Have you considered working for the U.S. Armed Services after graduation, but felt your chosen major stopped you? Patty Hetu-Tkacik, the recruiter in residence at Career and Professional Development, is informing all students that it is not too late to pursue their interest in working in the armed forces, whether that be in the U.S. Navy, Marines, the Army, Coastguard, or the Air Force. Regardless of what your major is or what academic year you are, there are plenty of opportunities for all students to get involved with the Armed Services.
On February 10, Patty is hosting a U.S. Armed Services panel, where five armed services recruiters will come to campus from around the country to inform students on careers in the armed services and answer any questions students may have.
“We’ll have it here at Crosby and the 5 representatives (recruiters) will sit on a panel, address the audience, tell them who they are and what they represent, and we’ll run that through so the students can see the similarities as well as the differences that each military arm has to offer. That way students can find out what they might be interested in. And then we will leave it open for questions and answers,” explained Patty.
The panel will take place on main floor Crosby from 12-1 and lunch will be provided for all students in attendance.
The invitation for the panel is open to students of all majors.
“Everyone [can benefit], because the military reaches and has job opportunities for almost every major there is,” said Patty.
Patty is excited to finally get students the information that has been missing on Gonzaga’s campus about careers in government.
“Here in CPD we try to come up with specific programs that will help the students look at other career paths or pursue other options. And since I’ve come to Gonzaga for the last two years, I’ve centered around government jobs, whether it be the federal government, the local government or state government,” said Patty.
Whether students have considered a career path in government services or not, Patty insists that the panel is a good way to simply learn about what jobs are out there.
“I believe it’s another opportunity, another venue, another pursuit, or career path,” said Patty.
“I’m not sure a lot of other colleges offer that, it’s usually about businesses and about the particular paths that you can go with these companies,” said Patty. “I’m not sure that students are given the same information when it comes to government or being part of the military. So, I want to bring that to light, because that is a true path for many.”
Patty herself served in government work as an operations officer for the Central Intelligence Agency for 30 years, and after retiring came to Gonzaga to help guide interested students in a similar line of work. Even though Patty was with the CIA, she had much experience working and familiarizing herself with the arms of the military forces.
“During part of my career I did spend some time overseas in the war zones in Iraq, as well as a lot of the operations for the last 20 years of my career I worked with the armed services either overseas or in the United States. That could’ve been the marines, the navy seals, the army. And so, what we do together is complement each other in operations. We both collect intelligence and a lot of times we get it from different sources, and a lot of times we collaborate and share. So, working with a lot of the military and figuring out what they’re allowed to do and what we’re allowed to do is how we work together very closely. In addition to that, I also had a lot of military people who wanted to retire from the military, but they still wanted to continue service so they wanted to come work for the agency, so I would help them make that gap and make that transition. So, that is why I say I know a little bit about the military and what they used to do and how they used to help us, but then again how they wanted to work in the civilian sector.”
One thing Patty hopes to accomplish at the panel is to crack any myths that students may have about working with the armed services: “I think a lot of students believe that if they are contacted by a recruiter, that recruiter normally hounds them until the day they sign up. Which is not true.”
There are also ways for students to get involved with the U.S. Armed Services during their undergrad that may be helpful to hear about.
“They have training opportunities throughout the year that they can offer students, usually during summer, and a lot of students have partaken in that,” Patty clarified. “Even to the point where they graduate after going two, three summers training with the academy, and decide that that’s to the avenue they want to take. That’s okay, you can walk away from that. It’s not like you have signed up yet.”
The Armed Services panel held on Feb. 10 is the first time CPD has brought careers in military services to campus, and Patty is excited to give students first-hand resources to learn about career paths with U.S. government and forces.
“This has never been tried before, I don’t think we’ve ever had a military panel like this on campus before,” said Patty. “And again, we are just trying to open up other opportunities for students to let them know of another avenue.”
For more information, or to RSVP for the panel, visit the event page on Handshake.