From Combat Medic to Recruiter
July 20, 2017 | Express Scripts
Juan R. is a recruiter supporting Operations working to hire nurses, eligibility specialists and patient service coordinators.
When people find out I’m a recruiter they usually ask me why I chose that field. My answer is simple: I didn’t choose recruiting, recruiting chose me. However, my path to this career looks a little different than most.
When I was in the Army I had more than enough leadership roles, but I needed something extra that would make me stand out from my peers to get promoted to Sergeant First Class. To help with this, I submitted Special Assignment applications for opportunities that challenge soldiers to work in roles outside of the “normal” military career. I applied for drill sergeant, medical trainer and recruiter positions. During the recruiter interview they found that my time spent in medical field operations and trauma treatment aligned well to work as a medical recruiter, and I was selected for the position by the United States Army Recruiting Command.
I was in the medical recruiter role for less than a year before being asked to transition to recruiting full time as Center Commander. I accepted the opportunity and moved to Milwaukee to take over the Army recruiting center there. Under my direction and willingness to try new ways of gaining access to medical professionals and students – everyone knew my mantra was “new smile, new style, new perfume, new cologne, let’s try it!”—the center went from last place to the number one small center in the 3rd Medical Recruiting Battalion and the number 3 center overall out of 16. My recruiters also earned Top Recruiter Awards in a number of different categories.
From Milwaukee, I was then chosen to come to St. Louis and run the Army recruiting center there. I did that for a few years, retired from the Army, and then started my civilian career as a recruiter at UBC, an Express Scripts subsidiary. Currently, I’ve been here for a little over a year, supporting Operations with a focus on hiring registered nurses, eligibility specialists and patient service coordinators.
For some, transitioning from a military to a civilian career can be tough. In the military, there’s a comradery among your fellow service members and when you get into the working world, sometimes a piece of that is missing. At Express Scripts, I still get that comradery. During my first week, a coworker introduced me to our Employee Resource Group, VaLOR, which works to increase the awareness and inclusion of veterans across the organization.
Currently, I act as VaLOR’s Community Outreach Chair. My position within VaLOR, as well as my role as a recruiter, allows me to do two things that are very near and dear to my heart: advocate for veterans and mentor military service members that are in transition. Whether I’m working with the Diversity and Inclusion team to participate in military career fairs, working with veterans at Scott Airforce Base to help them transition to professional roles, or supporting Honor Flights with VaLOR, I get to pursue my passion.
My favorite activity to participate in with VaLOR is Honor Flights. The organization’s mission is awesome – and I love that fact that eventually, their work will affect every veteran who has served. It also gives Express Scripts employees outside of our St. Louis headquarters the opportunity to participate by volunteering to hold flags and welcome the veterans “home” as they get off their planes in airports across the country.
One Honor Flight that sticks out in my mind was from a few months back when the participants were surprised with greeters welcoming them back “home.” There was a Marine veteran in a wheelchair and when he saw all of us waiting to greet him, he told his guardian to stop, he stood up and walked the rest way to shake people’s hands. I can’t even begin to explain how powerful that moment was.
While I can’t deny that a lot of companies out there have great slogans, they sometimes fail to back it up. At Express Scripts, when our CEO, Tim Wentworth, says “be who you are,” it’s not just words – it’s our actual culture from the ground up. Every day, I feel the full support of senior leadership in helping veterans, and it makes me proud to work for an organization that understands the need to care for and mentor our military service members, and our veterans. The mission of Express Scripts was what originally attracted me to work here, but it’s the culture and work I get to do supporting my passion that keeps me coming back.
Interested in transitioning to a civilian career at Express Scripts? Check out our career site for a list of open positions that fit your experience.« My Journey to Becoming a Tech Junkie| An Intern’s Perspective: 3 Takeaways from a Discussion with the CEO »