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From battlefield to breaking barriers: My journey from the US Marines to a career in | BRK1027

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YOU GUYS LOOK WAY LESS INTIMIDATING GOOD MORNING

I AM A PROGRAM MANAGER ON THE AZURE TEAM ANY THAT IN HERE? >> [ APPLAUSE ] >> WHAT IS NEXT WEEK ? >> THE BIRTHDAY OF THE MARINE CORPS ACKNOWLEDGE VETERANS DAY BUT IT IS OUR BIRTHDAY FIRST >> HOW DID I GET HERE? I KEEP ASKING MYSELF THAT THERE IS NO BETTER AND ALIVE THAT LIKES TO SHARE THEIR BOOT PICTURES

FOR THOSE THAT DON'T KNOW IT IS YOUR JUNIOR ENLISTED PICTURES THIS IS ME AS A 17-YEAR-OLD ON THE STREETS OF SAN ANTONIO, GRADUATION DAY FROM BOOT CAMP TO THE BOTTOM RIGHT, ME AS A MARINE, A STAFF SERGEANT AT THE TIME I WAS ON THE STREETS OF HOLLYWOOD THOSE ARE TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE , ACTUALLY SIX DIFFERENT PEOPLE IN EACH PHOTO

EVERYONE KNOWS , WHO IS THE SAME PERSON THEY WERE TWO WEEKS AGO? THE PERSON AT THE TOP LEFT BECAME A COMBAT VETERAN AND THE PERSON AT THE BOTTOM RIGHT BECAME A 5-TIME COMBAT VETERAN THERE IS A LOT OF GROWING BETWEEN THOSE STAGES HOW DID I GET HERE? I ASK MYSELF THAT I ASK MYSELF THAT BEFORE I GOT ON THIS THIS STAGE, LITERALLY DOES ANYONE HERE WORK FOR MICROSOFT? THEY HAVE A NEW EMPLOYEE ORIENTATION

MY FIRST DAY , AS SOON AS WE SAT DOWN THE SLIDES CAME ON AND THE FIRST THING THEY SAID WAS, NO ONE WILL DECIDE, DIE FROM A DECISION I MAKE TODAY >> I WAS LIKE, REALLY? BECAUSE, TO ME THAT WAS A FOREIGN CONCEPT I WAS IN A MILITARY OCCUPATIONAL SPECIALTY I WAS A COMMUNICATOR IF WE COULDN'T COMMUNICATE, BAD THINGS WOULD HAPPEN

IF WE HAD FRIENDLY FIRE , IF I MADE A BAD DECISION, BAD THINGS WOULD HAPPEN I WAS TOLD , AND I SAT THERE QUIET SO, I CAN DO ANYTHING WHAT IF I DON'T COME TO WORK? MY WHEELS KEPT SPINNING AND SPINNING THEN, I HAVE NO IDEA WHO IT WAS, BUT IT SOME POINT ONE OF THE FACILITATORS STARTED TO PAY ATTENTION TO ME BECAUSE I WAS QUIET

THEY FINALLY WALKED UP AND SAID, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING ABOUT? YOU HAVEN'T SAID ANYTHING AND YOU HAVEN'T BEEN PARTICIPATING >> WELL, THE FIRST SLIDE SAID NO ONE WILL DIE FROM A DECISION I MAKE TODAY AND THAT IS FOREIGN TO ME I WAS ON THE MICROPHONE >> THEY SAID WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I SAID, I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN THAT POSITION BEFORE EVERYTHING I HAVE BEEN TOLD — SHOOT, MOVE, COMMUNICATE

MARINES MAKE THINGS HAPPEN IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU HAVE YOU CAN HAVE A PLASTIC FORK AND SOME DUCT TAPE AND A RUBBER BAND AND A SQUEEGEE AND YOU WILL FIGURE OUT HOW TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN THE TRANSITION WAS HARD DID ANYONE TRANSFER FROM THE MILITARY STRAIGHT INTO TECH? IT'S MIND BLOWING, ISN'T IT? I WILL GET TO THAT IN MY PRESENTATION

FOR ME, MY JOURNEY TO TACH STARTED WITH A POLAROID CAMERA YOU WOULD THINK IT WAS THE MOST BASIC ELECTRONIC BUT FOR ME, I'M A NATIVE NEW YORKER I WAS ONE OF THE FIRST PEOPLE TO CALL IN THE WORLD TRADE CENTER ATTACKS AND I WATCHED I WAS ON LEAVE

I WAS TAKING MY GRANDMOTHER AND SISTER TO WORK THEY WORKED AT THE TOWERS AND MY FATHER WAS BELOW GROUND AT GRAND CENTRAL STATION I CALLED MY CO I WAS AN AIRMAN AT THE TIME I SAID THE PLANE JUST HIT THE TWIN TOWERS

HE SAID WHAT ? HE COULDN'T UNDERSTAND WHAT I WAS SAYING >> I SAID I THINK ANOTHER ONE IS GOING TO HIT THE OTHER ONE AND HE SAID YOU NEED TO GET OUT OF THERE I WAS LIKE, I DIDN'T MAKE IT OUT I STAYED ON-SITE IF YOU KNOW NEW YORK CITY I WALKED FROM DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN TO BROOKLYN BECAUSE YOU COULDN'T GET BUSES OR TRAINS OR TAXIS

