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Veteran’s Perspective

How I Went From the Air Force to Hilton’s Diamond Desk.

By Angela M. Berasa-Owens, Hilton.

In the military there are two types of people, those that give orders and those that take orders. These very defined roles can make it hard for those in the military to transition to civilian life.

I served in the U.S. Air Force as an Airfield Management Specialist where I was responsible for assisting aircrews in filing their flight plans, conducting daily safety inspections, and keeping the runways free of debris. I enjoyed my job and traveling to serve overseas but opted for a medical discharge when I was expecting my first child so I could move closer to my family.

My transition to civilian life was also impacted by a medical condition, lupus, which I’ve had for over 20 years. I had been in remission for about six years when it resurfaced which meant I wasn’t able to work outside the home. Although I needed the flexibility to work remotely, it was important to have a job that was stimulating and had room for growth. I found these opportunities at Hilton. I started in a Reservations Agent role in January 2016 and by July, I was offered an opportunity to apply for the Diamond Desk, working with Hilton’s highest-tier loyalty members. I interviewed and was accepted and have been on the Diamond Desk ever since.

Angela (left) with her brother Ronald (center) and Mother Alyce while stationed at Myrtle Beach AFB, SC. Angela was home on leave for her sister’s wedding in Newton, NC. Angela’s brother was also in the USAF. September 1988.

This role has been ideal for me – I’m empowered, have autonomy, and great benefits such as travel discounts. I also have the flexibility to attend doctor appointments and spend quality time with my family. That said, I didn’t get here without first working in some ‘dud’ roles. This process taught me some lessons about finding work after service:

1. Military experiences don’t always translate in an obvious way to civilian resumes. However, veterans have immensely valuable skills that are an asset to any company. One tip is to make a list of these talents so you can use them to your advantage during an interview. For example, my military training gave me a sense of strength and confidence as well as structure, all skills that help me to work from home and develop the right mindset to be productive and self-motivating.

2. Think about the industry as well as the role. More and more companies have military hiring programs, which is fantastic. Though for me, Hilton was the right fit. Not only because of the flexibility of the role but because of the
industry. I am very outgoing and have a personality that I never meet a stranger. This really feeds into Hilton’s mission to be the most hospitable company in the world.

3. Do an online search for military friendly companies and find their military recruiting website – most companies that have military hiring initiatives will have a specific job site and recruiters such as https://jobs.hilton.com/military.

Angela M. Berasa-Owens is a veteran who served in the United States Air Force. She works on Hilton’s Diamond Desk, serving the highest-tier loyalty members. Hilton is on a mission to hire 30,000 veterans, spouses and caregivers by the end of 2020 and released more than 200 additional Work From Home roles in February. For more information visit https://jobs.hilton.com/military

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