Cognosante is proud to partner with the Department of Defense (DoD) to provide work experience to service members who will soon separate from military service. Through the DoD’s SkillBridge program, service members in the last 180 days of their military careers are connected to industry partners for training, internships, and other civilian work experiences.
Employees who have served bring unique skills and shared values to their work, and to Cognosante, including honor, integrity, service, and duty. We spoke with our newest SkillBridge Fellow, Antoine LeBlanc, to learn more about his background and his new role at Cognosante.
Tell us about your military career and your service to the nation.
I enlisted in the U.S. Army after 9/11 and spent the first part of my career as a Cavalry Scout. In 2009, I was selected for recruiting duty, which suited me so well that I became a permanent recruiter. My most recent assignment was at Recruiting Headquarters in Fort Knox, Kentucky, where I led a small division focused on digital marketing within key markets nationwide. Soon I will retire from the Army after 21 years of service.
As a SkillBridge Fellow at Cognosante, you’ll focus on both data analysis and marketing. How did you make the journey from recruiting to those disciplines?
I was first exposed to data analysis as a recruiter. Recruiting is a metrics-based discipline that supports strategic objectives. Although any environment that deals with people is subjective and dynamic, you can always measure performance with objective measures. Even as circumstances change, you can turn to metrics and data to inform how you need to adapt.
Once I had the opportunity to learn the basics of analytics, I started to consider it as a career path I could pursue upon my retirement. As a result, I began a master’s program to pursue analytics as a discipline.
What drew you to the SkillBridge program, and to Cognosante in particular?
I learned about the SkillBridge Program from colleagues who had been Fellows and was impressed by Cognosante’s experience with it. The company offers a training path, its leadership is knowledgeable about military life and SkillBridge, and they provide a smooth transition to a corporate environment.
Do you have any advice you’d like to give separating service members, or Veterans seeking civilian work?
Start early. That may sound trite, but after decades of military service, figuring out what you want to do upon separation is the most challenging thing. It takes time to learn how to network in the civilian world, build new skills, and even navigate internal separation processes. I would also remind separating service members that they will learn and gain confidence at every step in the process. Anyone can translate Army skills to the private sector, and doing so feels more natural with each job application, interview, and networking opportunity. The “Successful Interviewing Tips for Veterans,” a resource that’s available on Cognosante’s website, is a great way to prepare for the interview process.
Learn more about Cognosante’s commitment those who are actively serving, and their spouses.