I HAD TO GO TO FORT HAMILTON AND CHECK IN AND GET ON A DSM MILITARY-ONLY LINE SO I COULD COMMUNICATE WITH MY UNIT AT THE TIME I WAS AN AIRMAN, ASSIGNED TO THE MORTUARY AT DOVER AIR FORCE BASE BODIES AND BODIES I THOUGHT I HAD SEEN A TRAGEDY BECAUSE THE FIRST WEEK, MY FIRST CASE WAS THE BOMBING OF THE USS COLE I HADN'T SEEN ANYTHING YET

I FINALLY GOT IN CONTACT WITH MY UNIT AND MIGHT CO TOLD ME I NEED YOU TO GO DOWN AND PICK UP AT THE CASUALTY COLLECTION POINT I WAS 18 YEARS OLD AS A NEW YORKER IN MY OWN CITY WATCHING WHAT HAPPENED AND NOT UNDERSTANDING WHAT WAS HAPPENING, THERE WAS A LOT OF ANGER AND RAGE AND WHAT IS THIS? I STARTED TO HEAR WORDS LIKE TERROR ATTACK AND TERRORISM IT DIDN'T DAWN ON ME AT THE TIME FAST-FORWARD, I'M ON MY FIRST DEPLOYMENT MARCH 19, 2002

2003 IF YOU KNOW HISTORY THE NEXT DAY WAS THE FIRST TIME INVADED IRAQ I WAS AN AIRMAN, ONE OF EIGHT ASSIGNED TO A MARINE UNIT UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE MAJOR GENERAL I WAS A PART OF HIS PERSONAL MORTUARY DETAIL THEY CALLED US THE BONE COLLECTOR'S

IF YOU SAW US, IT MEANS YOU SAW US WE WERE SITTING OUT THERE AND I'M WITH MY UNIT, EIGHT OF US IF YOU'VE EVER SEEN MILITARY ON PATROL YOU KNOW THAT YOU HAVE YOUR WEAPON READY I DECIDED IT WOULD BE A GOOD IDEA TO BRING A POLAROID CAMERA THAT DAY WHY? DON'T ASK ME

I HAD IT SLUNG AROUND MY BACK AND WE WERE RIGHT OUTSIDE OF THE PROVINCE THERE IS A GROUP OF KIDS, ABOUT WHERE THIS TABLE IS MY TEAM IS HERE EVERYONE IS READY FOR EVERYTHING BECAUSE WE KNOW AT MIDNIGHT IT IS THOUGH TIME MIDNIGHT IS GO TIME

IF YOU DON'T KNOW THE HISTORY THERE WAS A CURFEW IN PLACE THAT SAID AFTER A CERTAIN TIME IT DOESN'T MATTER IF IT IS OUTSIDE AND MOVING IT WON'T BE MOVING ANYMORE SO, I'M STILL A NEW YORKER ON FOREIGN SOIL AND I'M ANGRY AND UPSET YOU LOOK FOR SOMETHING TO PUT YOUR MISPLACED RAGE OUT ON I'M LIKE, WE'VE GOT A COUPLE MORE HOURS

IF YOU THINK I'M GOING TO TELL YOU I AM A WAR HERO AND I CHARGED THE HILL, THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED THIS POLAROID CHANGE THE ENTIRE NEXT SEVEN MONTHS FOR ME LITTLE KIDS WERE PLAYING AND A SOCCER BALL CAME AND HIT ME ON THE LEG I STARED HIM DOWN HE WALKED OVER SLOWLY

I WAS JUST LOOKING AT HIM IN THE WHOLE VILLAGE, THEY ARE LOOKING WHATEVER WE DO, EVERYONE

IS WATCHING AND WHATEVER THEY DO, WE ARE WATCHING IT WAS FUNNY I WEAR SUCKER PANTS EVERY DAY

I CAN'T PLAY SOCCER I PICKED UP THE BALL AND HANDED IT TO HIM AND HE SMILED AT ME I TOOK MY POLAROID AND SNAPPED A PICTURE OF HIM I HANDED IT TO HIM I DIDN'T THINK ANYTHING OF IT

THREE SECONDS LATER I WAS TURNING THIS WAY AND I HEARD HIM SCREAM HE SCREAMED AND TOOK OFF RUNNING AT THAT POINT EVERYONE HAD THEIR HANDS ON THEIR WEAPONS AND NOBODY MOVED WE DIDN'T BREATHE I'M LIKE, WHAT DID I JUST DO? IT'S ABOUT TO GET DIRTY HERE

DOES ANYONE KNOW WHO THAT IS? >> THEY SAID WHAT DID YOU DO? I DON'T KNOW! HE CAME BACK WITH HIS FATHER AND SISTER AND MOTHER MY ARABIC WASN'T VERY GOOD I COULD ONLY STAND A LITTLE, UNDERSTAND A LITTLE BIT OH POINTS AT ME AND POINT THAT THE CAMERA HE'S POINTING AT ME AND THE CAMERA AND THE LITTLE BOY IN THE PICTURE

THEN HE LINES UP THE FAMILY AND POINTS AT ME AND THE CAMERA AND HIS FAMILY I SAID OKAY, YOU WANT ME TO TAKE A PICTURE? ALL RIGHT I TOOK A PICTURE ME AND MY POLAROID I GIVE IT TO THEM

