Tyler Stokes, a senior technical support engineer, has been with Unum for four years and is co-chair of the company’s Veterans Networking Group (VNG).
The goal of the VNG is to bring veterans together to support each other through mentoring and networking, volunteering in the community and assisting in the recruitment and on-boarding of veterans. With more than 150 members, the group has representation from all five branches of the military and consists of employees with more than 30 years at the company as well as many in their first year of employment.
Here in a Q&A with WorkWell, Tyler talks about the many values he learned during his time in the Marines, in addition to the honor he feels for the chance to serve.
WorkWell: Which branch of the military did you serve?
Tyler: I joined the Marine Corps as a cyber systems technician just three days after my 19th birthday. I served for five years and completed one tour in Afghanistan. My primary job was dealing with technology, but I took on many secondary roles to expand myself as a Marine. The additional roles I enjoyed most were being a combat marksmanship coach and an instructor in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program.
WorkWell: What did your time in the military teach you and how are you applying what you learned to your corporate life?
Tyler: During my time as a Marine, I had to adapt to many different types of environments and individuals. Learning how to effectively use the strengths of other members of a team and gaining leadership experience throughout my time in the Marine Corps has continued to benefit me greatly in my career. As a Marine, you learn how to do more with less, which has also carried over to my corporate career.
WorkWell: As you transitioned to your corporate career, what impressed you about Unum?
Tyler: The first thing I noticed when I started talking to people who worked at Unum was their passion for what they did. It was exciting to see individuals who still enjoyed coming to work to be productive after 25 years with the company. Unum presented itself as a career opportunity, not just another job. Add to this the passion my colleagues have for serving our customers and for volunteering in the communities where we live and work, and I just felt good about being a part of Unum.
WorkWell: Is there anything else about your military career that you’d like to share?
Tyler: During my active duty as a Marine, I developed skills in months that would normally have taken me years. I accomplished things I never thought possible and achieved positive results with sometimes very limited resources. Overall, the leadership and maturity I gained from my training and experiences while serving have proven to be life changing, both in my career and in my personal life. It’s been my honor to serve this great nation, and I’m thankful for the experience.