Volunteer Spotlight: Phil
In our final volunteer spotlight this week, we’re honoring Phil Stitzinger, a volunteer who first approached Hire Heroes USA amid the COVID-19 pandemic last July, an unusual time of need for our clients. In the months since, he has proven to be an outstanding resource for our clients. As a member of the Coast Guard Reserves and as a Chief of Emergency Management in the Army Corps of Engineers, Phil has experience in transitioning to a federal job and offers a unique perspective to our clients. We recently asked Phil to share more about his experience volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.
Question: How did you learn about Hire Heroes USA and what made you want to volunteer?
Phil: “I learned about Hire Heroes USA while searching for meaningful volunteer opportunities in a social-distancing environment. Since the beginning of the pandemic, great strides have been made in terms of virtual work and networking, and I sought opportunities to mentor individuals using these increased capabilities.”
Question: What has been the most rewarding part of being a volunteer with Hire Heroes USA?
Phil: “The most rewarding part of serving as a Hire Heroes USA volunteer is learning that a client has completed a successful interview, and has been offered a meaningful career position. This occurred twice within my first few months as a volunteer, and I remain involved with Hire Heroes USA, always hoping for another success story.”
Question: How do you apply your own professional experience to your interactions with clients?
Phil: “Both civilian and military careers have provided much opportunity for growth, and over time I have had the opportunity to interview several candidates in both capacities: for federal career service and for military commissions. When interviewing clients, I may ask them to think about what types of questions they would ask if they were the interviewer, and how they would gauge various responses. I hope that this strategy helps clients develop their interviewing skills, by helping them think outside the box and provide well-founded answers.”
Question: Is there one particular client interaction that sticks with you?
Phil: “One client had requested a mock interview on our third phone conversation, after a couple of calls to discuss the federal job application process, and to discuss thoughts on a couple of job leads. He may have been a little nervous about the mock interview because we never actually got to the questions. The phone call was more of a discussion on how to navigate through the interview, and what to expect. On our fourth phone call, we did run through a mock interview, and the client felt much more confident in his ability to interview. A couple of weeks later, the client called to let me know that he interviewed and was selected for a professional position with a Fortune 500 company. This news was absolutely thrilling!”
Question: How would you encourage others to support veterans and military spouses in finding professional success?
Phil: “Volunteering with Hire Heroes USA has been a remarkable experience. Volunteer time works around your schedule, at your location, to benefit veterans and their families all over the world. I highly recommend this organization to anyone interested in providing career search mentoring to our service members and their families.”
Over the past year, 1,469 active volunteers invested 7,207 hours to help military families build bright futures. If you would like to make a difference in the lives of veterans and military spouses too, please click here to learn more about volunteering with Hire Heroes USA.