THEY ARE SAYING THANK YOU I'M LIKE, WHAT JUST HAPPENED? THEN IT DAWNED ON ME LATER THEY CAME BACK AND I BECAME THE PHOTOGRAPHER THEY DIDN'T HAVE MIRRORS AT THE TIME IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THEY HAD SEEN THEMSELVES

FOR ME, THAT WAS A LIFE- CHANGING MOMENT BECAUSE IN A SITUATION WHERE IT IS KILL OR BE KILLED, IT WAS MORE I CAN'T MAKE IT PRETTIER A VERY BASIC, SIMPLE PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY SAVED LIVES FOR THE NEXT SEVEN MONTHS OF EVERYONE I WAS WITH BECAUSE IRAQ BROUGHT THESE INTERESTING THINGS CALLED IED'S BOMBS WE HAVE NEVER SEEN BEFORE

THEY WOULD GO OFF IN WALLS AND FLOORS AND ANYWHERE BUT WE FOUND OUT THAT IN OUR LITTLE VILLAGE, THIS LITTLE PIECE OF PROVIDENCE THAT WE OWNED, EVERY TIME WE GO SOMEWHERE THE VILLAGES WOULD SEE US AND THEY WOULD LOOK AT US AND SHAKE THEIR HEADS AND TURNED IN A DIFFERENT DIRECTION WE NOTICED THAT WHEN THEY DID THAT IF WE WENT IN THAT DIRECTION WE WERE SAFE SO, EVERY OTHER UNIT TOOK A LOT OF HITS WE ARE NOT DIRECTLY IMPACTED BECAUSE WE LITERALLY HAD A VILLAGE LOOKING OUT FOR US

I WAS LIKE, MAN, TECHNOLOGY IS A BRIDGE IF I CAN DO THIS WITH A POLAROID, I WONDER WHAT I COULD DO WITH MORE STUFF? BEING WITH THE MARINES AT THE TIME IT WAS AMAZING BECAUSE IT WAS SO BASIC I HAD GENERAL A MOST SIT DOWN WITH ME HE SAID DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOU DID? >> I SAID I TOOK SOME PICTURES, SIR I WAS PROUD OF MYSELF

HE SAID, YOU TOOK SOMETHING BASIC AND YOU USED IT LIKE A TOOL THAT TOOL USED IT FOR SAVED EVERYBODY HE SAID, YOU MAY NOT GET A RIBBON OR METAL BUT AT LEAST YOU KNOW THAT EVERY TIME WE STEP OUT THE DOORS AND STEP OUTSIDE THE WIRE SOMEONE WILL NOT THEIR HEAD AND YOU WILL BE OKAY IT WAS LIKE, OH, THANKS, SIR I KNEW AT THAT POINT IN TIME , I'M DONE WITH AIR FORCE

AS SOON AS I GET BACK I'M GOING TO THE MARINE CORPS AND I DID THE BROTHERHOOD WAS DIFFERENT AND THE CAMARADERIE WAS DIFFERENT TAKING NOTHING AND MAKE IT INTO SOMETHING WAS DIFFERENT I LOVED HAVING NOTHING AND LEARNING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO THINGS WITH IT

THAT IS WHY I BECAME A MARINE I WENT INTO COMMUNICATIONS BECAUSE I LOVE TECHNOLOGY IF I CAN DO THIS WITH A POLAROID, WHO KNOWS WHAT I COULD DO IF I GET A SATELLITE OR RADIO OR SOMETHING COOL I BECAME A WOMEN IN MY FIRST APPOINTMENT I WENT BACK TO IRAQ

THEY SAID DO YOU WANT TO GO LAY SOME INFRASTRUCTURE? I SAID NO WHO WANTS TO DIG AN ENTIRE CITY OF INFRASTRUCTURE TO CREATE ELECTRICITY AND NETWORKING? NOBODY DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO SLICE FIBER CABLE IN A SANDSTORM? IT'S IMPOSSIBLE I WENT BACK AND SAID WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS AGAIN IT WAS DIFFERENT

IRAQ IN 2007 WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THAN IRAQ IN 2003 WE HAD BUILT A BRIDGE IT WAS WEIRD AT ONE POINT WE LEFT IN 2004 WHEN I SAY ME WE MEAN THE MILITARY TENSIONS WENT HIGH AND THINKS ONE BAG AND THE MARINE CORPS CAME BACK IN AND WE STARTED TO BUILD A BRIDGE

THAT IS WHEN I WAS LIKE, I'M GOING TO SEE HOW FAR I CAN TAKE TECHNOLOGY I STARTED TO LOOK FOR WAYS TO HELP PEOPLE WITH TECHNOLOGY A LOT OF THINGS I SAW, I HAD A LOT OF FRIENDS THAT LOST LIMBS AND A LOT OF CHILDREN AND ADULTS AND PEOPLE IN THE PLACES I VISITED WHO LOST LIMBS I BECAME TUNNEL VISION ABOUT PROSTHETICS MY GOAL WAS TO BUILD A PROSTHETIC THAT WOULD GROW WITH CHILDREN

