Please meet Meredith and learn how she is “Keeping a Career on the Move®”:
Q: What branch of service are you affiliated with?
Q: Briefly tell us a little bit about yourself.
A: Born and raised in Seattle, WA I’m blessed to be raised in an area with a rich military presence (Whidbey Island, Naval Station Everett, Bremerton, Ft. Lewis, etc.) I also have the privilege of being part of a family with a rich military legacy. My Great Grandpa served in WWI, both my Grandpa’s served in WWII, my Dad served in the Navy Reserves and my brother is a former Marine. I’ve always had a passion for military, and for the men who risk it all to protect this great land, so it’s been wonderful that both my professional career and personal life allow me to give back to the military. In 2014 I married an Army Officer, becoming a Military Spouse and since 2007 I have been building and deploying military programs in the corporate world. Most recently I had the joy of creating the Military Spouse Hiring Program at Hilton Worldwide, where I hold the role of Recruiting Manager. In my free time I love experimenting with healthy, clean cooking, working out, traveling and of course soaking up each and every minute I can get with my husband.
Q: Where has the military taken you?
A: The military took me from Dallas, TX where I was working for Hilton as a Recruiting Manager to El Paso, TX. While I was still (technically) in Texas I felt like I had gone to a different world. It’s been quite the transition. We recently received orders and will be heading to Ft. Irwin, CA this summer.
Q: What do you do for a living and are you working in your chosen career field?
A: I’m a Recruiting Manager with Hilton. I have been in the recruiting profession since 2005, and have held a number of exciting and challenging roles across a number of large corporations including Safeco Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance and now Hilton Worldwide. Through the years I’ve had the opportunity to work in Corporate Recruiting, Campus Recruiting, Program Management, and Military and Diversity Programs. This chosen career field always affords me excitement, change, challenge and growth.
Q: What resources, programs or initiatives have you used to keep your career on the move?
A: As I mentioned earlier, transitioning to El Paso, TX has been tough. While Hilton Worldwide has a Work From Home Program in our Call Center, not many of our Corporate roles are virtual. Thus, when I became a Military Spouse, I learned I would not be able to keep my position in Dallas managing our Call Center Recruiting teams. Thankfully Hilton was able to create a new role for me and I have now transitioned to focus full time on our military programs. What I believed allowed me this opportunity was networking and building a name for myself. Building the Military Spouse Hiring Program was something I took on apart from my day to day duties. The success of that program reached all the way up to our President. Through taking advantage of opportunities to excel in my field, I have become well respected in my company and a valuable team member. Now working remotely, technology has been one of the biggest resources I have relied upon since taking my career virtual. Being removed from all my peers can create a challenge for engagement and building synergies, so I rely upon Lync, Webex and of course email and phone.
Q: What advice would you give to other military spouses who want to keep a career through the military lifestyle?
A: Be innovative and creative. As I mentioned I believe it was in large part because of the initiative I took to build a creative program that I was able to retain my employment with Hilton through my move and transition into military spouse life. Opportunities may not always be handed to you, so be sure to be on the look out and grab hold when you see a glimpse of greatness ahead. Draw from the skills you learn as a military spouse: resiliency, tenacity, compassion, determination, interpersonal skills and the list goes on. If your resume does not look like you’d want it to look, do not let that hold you back. Speak confidently of the experience you have gained from your volunteer work, and the skills you have acquired as a military spouse. Lastly network like crazy. Each person you come in contact with is a contact you should connect with, and maintain. I was working in the Buying Office at Nordstrom before I “landed” in Recruiting. I was not pursuing a career in Recruiting, but through a network connection I made a few years back an opportunity presented itself. Always remember you will leave an impression on each person you meet. So what impression do you want to leave? Make sure you’re the person they remember and think of when they hear about that career opportunity and their first thought is “I know someone who would be a great fit”. Nothing is ever lost if you work hard and persevere.
View Hilton’s military openings: www.hiltonworldwide.com/militarycareers
View Hilton’s work from home opportunities: www.hiltonworldwide.com/workfromhome
Would you like to share your story? We would love to hear from you! Email firstname.lastname@example.org, leave us a comment below OR engage with the MOAA Spouse team through our Facebook Page and @MOAA_MilLife.