The Morning Formation Podcast

Act Now & Execute Your Goals: How Jen-Liz Maldonado Leveled-Up Her Career Without Using VA Education

September 28, 2022 KP Season 2 Episode 38
Act Now & Execute Your Goals: How Jen-Liz Maldonado Leveled-Up Her Career Without Using VA Education
The Morning Formation Podcast
More Info
The Morning Formation Podcast
Act Now & Execute Your Goals: How Jen-Liz Maldonado Leveled-Up Her Career Without Using VA Education
Sep 28, 2022 Season 2 Episode 38
KP

Welcome to the Act Now and Execute Your Goals Edition.

Today, I’m highlighting a member of the Act Now community who used the Act Now Resources to level up their career. 

I am joined with Jen-Liz Maldonado , who’s an Air Force Veteran, an academy graduate to be exact, so we’re going to learn how she used the Act Now’s Resources to her career advantage.

Connect with Jen-Liz on LinkedIn

Connect with Jen-Liz onIG:
https://www.instagram.com/jenlizmaile/


Support the Show.

Check out our website

Please Support & Donate to the Podcast: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/themorningform

USA Made socks with a Purpose. 20% off with code: TMF
https://www.solediersocks.com/tmf

Episode Powered By Act Now Education

Show Notes Transcript

Welcome to the Act Now and Execute Your Goals Edition.

Today, I’m highlighting a member of the Act Now community who used the Act Now Resources to level up their career. 

I am joined with Jen-Liz Maldonado , who’s an Air Force Veteran, an academy graduate to be exact, so we’re going to learn how she used the Act Now’s Resources to her career advantage.

Connect with Jen-Liz on LinkedIn

Connect with Jen-Liz onIG:
https://www.instagram.com/jenlizmaile/


Support the Show.

Check out our website

Please Support & Donate to the Podcast: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/themorningform

USA Made socks with a Purpose. 20% off with code: TMF
https://www.solediersocks.com/tmf

Episode Powered By Act Now Education

KP:

This episode is powered by ACT NOW Education, go to www.ActNowEducation.com for free comprehensive educational resources and opportunities for active duty, veterans, military spouses, and children.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Okay, so one of the biggest thing I've just learned when I was looking at Act Now, they always mentioned networking. And they always said, come to the orientation, come to the orientation. And for me, when I first joined the Facebook group, I was like, Okay, I'll come eventually I'll come eventually. I was like,"No, I need to actually go see what everything's about. Making sure I'm not like missing any specific details." And so I went to the orientation and for real guys, it changed my life.

KP:

Warriors fall in, it's time for formation. Welcome to the Act Now and Execute Your Goals Edition. Today, I'm highlighting a member of the Act Now community who used the Act Now resources to level up their career. So let's meet who we have today. I'm joined with Jen Liz Maldonado who is an Air Force veteran, and Academy graduate to be exact. So we're going to learn how she used Act Now resources to put her career into the next level, and give her the advantage. Jen-Liz, thank you for joining us on the Morning Formation Podcast today.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Thanks for having me. I can't wait to talk about everything.

KP:

It's an absolute honor. And it's an absolute honor to meet someone like yourself that actually goes out and takes advantage of the many opportunities that we have out there. Because just signing yourself up for something, and then also doing it to completion, is something that I rarely see anymore. In today's world. You've got more people that kind of talk to talk, but they don't walk the walk. So you're the exception to that and you're doing an outstanding job. So let's learn a little bit about what you've used so far. And where you're at in your career. So would you mind talking to us about your current position that you have right now?

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Yeah, no problem. So I'm currently working at NBC Universal, I'm part of the tech line team. And more specifically, I work with the device setup team. And basically what I do is I help set up MACs and Dells for new employees or employees who need replacement laptops. It's really fun because I can get interns all the way to senior editors and everyone in between.

KP:

Yeah. And so with that, before this specific position, what position did you did you have or what What job did you have before this?

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

So I was in the military before all this. In the Air Force.