WE ALL SEE ADULTS WITH PROSTHETICS THEY GOT THEM AND THEY WORK AND THAT'S COOL, BUT WHAT DO YOU DO FOR A SIX-YEAR-OLD THAT LOST A LIMB AS A RESULT OF COLLATERAL DAMAGE AND THEY ARE STILL GROWING AND GOING THROUGH IT? THIS IS ME IN MY MIND AS A MARINE I SAID I WANT TO BUILD A PROSTHETIC THAT CAN GROW WITH THEM THEY WERE GOING THROUGH PUBERTY AND HAVING GROWTH SPURTS AND EVERYTHING I WASN'T SMART ENOUGH TO FIGURE IT OUT BUT I KNOW PEOPLE THAT CAN

I CAME ACROSS THIS GUY AND HE HAD PARTNERED WITH MICROSOFT TO MAKE PROSTHETICS FOR SWIMMERS KID SWIMMERS I SAID THAT SCHOOL I WONDER IF I COULD DO THAT I STARTED TO PLAY WITH AI AND COGNITIVE SERVICES

I BUILT MY FIRST PROSTHETIC LIMB WAS TERRIBLE IT IS STILL TERRIBLE THAT IS NOT MY PASSION AND NOT MY SUPERPOWER I KNOW THAT

BUT IT OPENED THE DOOR FOR ME TO MICROSOFT AT 12 YEARS IN THE MARINE CORPS, A GUNNERY SERGEANT AT THE TIME, I WAS LOOKING FOR MY NEXT CHALLENGE I WAS LOOKING FOR THE NEXT BIG THING I HAVE TO FIND PURPOSE IN WHAT I'M DOING THE MINUTE I STOP FINDING A PURPOSE I WILL REPURPOSE SOMEWHERE ELSE

I LOVE THE MARINE CORPS I LOVE THE MARINES BUT, HOW CAN I DO MORE FOR PEOPLE WITH THE KNOWLEDGE I GAINED FROM THE MARINE CORPS, WITH MY PASSION? HE'S LIKE, WHY DON'T YOU GO TO THE SOFT ACADEMY FOR MILITARY PEOPLE? I SAID WHAT? HE SAID THEY'VE GOT A MILITARY ACADEMY FOR THE MILITARY PEOPLE I AM TALKING LIKE HE TALKS IT'S TERRIBLE

I SAID TELL ME ABOUT IT AND HE SAID I CAN TELL YOU YOU WILL HAVE TO GOOGLE IT OR SOMETHING >> ALL RIGHT SO, I GET ON THE COMPUTER I SEE MICROSOFT HAS A SOFTWARE SYSTEMS ACADEMY

I'M LIKE, COOL, WHERE ARE THE LOCATIONS? THEY WERE SMILING ON ME THERE WAS ONE ON MY BASE AT CAMP PENDLETON, CALIFORNIA THERE ARE THREE IN CALIFORNIA ALL RIGHT I AM GOING TO SIGN UP FOR ONE OF THESE COURSES

I WALKED INTO THE CO'S OFFICE COMPETENT I SAID I NEED YOU TO SIGN THIS SO I CAN GO TAD, TEMPORARY DUTY OF ASSIGNMENT I AM GOING TO GO AWAY FOR A FEW MONTHS TO LEARN HOW TO DO THIS HE SAID WHAT? YOU ARE NOT GETTING OUT I'M GETTING OUT

I'VE GOT MY WAY THEY HAVE DIFFERENT COHORTS YOU CAN GO CYBERSECURITY I DON'T CARE ABOUT CYBERSECURITY I LIKE TO HAVE THINGS

IT IS WHAT IT IS THEY HAD CLOUD SERVER AND PROGRAMMING I SAID I WILL GO WITH CLOUD AND SERVER THE CLOUD WILL KEEP GOING AND IT WILL BE EVER-CHANGING AND YOU CAN DO EVERYTHING IN THE CLOUD I SAID BUT, LET'S GIVE THIS A TRY

PLUS, I KNEW THAT IF I WENT TO THE COURSE IT GUARANTEES AT LEAST ONE INTERVIEW WITH MICROSOFT SO I DIDN'T HAVE TO SUBMIT A RESUME I SAID PUT ME IN FRONT OF SOMEBODY I WILL BE HIRED DON'T ACT LIKE YOU DON'T FEEL THE SAME WAY IF SOMEBODY TOLD YOU YOU COULD DO THIS, YOU WOULD SHOW UP

HELLO, I'M HERE YOU HAVEN'T SEEN MY RESUME BUT LET ME TELL YOU ALL ABOUT ME I WENT TO THE COURSE IT WAS A PHENOMENAL COURSE IT TALK, TAUGHT ME NOTHING ABOUT WHAT I'M DOING TODAY

NOTHING BUT, IT LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR ME TO GET CERTIFIED AND GET AZURE CERTIFIED AND DO ALL THE TECH STUFF IT OPENED THE DOOR FOR ME IF YOU PUT ME IN FRONT OF SOMEONE, AND I WISH MY HIRING MANAGER IS HERE I SAID I WANT YOU TO KNOW MARINES DON'T FAIL

>> SHE SAID WHAT DOES THAT MEAN? I SAID WE ARE GOING TO DO THIS INTERVIEW I AM GOING TO WALK AWAY A MICROSOFT EMPLOYEE >> SHE SAID ARE YOU THAT CONFIDENT I SAID I'M THAT CONFIDENT SHE SAID LET'S SEE WHAT YOU GOT

