On April 20th I had the opportunity to attend a Transition Tampa Bay event for KnowBe4, a local cybersecurity awareness training company in Clearwater. Having recently completed the Department of Defense Transition Assistance Program I understood that my local Chamber of Commerce could be utilized as a resource. I found this event via a LinkedIn post that guided me to the military events portion of the Chamber’s webpage. When I signed up (over a month prior) I chalked it up as another upcoming networking opportunity, added to my calendar, continued my search for additional military transition events, and nearly forgot about it until I received the reminder a week prior.
When I received my reminder I was somewhat apprehensive due to my lack of background in cyber security and contemplated canceling my RSVP. However, once I started to research KnowBe4 my apprehension turned to curiosity as I Iearned more about the organizational culture and work environment. I also expected to only get a quick tour and short window for questions as we were shuffled out the door. I was wrong.
The event started with KnowBe4’s Military Veteran Resource Group discussing their military backgrounds, transition from the military, how they ended up at KnowBe4, as well as Q&A and transition advice. What followed was a tour of the various departments of KnowBe4, continued opportunity for Q&A, and a group joke that something must have been added to the water because everyone was so happy to be working there. What resonated was transition advice about culture, happiness, the interview process, and the significance of translating our military skills into our resume.
For multiple reasons, this has been one of the most valuable experiences that I have attended in Tampa as I am preparing for retirement. I not only had the opportunity to talk to veterans at a local company, but walked away with contacts willing to provide advice and assistance beyond this Transition Tampa Event. The Tampa Bay Chamber is a valuable resource and since this event I have pointed multiple service members toward the Chamber’s newsletter as well as Katie Lopez’s LinkedIn page. The commitment The Chamber is putting forth in assisting the local military and veteran community is immeasurable. Most importantly, I also learned that I do not necessarily need a tech background to find a role in a tech or cybersecurity company because the soft skills that we gain in the military can translate to many different roles.
Thank you Tampa Bay Chamber!
CDR Chuck Cornely, U.S. Navy
*These are personal views and not a reflection of DOD or Navy Policy*