As we look forward to the 10th anniversary of the V.E.T.S.TM Program, Sharp Decisions is highlighting some of the first graduates who led the way in bringing the program to where it is today. In this Veteran Spotlight, allow us to introduce Nicholas Lopez, who served in the Army for roughly 14 years. Nicholas is now a Senior Test Engineer at a major financial services company.
Let’s learn more about Nicholas…
On his Summer break between high school and college in 2001, Nicholas Lopez went with his father to an Army recruiter. At age 18, Nicholas was interested in joining the military to pay for college. He enlisted and was off to basic training in January 2002. Nicholas’ MOS was 94-F (originally 35-N, but later changed) where he performed special device electronic repairs. When he was deployed to Iraq, his MOS changed to 92-F where he set up and maintained fuel farms for Humvees.
Upon returning from deployment, Nicholas attended college while working in IT. While looking for more stability in his career, he was struggling to find employers that would hire him due to his status in the Army Reserves for fear that he would be deployed following employment. However, Sharp Decisions found Nicholas to be a perfect candidate for the first class of V.E.T.S.TM Program veterans.
Once Sharp Decisions got in touch with Nicholas, he went through training with the other veterans in the first class and began working in quality assurance for a major health insurance company. After the engagement with this client, Nicholas took on other projects working with Sharp Decisions and trained other veterans that would go through the V.E.T.S.TM Program in various programming languages.
In his experience, Nicholas says that quality assurance is the perfect job for most veterans. “It’s this one thing that you’ve got to get done, like little missions. So, you have to follow strict rules and complete missions and then you have to talk about it afterwards. That’s like every military mission ever. That concept was really easy for me and the other vets to pick up.”
Nicholas says, “Working with vets, since we come from the same background, we get along and we also meet other vets at these places that are not with the V.E.T.S.TM Program.” He said once you find out there are other veterans in the workplace, it gets easier to be a veteran in a corporate environment with a support system of people who have gone through similar experiences.
Following his roles with the first deployment of the V.E.T.S.TM Program, Nicholas started working at his current company, a major financial services company, as a quality assurance tester. Since 2017, he has made advancements in his career to where he is now as a Senior Test Engineer at the company.
Nicholas served in the Army as an E-5 Sergeant. Follow Sharp Decisions on LinkedIn and Twitter for more updates. For Job postings, see our Careers Page. Head here to learn more about the V.E.T.S.TM Program.