IT WAS A GREAT INTERVIEW WHY? BECAUSE MY SOFT SKILLS ARE PRETTY LEGIT I CAN TALK TO PEOPLE I CAN SMILE AND WAVE AT THE SAME TIME , WE ARE NOT ABOUT TO DO THAT

NO I PLAYED THE GAME AND I DON'T PLAY THE GAME AT THE SAME TIME HOW DID I END UP ON THIS STAGE? I STILL DON'T KNOW [ LAUGHTER ] >> MAYBE THEY NEEDED SOMEONE TO FILL TIME OR THEY WANT TO GET MORE EXPOSURE FOR THAT PROGRAM I CAN SAY MY JOURNEY FROM THE MILITARY TO MICROSOFT WAS MIND BLOWING

VERY MIND BLOWING I WISH RYAN WAS HERE IF YOU SAW US ON THE PANEL SUNDAY, THE BIGGEST TAKE AWAY I GOT COMING FROM THE MILITARY,

19 DAYS LATER , I CAME OVER AND WHICH DIVERSITY GROUP DO YOU THINK I FALL INTO? BE HONEST WHAT DIVERSITY GROUP DO I FALL INTO? ENGINEERING YOU KNOW I'M A VETERAN BECAUSE I SAID I'M A VETERAN

WHAT ELSE? WOMEN, BLACK >> [ INAUDIBLE ] >> I STRUGGLED WITH THIS A LOT WHY DID I GET HIRED? I HAD TO CHANGE MY TWITTER HANDLE BECAUSE MY TWITTER HANDLE WAS NOT YOUR DIVERSITY HIGHER HEY, I CAN CHECK SOME BOXES , BLACK, AND I STRUGGLE TO FIGURE OUT WHERE I FIT IN

IF YOU HAVE A MANAGER WHO DOESN'T KNOW PEOPLE THEY WILL STRUGGLE TO FIGURE OUT WHERE TO PUT YOU BECAUSE WHEN I FIRST GOT HIRED IT WAS, IT IS MY NEW MILITARY HIGHER >> OKAY, THEN I MET EVERYONE EXCEPT THE VETERANS WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO? TAKE ABOUT IT I AM THE COOLEST NERD YOU WILL EVER MEET BECAUSE I HAVE A LITTLE MORE FLAVOR THAN THE AVERAGE NERD BUT I DON'T RELATE PROGRAMMERS, GOD BLESS YOU BECAUSE YOU CAN JUST DO THIS ALL DAY

HOW? ALL DAY I AM A PEOPLE PERSON I'M A PROGRAM MANAGER MY FIRST ROLE WAS INTERNAL FACING I ASKED MY MANAGER, CAN I TALK TO PEOPLE, PLEASE? SHE WAS LIKE, WE ARE GOING TO FIND YOU A PLACE WHERE YOU CAN TALK TO PEOPLE

I FOUND ONE I MET A LADY ON A BOAT AND AIRMEN ON A BOAT ON THE USS MIDWAY AND I TOLD HER I WAS GOING TO WORK FOR MICROSOFT AND SHE SAID IF YOU GET THERE, PING ME I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANT BUT I KNEW I WOULD DO IT WHEN I GOT THERE >> [ LAUGHTER ] >> I SENT HER A MESSAGE

I SAID I MADE IT TO MICROSOFT AND SHE SAID GREAT MY WIFE AT THE TIME WAS STILL IN JAPAN SHE SAID WHERE ARE YOU? I SAID I'M IN REDMOND SHE SAID DO YOU LIKE IT? NO HOW DO YOU GO FROM SAN DIEGO TO REDMOND ? NOTHING

SHE WAS LIKE, DO YOU WANT TO COME BACK TO SAN DIEGO? YES RIGHT NOW WAS LIKE, I'M NOT HIRING BUT I KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS I ASKED MY MANAGER, DO YOU KNOW HER? SHE SAID NO I LOOKED HER UP

YOU CAN STALK EVERYONE SHE IS IN BUILDING 42 I LOOKED UP MY MANAGER AND SAID I'M GOING TO TALK TO HER AND SHE SAID CHANGE YOUR SHIRT YOU ARE SWEATY I WENT HOME AND CHANGED MY SHIRT I WALKED IN AND SAID HELLO MY NAME IS AISHA AND I WILL PROMISE THAT YOU WILL HIRE ME AND SHE SAID I'M VERY BUSY

I SAID WE ARE STILL HERE [ LAUGHTER ] >> SHE GAVE ME AN HOUR OF HER TIME AND PUT ME IN A CUSTOMER- PACING ROLE AND I'VE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER NOW I ROCK THE ERG SHIRT AT MICROSOFT I FOUND MY TRIBE I FOUND THE GROUP OF PEOPLE THAT MAKE SENSE TO ME AND RELATE TO ME AND SEND ME TERRIBLE NAMES AND GIFTS

I'M HOME WE GIVE EACH OTHER A HARD TIME ALL DAY THE MARINES ARE ACTING UP RIGHT NOW BECAUSE EVERYONE IS SAYING HAPPY VETERANS DAY AND IT'S LIKE A, NO, HAPPY BIRTHDAY >> IT HAS BEEN A GREAT LEARNING PROCESS ALONG THE WAY WHEN YOU HIRE A VETERAN YOU DO NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE GETTING