KP:

Okay. Yeah. And so would you mind talking about your career transition that you went through, when you knew that you were getting out? And, you know, I understand you got out quite early than you had intended to get out. So would you mind talking to us about that, and how that affected you overall? I know, your plans were to stay in for a longer period of time, but talk about the curveball that kind of life threw you.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Yeah, no problem at all. So yeah, like KP said, I was, I was gung ho and ready to do 20 years and you know, be a Wing Commander Coronel one day, but you know, life happens. And that's okay. And so I did get medically retired, but it was honorable. And I was able to be fortunate enough to get all the disability benefits and such. So I was able to use those resources and use basically all those transitioning things they provide, like TAPS to help transition without, you know, too much of a fault. But it was definitely a huge curveball. I wasn't expecting it. But I've overcome a lot since then. And, you know, now I'm grateful for the time I had served. And I'm grateful to use that time now.

KP:

Yeah, and the reason I bring that up is because I know that when I was in uniform, a lot of times when I would talk to some of the younger enlisted folks, and some of the younger folks that were getting into the military, the intentions was for them to stay in for their full 20 to 30 years. And unfortunately, life sometimes can throw you that curveball. And that's why it's so important to invest in yourself while you're in in the uniform and you have the capability to do so. Because if you're not deployed, I've always told folks that you're doing Garrison, then the best place to be is hitting up that education center to see what opportunities you can sign up for.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Definitely.

KP:

Yeah, cuz I'm doing quite a few folks that have, you know, planned on doing their full 20 years at the time wasn't doing any continuing education wasn't doing any certifications, and then something happens and they have to get out and now they're back on the street again and wishing that they had sort of utilized their time more appropriately. So I know that you kind of had a headset aren't being in the academy with, you know, your overall maturity. And, and, and having that that step up I guess on folks that just enlist. I just wanted to bring that up because I think that's quite interesting for folks to consider to do that pivot anyways. And when you got out of the military, can you talk to us about how you found Act Now Education?

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Yeah, definitely. So with Act Now Education, it was honestly just looking up different resources on Google. And I ran into Act Now. I heard about...the biggest thing I heard about was their Coursera resource. And I started like, looking into it, and I started putting my name in there. And then I got added to the Facebook group. And that's when an explosion of resources came to me. But yeah, for me, it was just research. And that's honestly something I want to change, I would like more people to know about Act Now, so that they can just jump on it as soon as they can.

KP:

know, joining the Facebook group doesn't cost a dime and joining the Act Now newsletter doesn't cost a dime. So you know, it's tremendous. It's a tremendous change when you join such a, such an organization and find out all the hidden gems that are out there for certifications. And with that being said, Would you mind telling us about the different ways that you've utilized Act Now Education? I know that you just talked about Coursera. But what else have you done since joining the, the website and the organization all together?

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Yeah definitely. So with Coursera, real quick, I was able to do my Google IT Certification. I focus on IT support, and that's gonna help me with my CompTIA Plus certification. And then recently, I just signed up for this Six Sigma, Six Sigma class. And I was able to get my yellow belt, and Agile Scrum Certification, which was huge, because they were offering it for free for veterans. And I would have never heard of that program, if Act Now never posted about it. So that was really cool. And now I'm signed up for future certifications with that same program as well. And then also, another thing I'm utilizing, I saw Jai had posted about this Launch Academy, Launch Code Academy. And I, I was just like, let me just apply. And I found out a couple days ago, I got accepted into that. So I'm really excited for that. It's like a transition thing for veterans who are not very familiar with the coding side of IT to get that experience through virtual classes. So yeah, those are some of the bigger resources I've used. And honestly, I'm just looking every day for new updates, because sometimes it just surprises me how new things can come up.

KP:

Those certifications are very meaningful. I can tell you that I've been to a few job interviews in my past where just having the Bachelor's degree or the Graduate degree wasn't enough. Like they wanted to find out specifically at what level were you at. And so they would either take a look at my transcripts and look at the classes that I took, or they would look at my certifications. And they would question me about the certifications and what I had specifically learned that could be added or utilized for the position that I was applying for. So certifications are extremely valuable. And I know you were up late burning the midnight oil last night, studying. Would you mind talking about that?

