Quiet Professionals, LLC is proud to partner with the Tampa Bay Chamber to support Transitioning Military Members through programs like Operation Partnership. Operation Partnership connects transitioning military members with a strong network in the local business community, mock-interview experience with hiring professionals, resume workshops, networking events, and job shadowing days. To learn more about our very own QPer Ebony Harris (EH) and President & CEO Andy Wilson (AW) speak about their experiences with Operation Partnership, watch the video below or read the transcript.
EH: I know that it was important to me and it was key for me to be able to know that I could find a place to work that fit me, that fit the culture that I was looking for and provide me the opportunity to learn, to grow, and develop as a you know a career professional versus just a retiring service member.
Hi, my name is Ebony Harris. I work at Quiet Professionals and I work in recruiting operations. I just recently retired from the military 25 years active service in the US Army, and I worked most recently at the United States Special Operations Command. I worked in J8 which is resources, requirements, manpower, force structure and development as well, and also I worked in the Warrior Care Program where we take care of wounded, ill, and injured service members. The Chamber, Tampa Bay Chamber reaches out to different organizations on base so they allowed us to go through our TAPS program and also through our actual units and organizations we are assigned to. So they afforded us the opportunity to come and visit, so with that I was introduced to different programs and Operation Partnership was one of the programs that I was afforded to actually sit down and meet face-to-face with different organizations throughout the Tampa Bay Area.
There are a lot of resources that are out here especially on MacDill Air Force Base that we’re not familiar with because we’re kind of isolated on base. So utilizing Operation Partnership, there are three parts to it. I was only able to use two parts. So I was able to use the shadowing, so I was able to actually shadow with the company that I work with currently Quiet Professionals and then the second part, I was able to network and kind of you know wet my feet with companies that that are in the area that were on the Victory Ship. So there’s a ship that’s in Downtown Tampa in Channelside and you’re able to go there and sit and meet different leadership, different people at different tiers in organizations. And just kind of do it in an informal setting, so it was a really nice great experience and that allowed me to be able to become familiar. So as I became familiar, I would do different functions, I would do some of the functions that we had at Macdill Air Force Base, I would continuously do face-to-face with members of QP. Which made it more familiar to me and it also allowed me the opportunity to kind of ask those questions you don’t usually get to ask about the culture, about the community that we have here, and our values that are here and those are questions that matter to me as I transitioned out. I wanted to make sure that I was working somewhere that made me feel like I was at home.
What I’ve benefited from Operation Partnership was the ability to understand how important, how key networking was. Prior to going there, I wasn’t quite sure how the job market was in Tampa. I didn’t have any face-to-face, they brought me face-to-face with employers, hiring management and recruiting teams. You are able to see how you fit in. Coming from the military wearing uniform all the time, I didn’t quite understand how I would fit in or how comfortable I would be, and it allowed me to be able to kind of shed that. It allowed for ease of my transition, it was a really great experience like key to my transitioning.
AW: Hi, I am Andy Wilson. I’m the President and Chief Executive Officer of Quiet Professionals. Operation Partnership was set up by the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce in order to connect some of the military members and their families with the local business community. Primarily the idea was as we transition some of these military members either if they’re retiring or if they’re simply getting out of service, that we give them the opportunity to meet with some of the business leaders and see some of the areas that they may want to move in to transition into for their next career.
Quiet Professionals joined the Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce several years ago, and the Chamber approached me and asked if I would sit as the co-chair for the military council. In doing so, I was exposed to Operation Partnership. As we had to discuss the program, I realized how good the program was and how great it was for our servicemen and women and also, their families in the community. In terms of Quiet Professionals and the benefits that we get with this Operation Partnership program, I think the most important one was when we get the service men and women and they get to shadow one of the QP employees for a day. It’s very beneficial for us.
In the case of Ebony Harris, she was preparing for her transition out of the army. She came to Quiet Professionals through the Operation Partnership program, selected us to shadow one of our employees for the day. A few months later, she actually went through the military program/fellowship program to transition out, they gave her two months to actually come onboard and work as a quiet professional prior to retiring. I don’t think she would have found Quiet Professionals had it not been for Operation Partnership, so we actually hired her on. So now Ebony is full time with Quiet Professionals. So it was a combination of the community programs, what the chambers done with Operation Partnership, and what the government’s doing and trying to help servicemen and women transition out of the service and move into the communities that they would like to bring their family up in.