YOU DON'T GET ONE OR TWO PEOPLE YOU GET A HAPPY-GO-LUCKY PERSON OR SOMEONE THAT'S LIKE A, WHY ARE YOU SO HAPPY? SECURE YOUR HAPPINESS I WILL MAKE SURE WE HAVE BOTH BUT, I CAN'T SAY IT'S BEEN A GREAT RIDE I TRY TO PAY IT FORWARD AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE

SO THAT ANY VETERANS TRANSITIONING AT OTHER COMPANIES ARE LIKE , I WANT TO COME OVER TO MICROSOFT I'M LIKE, SEND US YOUR RESUME WE ARE ALWAYS HIRING WE ARE LOOKING FOR PEOPLE WITH CLEARANCES TELL A FRIEND I FEEL LIKE EVERYONE SHOULD BE THEY WANT TO BE

IF YOU WANT TO BE AT MICROSOFT, LET'S GET YOU HERE IF YOU WANT TO BE ANYWHERE ELSE, LET'S GET YOU THERE, TOO I DON'T WANT ANYONE TO SELL THEMSELVES SHORT THE MILITARY HAS A WAY OF NOT ALLOWING YOU TO SEE YOUR FULL POTENTIAL AND YOUR WOOL WORTH AND VALUE AND THE THINGS THAT YOU KNOW WE'VE DONE SOME AMAZING THINGS

WE'VE LIBERATED TWO SMALL COUNTRIES WE CAN MIGRATE YOU WE GOT THIS I DON'T REALLY THINK I HAVE ANYTHING LEFT TO SAY TWO TOTALLY DIFFERENT PEOPLE

DO YOU SEE MY FAKE SMILE? THIS IS MY REAL SMILE THIS IS MY GET OUT PICTURE THIS IS WHEN I CAME TO MICROSOFT I WAS TRYING TO BE COOL THOSE ARE THE TWO PEOPLE THAT GOT EXACTLY WHAT THEY WANTED

WHEN I CAME INTO THE MARINE CORPS I WANTED TO BE A STAFF SERGEANT I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE TIME I MADE IT TO GUNNERY SERGEANT BUT, IT SHOWED ME THAT IF I WORKED AND PERSEVERED AND DID THE THINGS I SAID I WAS GOING TO DO AND DIDN'T GIVE UP, I WOULD GET EXACTLY WHERE I WAS GOING I NEVER SAID I WAS GOING ANYWHERE ELSE BUT MICROSOFT

WHAT WOULD YOU TAKE IN THE MEANTIME? NOTHING I AM AN ALL OR NOTHING TYPE OF PERSON THAT'S HOW IT WORKS EMPATHY GOT ME HERE I DIDN'T GET HERE ALONE

I GOT HERE BECAUSE I LIKE PEOPLE I LOVE PEOPLE GOOD, BAD, INDIFFERENT IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT YOU ARE I LOVE BEING ABLE TO TALK TO PEOPLE

I LOVE SHARING MY STORY I HAVE A BUNCH OF CRAZY STORIES I CAN'T TELL THEM ALL BECAUSE OF HR [ LAUGHTER ] CATCH ME AT A BAR ON THE RIGHT DAY AND I'VE GOT SOME FOR YOU BUT, AS A VETERAN COMMUNITY WE NEED TO DO MORE FOR EACH OTHER

WE SHOULD DO MORE WITH EACH OTHER EVERYONE HERE HAVE SOMETHING BURNING IN THE BACK OF THEIR MIND WHETHER IT IS SOMETHING THEY ARE STRUGGLING WITH OR SOMETHING THEY WANT TO DO SOMEBODY IN HERE IS THE CATALYST TO MAKING IT HAPPEN OR HELPING IT GET BETTER OR POINTING YOU TO THE RIGHT RESOURCES THAT'S WHY I LOVE WHEN VETERANS COME TOGETHER THERE IS ALWAYS A SOMETHING INTERESTING THEY HAVE TO SAY AND THAT THEY WILL DO

IF YOU HAVE A GREAT IDEA, THE ONE UP COMPETITION WILL HELP YOU MAKE YOUR IDEA EVEN BETTER THAT IS ALL FROM ME ANY QUESTIONS? >> [ APPLAUSE ] >> I HAVE THE CROWD VETERAN PINS ON THE TABLE IF ANYONE WANTS THEM I'VE GOT A BUNCH OF THEM WHAT'S UP? >> LET'S GO PEER WE CAN DO IT NOW

I'M APPROACHABLE >> [ INAUDIBLE ] >> HAVE YOUR HR SEND IT TO MY HR >> I WANT THAT SHIRT OUR COMPANY TAKES VETERANS SERIOUSLY AS WELL

>> YOU'VE GOT ANDROID? >> MICROSOFT I THINK I GOT IT >> I JUST STAND HERE PLEASE EVALUATE MY SESSION I HOPE I DID NOT CURSE OR OFFEND ANYONE

DON'T JUDGE ME WHAT'S UP ? >> SINCE THERE ARE NO QUESTIONS, DO YOU WANT TO TALK BRIEFLY, OF ALL THE TECH COMPANIES WHY DID YOU CHURCH RECORDS OFTEN HAVE THAT DETERMINATION? >> IT ALIGNED WITH THE VALUES I WAS TAUGHT IN THE MARINE CORPS IT WITH THE HUMANITARIAN ASPECT AND THE PHILANTHROPIST I AM A HUMANITARIAN AND I WANT TO HELP PEOPLE AS A MARINE I GOT TO GO TO A LOT OF DIFFERENT COUNTRIES AND HELP PEOPLE

