If you ask Edson why he joined the Marine Corps, the answer was simple, “I joined to serve others and be a part of something bigger than myself.”
That’s also why he joined the Veterans Service Group (VSG) at Asurion. “The overall concept of the VSG is similar to the service,” he said. “You give something when you’re not required and help out as much as you can – that’s why I joined VSG.”
About Asurion’s Veterans Service Group
The Veterans Service Group (VSG) is one of our 10 Employee Resource Groups – communities within Asurion where team members with common interests get together for networking and mentorship. VSG launched in 2016 and has established 10 chapters in our offices across the country.
VSG is a service organization for employees who served in the military, and also for those who want to show their support for the veteran community. Derek works at one of our Nashville offices and says he joined VSG to honor those who have served, including members of his family. “My father served in the U.S. Army,” he said. “I’ve always had a passion for people that serve because I’ve seen what they give up. I’ve had friends who lost their parents in combat. It’s one of the most tight-knit communities you can be a part of.”
We’re all shaped by our life experiences. It’s important to our success as a company to bring together people from all different backgrounds to create conversations and bring to life new ideas. VSG makes sure the veteran perspective is shared with our leaders – and they listen.
VSG gives back to the community
From the get-go, VSG launched as a service organization. So, it’s no surprise that they lean heavily into serving. Throughout the year, they offer their members many ways to get involved, including volunteering, lending a hand to fellow veterans (non-Asurion employees) and supporting each other.
In July, VSG chapters across the country participate in “VSG Week of Service.” Members are encouraged to get out and volunteer at various places in their city. For example, the Nashville VSG partners with Operation Stand Down and the Nashville Rescue Mission. Anybody can sign up to serve lunch at the mission or pitch in on construction projects.
“When we do VSG events it brings everybody together, and we’re able to work with members at different sites,” said Geoff, VSG member. “It’s cool to connect with people across the business and learn more about what they’re working on.”
Shifting the focus to our veterans
Another way VSG members serve is through mentorship. They have a growing program where members can sign up to mentor veterans in the community outside of Asurion. This form of service hits close to home for Will, VSG President. He served in the U.S. Army in the late 1990s and still remembers how hard it was adjusting to civilian life after military life. “I had a rocky transition,” said Will. “I didn’t have good resources to point me in the right direction.”
As mentors, VSG members help veterans looking for jobs translate their military experience into skills recruiters are looking for. In 2019, the Nashville chapter went to Middle Tennessee State University to talk with student veterans about how to interview, write resumes and tell their story.
“We want to help them get it on paper,” said Will. “So, when a civilian reads it, they don’t read complicated military jargon. They read skills that this soldier or sailor or Marine has what they’re looking for and then gives them a shot.”
Another big reason he chose to get connected with VSG is 22 a day. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, 22 veterans take their own lives every single day. “That shows me there’s a lot of suffering out there,” said Will. “That’s why VSG fills every need I have to be a part of a greater community and give back. We’re at the base of something where we can truly help.”
Working as a team
In the same way VSG cares for the community, they make sure to take care of each other.
After six years of U.S. Army service, Geoff transitioned to civilian life. Asurion was his first job out of the military, and he says the welcoming culture made all the difference for him. “It’s such a positive environment and people want to be here,” said Geoff. “It’s been helpful to find mentors within the business to help me understand expectations as I settle into a new organization, new culture and new role.”
To help veterans transition to civilian life at Asurion, VSG encourages networking and growth. They started a series called “Roll Call” – a way to get to know Asurion leaders who served in our Armed Forces in a casual environment. They share how they transitioned into corporate life and their journey along the way.
“There are so many opportunities here at Asurion to grow as a leader, as a person and as a veteran,” said Edson. “The more we grow, the more opportunities we have, the more veterans we can attract to join our ranks.”
VSG’s education events are not only helping grow veterans’ careers, but they’re also creating opportunities for veterans and civilians to build stronger connections. For veterans, it’s easy to get frustrated when civilians ask questions that come off as insensitive. Similar for civilians, it can be uncomfortable talking to a veteran unsure of what topic is appropriate or off limits. VSG is helping to break down those barriers to start a deeper discussion.
“We want to get way beyond, ‘Thank you for your service,'” said Will. “We want to help people start the conversation, ‘Tell me about your service.’ Because at the end of the day, we’re all just people and we all have a story to share.”
A commUnity for all
We’re proud of our workplace culture. We want every employee to feel comfortable bringing their whole self to work every day.
“Asurion is a great place to work,” said Will. “As a veteran, you can come here and have a fantastic career. We understand that you might be struggling to transition to civilian life, and we’re not afraid of that. We’ll lean into that. It’s a lot of the stuff we don’t talk about that I find so important.”
At Asurion, we aspire for diversity in the broadest sense. Our differences strengthen us. We come from all walks of life with different backgrounds, personality types, beliefs and abilities. When you join VSG, you join our family and our commUnity.
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