didn’t want to continue teaching. Really, I wasn’t sure what I was looking for and the availability at this particular location was very limited. With my husband being an Active Duty Marine, I had looked at the G.I. Jobs website for several years as a resource to find employment. I wasn’t aware of VIQTORY prior to attending the VCE, but I was incredibly attracted to the possibility of working remotely.”
She went on to speak about her experience at the Virtual Career Expo. “Some employers were slow to respond and some weren’t a good fit for me, but I kept looking around and landed in the VIQTORY booth and I was intrigued by the positions available. I spoke with Darryl, Sr. Director of Client Operations, for about 10-15 minutes and we hit it off. He encouraged me to submit my resume and I had an interview scheduled within two days. I had to do my due diligence and research the company to learn more about what they do. The more I read, the more excited I became. I’ve always enjoyed customer service positions, so it’s a really fitting position.”
Rachel currently lives in Waynesville, Missouri, right outside of Fort Leonard Wood, and she painted the picture for me beautifully, “I am blissfully married to a man who cooks, cleans, and parents his children. I’ll never let him go! We have two feisty, kind-hearted daughters and it’s my husband’s hope that at least one of them joins the Marines someday… I’m a little less eager to have them move away from me.” Life outside the “office” for the Pitts clan is spent well… outside. “We LOVE the outdoors and Missouri is not disappointing in that department. We spend a lot of time at the Roubidoux Spring near our house; swimming, fishing, and exploring. There are a couple of local craft breweries near our house that we enjoy as well. Outside of that, I love to read, play with wildlings (children) and taste test the many culinary creations my husband comes up with.”
Her husband will celebrate 12 years in the Marine Corps this November and the two of them have been together for 8 of those years. Much like Rachel’s, his career has also been a little all over the place as well. By MOS, he is a heavy equipment mechanic, and shortly after the two met, he had added on a specialty and was working as a boat mechanic. He was then picked up by a recon team which led him to complete the Army’s Airborne course prior to deployment to Kuwait/Iraq.
Not even 3 months after returning from deployment, he was sent to recruiting school in San Diego. Here’s how Rachel put it. “The following three years were spent working anywhere from 12-20 hour days, usually 7 days a week… the 12-hour Sundays were his “early off” days *insert eye roll emoji* After recruiting, he was off to be a heavy equipment mechanic in Yuma, AZ for three years before he accepted a position as an instructor for the very same schoolhouse he attended when he first became a heavy equipment mechanic in Missouri. “He loves that his unit is now referred to as the Basic Engineering and Equipment Repair course–or BEER for short,” Rachel added.
This being my first interview with a military spouse, I was interested to hear what being married to an active duty service member looks like on the home-front, and Rachel was very open in her response. “Being married in general takes a mindful effort. Being married to an active duty service member comes with its own set of pros and cons. For starters, one major pro is that my husband is smoking hot because he has to maintain fitness standards. One major con is that we have lived away from family for the past 7 years, including the entirety of our children’s lives.”
She went on to explain the best part about being a milspouse… all the other milspouses. “It’s like we’ve all become so used to meeting new people that it makes it easy to quickly bond and make friends, which leads me to another major con, leaving those milspouses you’ve bonded with over a few short years. I still miss my kickball team and our Sunday cookouts by the field–GO SANDSHARKS! Overall, home is where Uncle Sam sends you and you just have to make it work to the best of your ability. Some advice my mom gave me as a veteran military spouse herself, was to always make each place home. Even if it’s just for 6 months, go ahead and hang pictures on the walls and settle in, because if you’re always looking at the next thing, you’ll never appreciate the present.” On behalf of the entire VIQTORY team, and I’m sure any clients that have had the pleasure of working with her, hang up those pictures Rachel because we hope you can call VIQTORY home for some time to come.
If you’ve read this far then I’m sure it’s become abundantly clear to you that Rachel is a highly intelligent individual with a wealth of knowledge, experience, and an even bigger personality. Only a month into her time at VIQTORY and she’s already made herself an integral part of not only our Client Success team but our organization as a whole. Although her time with us thus far may be brief, I still made her answer my favorite question, “What have you enjoyed most about your time working for VIQTORY?” Her answer, as she put it, sounds odd. “ The atmosphere. It sounds odd to say that for a remote position, but the culture of this company is so welcoming, supportive, and goal-oriented. Working with the other members of VIQTORY inspires me to be on the top of my game. They’re all such hard-working, intelligent people; I want to work harder to keep up with them. I’ve also set up my desk to face a window overlooking the beautiful woods in our backyard and can pet my dog whenever I want, so that’s part of my atmosphere too.” She capped off her answer by describing the company in only three words… kind of… “Innovative. Diligent. Caresformilitaryveteransandtheirfamilies. :)”
The unique perspectives Rachel brings with her from past work experience and from her time as a military spouse make her the perfect fit for what we do, connecting the military community with civilian opportunities, and we’re more than excited to have her as part of our team!