THEN ON TOP OF THAT I ALSO SAW WHAT WE WERE USING AND HOW WE WERE USING IT AND I MET A LOT OF PS E IN THE FIELD PREMIER FIELD ENGINEERS THEY ALL WORKED FOR MICROSOFT AND THEY SAID WE ARE JUST HERE TO HELP WHEN I STARTED LOOKING AT THE MISSION OF MICROSOFT, IT WASN'T ABOUT THEMSELVES IT WASN'T ABOUT MONEY OR MILLIONS AND BILLIONS

IT WAS ABOUT EMPOWERING PEOPLE I WANTED TO BE A PART OF THAT >> AWESOME CAN YOU TELL THEM ABOUT TOMORROW? >> TOMORROW'S PANEL IS VETERANS AND CHECK A FULL LINEUP

I'VE GOT SHIRTS FOR THAT >> THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE >> THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT >> HAVE YOU BEEN ABLE TO REALIZE YOUR VISION OF CREATING THE PROSTHETICS THAT GROW WITH THE KIDS? >> WHAT I'VE LEARNED IS, I CAN DO STEM TO BRAIN AND I HAVE BEEN PLAYING WITH THAT I HAVE NOT SOLVED THE RIDDLE OF BEING ABLE TO GET IT TO SENSE WHEN THERE IS A GROWTH SPURT

I WISH I WAS THAT SMART BUT I'M NOT THERE YET I CAN DO STEM TWO , TO CHIP AND TO GET THE PIECE TO CONNECT WITH A GROWTH SPURT IS DETECTED, I HAVEN'T YET >> WHAT'S UP? I DON'T HAVE A QUESTION I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU I'M IN THE SAME SPOT

I WORK FOR A SMALL, RE-THAT DOESN'T HAVE A LOT OF VETERANS BUT I CAME FROM THE MARINES TO TECH I GOT OUT A COLLEGE AND DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO I WAS IN IRAQ AS A RADIO OPERATOR >> HEY! >> THERE WAS A LOT OF PRESSURE FROM 18 TO 22 I WAS THE ONLY PERSON WHO ESTABLISHED COMMUNICATIONS FOR THE ENTIRE PLATOON

I DID MM A AND MET A PERSON THAT OWNED A TECH COMPANY AND HE GAVE ME A SHOT AND THAT'S WHY I'M HERE TODAY >> I HAD A MOMENT ONE TIME AT WORK YOU KNOW YOU HAVE YOUR DAYS WHERE YOU ARE ANGRY FOR NO REASON IT DOESN'T MATTER THE SKY COULD BE BLUE BUT YOU ARE ANGRY

I'M AT WORK I'M SITTING AT MY DESK AND I'M LIKE, AND MY MANAGER LOOKED AT ME — WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WHAT IS GOING ON OVER THERE? I'M LIKE YOU, I'M NOT ANGRY ABOUT ANYTHING AND SHE'S LIKE, WHAT DO YOU MEAN? I'M LIKE, NO, THERE'S NOTHING YOU KNOW HOW YOU LIVE EVERY DAY ESPECIALLY IN THE 06 FIELD LIKE SOMETHING'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN THE SKY IS FALLING AND SOMEONE IS ABOUT TO DIE AND CHARLIE IS IN THE BUSHES IT'S ALWAYS SOMETHING

HAVING THAT POINT OF WHAT DO I DO WITH MY TIME NOW THAT I CAN MANAGE IT AND IT'S MINE? I DON'T HAVE ANYONE TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT THAT CAN RELATE SO, I WOULD SEEK OUT VETERANS RYAN WAS THE FIRST ONE I FOUND THEN I FOUND A GUY NAMED ADAM WHO WORKED IN THE COMMUNITY NEXT TO MINE WE WOULD GET TOGETHER AT THE WATER COOLER AND TALK

WE WOULD TALK THROUGH THINGS AND MAKE MILITARY JOKES AND SLIDE THEM IN THERE AND THAT BROKE THE TENSION FOR US YOU HAVE SOMEONE TO DO THAT WITH? >> NOT REALLY WE HAVE ONE VETERAN BUT HE RECENTLY LEFT >> YOU CAN BE MY FRIEND >> ABSOLUTELY

>> [ APPLAUSE ] >> FIND YOUR TRIBE I WILL TELL YOU NOW, ON TWITTER, IT DEPENDS ON WHAT I'M LOOKING AT, YOU COULD GET SOME POSITIVE STUFF IT IS WHAT IT IS WHERE DO YOU WORK? >> FORESIGHT IT SOLUTIONS >> WELCOME TO THE PARTY

WHERE YOU LIVE ? >> SOUTH CAROLINA >> THAT IS TOO CLOSE TO PARIS ISLAND NO THANK YOU >> [ LAUGHTER ] >> I KEEP A 3-STATE RADIUS AWAY FROM BOOT CAMPS >> YES, IT WAS A BUS RIDE