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Yeah, definitely. Yeah. So it was actually through intellectual plate. I know you interviewed John earlier or a while ago, I noticed that, but yeah, I was working on my Certified Ethical hacking. I stayed up really late. KP, you caught me. But fortunately, I did pass. So I'm really excited about that. And, yeah, I love it. And I'm an IT person. So all these certifications, this is adding more tools to my tool belt.

KP:

Yeah, those certifications are very, very valuable to add on to what you already have with your college education. So you also mentioned off camera about joining the Act Now Education orientation. Can you talked to the folks out there about how impactful that was and how important that was?

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Okay, so one of the biggest thing I just learned when I was looking into Act Now, they always mentioned networking. And they always said, come to the orientation, come to the orientation. And for me, when I first joined the Facebook group, I was like, Okay, I'll come eventually, I'll come eventually. I was like,"No, I need to actually go see what everything's about, making sure I'm not like missing any specific details." And so I went to the orientation and for real guys, it changed my life. I had the opportunity of someone named Mr. Hill, he was available in that orientation session. He's not, it's not like he was planned to really go to that one. He just comes in every now and then but he was at that one that I was in. And he works with NBC Universal, and he literally told us, "Hey, if you're interested, if you're looking for a job, reach out to me on LinkedIn, like, I'll help you out. And I'll give you like the link, and then you can go from there." And that's exactly what happened. I reached out to him, he sent me the link. I sent my resume, did my interviews, and now I'm working in this company. And it's been amazing. And it's all because of just going to orientation and taking that

KP:

Yeah, there's a lot of growth within that company as time. well. So it's great to hear that you were able to score that opportunity. You know, just showing up to the interview and networking. It's, that's extremely important. I keep hearing that word over and over again, whenever I speak to folks out there. And so, in your opinion, so far, being a part of the Act Now Education community, what's the number one thing or even number two thing that you think people should know about Act Now Education.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

So honestly, for number two, I would say go to orientation. But for number one, I would say, take advantage of these opportunities. There's this quote, I always think about...opportunity is not a lengthy visitor. And that's exactly how I feel with Act Now, because these opportunities are always there, they're always coming up. But you have to be productive, and you have to take that time to look. And gain that confidence to reach out to people and just be like, "hey, I'm interested in what you're saying, let's talk about it more, let's connect on LinkedIn." And honestly, just taking those opportunities by your hand, because the worst that can happen is you don't get it. But if you do, and your life could change, and if you don't, it's practice for something else that can be bigger and better.

KP:

That's, I couldn't I couldn't have said it better myself. Actually, that's perfect, perfectly summed up. You know, Jen-Liz, I want to ask you, in five to 10 years, where do you see yourself?

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Oh, wow, that's a that's a loaded question. Because so I just started with NBC a couple of weeks ago, you know, I'm new to the job and everything. But I've fallen in love with the company so far. And right now I'm in IT, and I love it. And I can see my career going one or two ways in five to 10 years. So I can see me staying with IT, and continuing on this path and going up to that managerial level. And just growing and growing and being able to help and build teams and create better processes, smoother processes for technology. But I also do have interest in the entertainment business. And again, networking. So I've been talking to some people at NBC and they said the same thing. Talk to people, worst thing they can say is no or not answer. And I'm actually gaining some interest in either production or video editing or something more in the entertainment business. But I'm still new to that. So I'm like, I have IT just in case because that's kind of my bread and butter right now.

KP:

Yeah, I can tell you this, since I started doing the podcast, and I started doing the video side of things. Having to learn Final Cut Pro was a challenge for me. And just doing the whole editing thing and the audio side of it all. And this hardware that you see over here, it's just like, it's a lot to it and a lot more to it than I realized. I thought I would just buy a microphone and just start talking into it and recording myself. And there's a lot more to that, especially if you're a perfectionist like I try to be. But no, I find that fascinating, because you did mention before that you had some experience in your in your background with theater.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Yeah.

