One expects an older brother to offer advice on relationships to his younger siblings. One does not expect to receive an invitation to a professional networking event hosted by the Hiring Our Heroes’ Corporate Fellowship Program (CFP) – especially when you’re an active-duty combat controller in the U.S. Air Force with no immediate plans to separate from service.
But that’s exactly what Mark Frost did.
“Because I’ve seen firsthand the effectiveness of Hiring Our Heroes’ SkillBridge program in helping me transition to the corporate sector, I’m a strong advocate for all service members to consider and apply for the program,” he said.
Especially if that active-duty service member is his younger brother.
“I brought my younger brother to a HOH alumni event so he could experience firsthand the networking and opportunities HOH offers,” Frost said.
CFP Set Up My Success at Boeing
The fourth child among six siblings, Frost enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps “to serve and make a meaningful contribution to something greater than myself.”
“I was raised with a strong sense of duty and patriotism, and the military provided an avenue for me to actively serve and defend American values and freedoms,” he said.
Frost served on active duty for 13 years before transitioning to the Marine Corps Reserves. He deployed to Afghanistan, Africa, and Europe multiple times as a multi-discipline intelligence operator in Marine Special Operations.
“While there, I worked with cutting-edge technologies alongside our nation’s most talented service members,” he said. “They shaped me into the person I am today, and they are, without a doubt, the people I consider my closest friends and family.”
The Marines taught Frost how to challenge himself and work with a team. Hiring Our Heroes taught him how corporate culture differs from the military. We also assisted him in resume writing and networking with companies in Huntsville.
“All of these were critical in setting me up for success and gaining my fellowship with Boeing,” Frost said.
Huntsville Is a Booming Location for Veterans
While stationed at Coronado, California, Frost submitted his application for the Corporate Fellowship Program. But he didn’t want to stay in San Diego. His post-military plans focused on employment opportunities in Alabama.
“I chose Huntsville for two reasons. First, because I have family in the area that I knew would be a strong and important support network for my wife and kids. Secondly, because of the strong economy and incredible job market. Huntsville is a booming area for jobs that support the military and has a great veteran network,” he said.
As a CFP fellow at the Boeing Defense, Space, and Security facility in Huntsville, Alabama, Frost collaborated with the workforce development and human resources teams to assist in developing Boeing’s military and veteran talent pipelines.
“I also attended military recruiting events to provide insight to other service members on Boeing employment opportunities and help them translate their military skills to corporate language,” Frost said.
After his 12-week fellowship, Boeing hired Frost as a project management specialist on the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missile program.
“The best part of my job are the people and opportunities to constantly learn and grow,” he said. “I’m faced with new challenges and projects that push me to expand my skills and knowledge daily. It keeps me engaged and motivated to continually improve, especially knowing our product continues to support our nation’s military forces.”
It’s Never Too Early to Plan Your Transition
Even though he’s happily employed, Frost stays connected with the CFP alumni network. So, when his brother visited him in Huntsville, it made sense to invite him to a networking social.
It isn’t unusual for CFP alumni to bring a family member, added CFP Program Manager Hillary Parker.
“Mark’s invitation to his brother is an example of it’s never too early to start planning for your transition to the civilian sector,” she said.
“Mark’s invitation is an example of it’s never too early to start planning for your transition.”Hillary Parker, Program Manager at Hiring Our Heroes
Often, veterans are Hiring Our Heroes’ most effective promoters.
“They encourage their friends and family members to apply because they want their friends to experience the same success they had with CFP,” she said.
Frost’s brother doesn’t have a timeline for his transition into the civilian sector. For now, Frost is content giving him brotherly advice and waiting to see what his brother decides to do.
“One of the most important pieces of advice I’ve given him is to pursue his passion,” he said. “I’ve always believed pursuing your passions will always result in the most happiness and success in life.”