In 2013, in the midst of the economic recession, Jessie Frazier, 45, lost his job. The father of two from Edison, NJ had no plan B. Things got so tight financially that at one point that he was unable to afford to get the gas he needed so that he could drive himself to the unemployment office.
Flash forward to today, Jessie, after completing our TAP program, is working as a WOS Consultant at a Fortune 100 company, where he trains different groups within the company on new technologies. He has also earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Phoenix in business with a concentration in management.
We caught up with Frazier to see how he’s doing, learn more about his career journey and how WOS has had a positive influence on his life:
Why did you decide to enlist in the military? What was the hardest part about transitioning into civilian life after serving?
When I was 2, my father passed away and growing up without him created a void that I always felt it but I could never specifically identify what it was. In 1996, I enlisted in the Marines Corp. which was the first time in my life I felt leaders were invested in my growth and that void stated to diminish.
Upon leaving the military, there’s was a short separation process, which took place over four days, where I was provided with the information on career readiness to help with my transition into civilian life. When I left I didn’t feel there were many resources that I could take advantage of to help me transition into the workforce.
How did you cope with losing your job? How did you find out about WOS?
When I lost my job, I lost my sense of purpose. It was really tough. I can remember a day when I walked 3 miles to the unemployment office because I couldn’t afford to put gas in my car. On my walk, I ran into a pastor at my local church. He shared some employment resources with me, which enabled me to get my resume into shape and access the tools I needed to start looking for a new job. One day at a job fair I was fortunate to meet a WOS representative and that meeting changed my life.
How would you say WOS is different from other career readiness programs?
Prior to entering the TAP program, I didn’t have an IT background, which didn’t matter because WOS invested the time and care to make sure that I had the training and support I needed to succeed. Through the program I received education and mentorship alongside other veterans; we connected over our shared military experience. That comradery provided me with a reassurance and gave me the confidence to move forward.
What has your experience working at a major Fortune 100 company been like?
Initially, I was intimidated at the prospect of working for a Fortune 500 company, but once I adjusted my level of confidence quickly changed; confidence that played a large role in my success. Additionally, I could never have done it without WOS Client Service Manager, Sonia Rodriguez, whose guidance has been instrumental into my professional as well as my academic and personal success.
Five years later, I still wake up excited to go to work with such smart and impressive colleagues. Never could I have imagined I would be successful working a corporate job, especially coming from a blue-collar family. Now I’m holding meetings with VPs and other individuals from senior leadership. Thanks to WOS, the sky’s the limit.