KP:

So you're, you know, pursuing your goals and your passion, which I think is outstanding. Now, as far as anything else. Is there anything else that you'd like to mention, before we end this podcast as far as anything that I might have missed? That you'd want folks to know about Act Now Education? Or investing in themselves? Or anything in

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

No, I really think we hit on everything. I'd general? just like to really enforce that whole, taking that opportunity. And and don't be scared. Because you never know what could happen. And, you know, life can hit you hard, but there's always a way out. And you just have to invest in yourself, like KP just said, and work hard to get out of there. Because trust me, I've been there. I wanted to do all these other things in the Air Force. And now I'm like, oh, NBC. So just just don't, don't give up on yourself if things start getting hard and continuing for, continue forward and count your blessings.

KP:

Yeah, and I can tell you this much too. I mean, I don't know how you feel about it, you know, but for me, I can tell you that it felt like I graduated college, I got my commissioning, I blinked again and all of a sudden I was out of the Army. I blinked again, I was 30 and then I blinked again and I was 40. And so it was like, one out after another, I mean time just goes so fast. And it's important to try to efficiently and effectively utilize your time. So that you can show, you know, show something for the time that's already gone by, you know that you've actually utilized that time productively. And so I try to entice folks to, you know, at least at least stay on the educational path to where you're accomplishing something all the time. down behind this microphone, and speak to someone just like you, who has managed to pivot their career had a plan, and was doing really well. And then life, of course, happens, and then you pivot. And next thing, you know, you find yourself a civilian, and you have to figure it out, right. So who you are you landed, landed in a very, very great opportunity with NBC Universal. So Jen, Liz, if anyone out there is interested, and contacting you. And to follow up on anything that you mentioned today, what's the best way for them to do that?

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Honestly, LinkedIn. I can share my LinkedIn with you. And LinkedIn will be the best way. I get mostly my notifications on there. So that'd be the best way to get in contact with me.

KP:

Okay, cool. And I'll put all that down in the show notes. If you're listening to this on a podcast right now. Or if you're watching this on YouTube, scroll down to the description. And you'll find Jen, Liz's LinkedIn that you can just click on. Add her to your connections and network with her because she's on the up and up. And the two things I want to mention, before we end the show today is understand that when I talk about Act Now Education, I talk about the educational opportunities out there, people automatically go to the VA education programs, the different chapters and things like that. What we're talking about today has nothing to do with that. These are things these are opportunities that are being offered to you for free from different businesses, different organizations that are available to our military community. So you don't even have to touch your VA to do what Jen-Liz is doing right now, as far as leveling, leveling up her resume in her career. So don't touch your VA education benefits, knock out some of these certifications. Help figure out what you want to do in the future, is what I recommend and also add yourself to Act Now Education's Facebook group where we post daily. And so yeah, so that's, that's kind of the whole purpose of today's episode is, you know, finding very mature professional folks like Jen-Liz, who's out there killing it, taking advantage of it. And I'm excited to be a part of your, your network now, because I'm really, really fascinating to see you grow and see where you go from here.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

And I'm sorry, real quick. Can I just say just in case you guys don't have LinkedIn, Facebook, and so we'll just add it all in there. Just so you guys can reach out to me for whatever, I'm always happy to help anybody out.

KP:

There it is. I'll put all that down there. Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tik Tok. Whatever you give me, I'll put it down there.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

I'll give you everything. Don't worry.

KP:

Everything. Everything sounds good. Well, Jen-Liz, thank you so much for sharing your story today. It's great to meet folks like you who are taking advantage of the career transition opportunities that are available to our community specifically. And, you know, I hope to definitely keep in touch with you and find out what you got going on over the horizon.

Jen-Liz Maldonado:

Yeah, definitely. Thank you for having me, KP it's been really awesome.

KP:

Yeah the honor is all ours and for everyone else out there listening, connect with Jen-Liz. And make sure that you always stay tuned, stay focused, and stay motivated. Warriors fall out.