From Sergeant to Tower Tech: A W4W Grad’s Winding Path to Wireless Industry

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By Benjamin Horvath

w4w1When a serviceperson finishes his or her military duty, the rigidity and structure of day-to-day life yields to an oftentimes-unpredictable civilian world. The transition for many veterans is a challenge, as they must try and bridge the divide between two vastly different lifestyles.

Andrew Buergler, a recent graduate of the Warriors4Wireless veteran training program, has a story many veterans can probably relate to. After serving as a sergeant in the Marine Corps for four years, which included deployment to Afghanistan mere days after the September 11 attacks, Buergler left military life and earned a B.A. in philosophy from Texas State University.

After graduation, the corporate world came calling and Buergler relocated to Columbus, OH to work in the human resources department of Kelly Services, an employment and recruiting company.

But even with a degree and secure job, Buergler missed the camaraderie and “shared agony” of military life. He was, in his own words, becoming increasingly “fed up with corporate life.”  

Attempting to recapture the sense of teamwork offered by military life, Buergler left his human resources position and began working as a crewmember on an oil rig located off the Gulf of Mexico. Although he enjoyed the tough hands-on work on the rig, he did not enjoy the unpredictability of an industry prone to frequent layoffs, which he unfortunately found himself a victim of, earlier this year.

After talking with his brother, who works in the television industry, Buergler learned about job opportunities available in the booming wireless industry. This opened the door for him to enter the Warriors4Wireless program.

“[My brother] told me, ‘look man, over the next couple years this industry is going to be crazy busy and there will be plenty of work,’” Buergler said. “It was the stability and security of the future that drew me to the wireless industry.”

Also, the prospect of working as part of a tight-knit team drew Buergler to the wireless industry, something that reminded him of life as a sergeant.

“Working close together with fellow peers…. I enjoyed that,” Buergler said. “I figured it would be analogous to getting on a crew and doing tower work.”

After completing the three-week tower training program, Buergler was offered a position with Eagle Commercial Services, a wireless construction company located just outside of Seattle where he plans to relocate in the coming weeks.

During his W4W training, Buergler said he was most surprised by the level of support provided by the W4W team, which was constantly connecting him with job recruiters and companies looking for new hires. As early as the first week of training, he was already hearing from interested companies.

“I would wake up in the morning and there’d be an e-mail from Tara Dunne [W4W’s recruiter] that I was CC’d on with half-a-dozen recruiters or companies,” Buergler said.

“I was really, really impressed with everything going on outside of the classroom, networking and introductions and people fighting for us to find jobs.”

Click here to learn more about W4W’s veteran training program and how you can support the organization’s mission.

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