>> I JOINED THE MARINE FORCE OUT OF SUMTER, SOUTH CAROLINA I APOLOGIZE YOUR STATE IS AMAZING, THAT BUILD YOUR TRIBE EVEN IF YOU DON'T HAVE IT WHERE YOU WORK, WE DON'T HAVE TO BE WHERE YOU WORK YOU CAN DO A TWEET OR LINKEDIN OR A TWEET

WE CAN ACTIVATE A MY SPACE IT IS WHAT IT IS >> [ INAUDIBLE ] >> JOINED THE COMMUNITY GET A MENTOR SERIOUSLY, IF YOU NEED US, I WILL INTRODUCE YOU TO THE CREW

WE ARE HERE WE WILL BE HERE FRIDAY IF YOU WANT TO STOP BY FRIDAY, AND THERE'S A LOT IN SOUTH CAROLINA YOU AREN'T ALONE >> CAN I ASK YOU ANOTHER ONE? YOUR PREVIOUS HANDLE — I AM NOT YOUR DIVERSITY HIGHER

I WANT TO ASK YOU A QUESTION I HAVE A MASTERS DEGREE IN MUSIC EDUCATION AND I WAS TRYING TO GET A JOB AS A TEACHER I WAS TOLD YOU SHOULD COME TO MY DISTRICT I WOULD HIRE YOU BECAUSE YOU ARE HORRIBLE YOU ARE BLACK AND YOU ARE A MALE AND YOU DO MUSIC MY RESPONSE WAS, IF THE ONLY REASON YOU ARE HIRING ME IS BECAUSE OF THAT AND NOT MY SKILLS, I DON'T WANT TO DO IT

I FEEL LIKE IF I'M IN THAT SITUATION THEN PEOPLE WILL LOOK AT ME LIKE, OH, YOU GOT BECAUSE YOU KNOW THIS PERSON YOU GOT HIRED BECAUSE YOU ARE BLACK AND YOU TOOK THE JOB AWAY FROM SOMEONE AND I DON'T WANT TO BE IN THAT SITUATION HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH THAT? >> I FIND MYSELF FEELING THAT WAY OFTEN BUT REMEMBER YOU HAVE TO BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE IF I HAVE A BUNCH OF YOUNG BLACK MALES WITHOUT ANOTHER YOUNG BLACK MALE TO LOOK AT I WILL SEEK OUT ANOTHER BLACK MALE BECAUSE YOU CAN BE THE FIGURE THEY NEED TO SEE

THE SAME WAY WHEN I WAS IN SOUTH-CENTRAL AND I SAID WE NEED WHITE TEACHERS HERE THEY STILL NEED TO SEE EMPATHY FROM THE OTHER SIDE IN ADDITION TO WHAT THEY ARE BEING FED YOU ARE DIVERSITY DEPENDING ON WHERE YOU'RE STANDING THAT'S LITERALLY A SOMETIMES YOU CAN BE THE CHANGE THEY NEED TO SEE IN THE WORLD

YOU BRING SOMETHING TO THE TABLE WHERE I'M FROM, THERE MAY NOT BE A LOT OF EDUCATED BLACK MAN THAT CAN TEACH AND IF YOU ARE THAT, THE AT THE GYM >> SO SUCK IT UP? >> YOU RISE TO THE OCCASION SUCKING IT UP IS WHEN YOU SAY, WHY AM I HERE? IT'S LIKE BEING A DRILL INSTRUCTOR

THE MINUTE YOUR KID GRADUATES AND THEY SAY THANK YOU IM THIS BECAUSE OF YOU AND YOU MADE ME WANT TO BE THIS AND YOU HAVE MOLDED ME INTO THIS, THEN YOU ARE PAYING IT FORWARD TO ANOTHER GENERATION THAT IS WHAT WE ARE HERE TO DO >> THANK YOU >> IT'S A BLESSING AND A CURSE >> [ APPLAUSE ] >> FIRST, SEMPER FI SECOND, TAKE YOU FOR TESTIFYING AND SHARING YOUR STORY

IT'S A HUGE THING FOR MILITARY VETERANS FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE TO SHARE THEIR STORY THANK YOU FOR DOING THAT THIRD, I WAS WITH ANOTHER GROUP AS YOU WERE TALKING AND I RECOGNIZED THIS, I SAID WAIT, I HAVE MET HER BEFORE MULTIPLE TIMES UNFORTUNATELY

I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU AGAIN FOR THE HONOR AND DIGNITY YOU GAVE MY BROTHERS WHILE WE WERE OUT THERE AND THE ONES YOU HAD TO TAKE THAT IT MEANT ALL THE WORLD TO US WE KNEW SOMEBODY WOULD TAKE CARE OF THAT >> YOU ARE GOING TO MAKE ME CRY THANK YOU

THANK YOU >> [ APPLAUSE ] >> YOU TOOK CARE OF THEM >> MAN, WHEN YOU TRY NOT TO RUN INTO PEOPLE YOU'VE MET — THAT IS WHEN YOU KNOW THE WORLD IS TOO SMALL I'M DONE YOU GOT SOMETHING? >> THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR STORY I'M ARMY

68 CHEMICAL COMPANY FORT WORTH, TEXAS >> YOU GOT SOME COOL HATS >> I RAN THE GAS CHAMBER PUT ON YOUR MASK THANK YOU

YOUR STORY IS VERY GOOD I APPRECIATE IT >> THANK YOU >> I HOPE TO SEE YOU FRIDAY OR TONIGHT

Source: Youtube

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