November 12, 2019
Military veteran pursues career in tech through apprenticeship
Meet Denis Zamorski. A current Java Software Developer apprentice with the Chamber’s Apprenti™ Cincinnati program. During his 5th contract year with the Navy, he started taking computer science classes in college, and instantly found his true passion and decided to pursue a career in technology.
Apprenti Cincinnati is an innovative, non-traditional solution to drive more tech talent in and to the Cincinnati Region through registered apprenticeships. The program is designed to recruit and train professionals based on their aptitude, not their background.
In honor of Veterans Day and National Apprenticeship Week, we sat down with Denis to learn more about his experience in the military and what drew him to the Apprenti Cincinnati program.
What drew you to Apprenti over other programs?
I first heard about Apprenti through Amazon Web Services when I was going through their interview process in 2018. I was immediately impressed with the solutions Apprenti was offering to bridge the tech gap that exists in today's workforce. An apprenticeship program really appealed to me because it presented an opportunity to learn real-life programming skills at an enterprise level, which is something I was pursuing after my military career. When I discovered that Apprenti was getting ready to launch a cohort in Cincinnati, I was extremely excited about the opportunity, since it meant I didn't have to relocate.
How did your military experience impact your decision to move into tech?
I was a Navy Corpsman (combat medic) throughout my 5 year Active Duty contract. Although I enjoyed every moment of being in the medical field and learning from great leaders and mentors, I found myself researching technology topics during my free time. During my 5th contract year, I started taking computer science classes in college, and instantly found my true passion. I find great reward in solving complex problems with the help of technology, and my thirst for knowledge is a perfect match for the field where I learn something new every day.
Did you draw on anything in particular during training or OJT?
Accelerated training is very common in the military, specifically during A and C schools, and having that prior experience really helped me with time and stress management during coding bootcamp.
When you look back on your experience, what are you most proud of?
When I was stationed at the Federal Health Care Facility in Great Lakes, I got the opportunity to be the only active duty member on the Anesthesia rotation for 9 months. It was an unforgettable experience as I got to participate in hundreds of surgeries and learn from some of the brightest medical professionals in the industry.
Do you have any advice for other soon to be veterans, or servicemembers transitioning out of the military?
The transition to civilian life can sometimes be difficult, especially so for servicemembers who decide to do a career pivot from their military experience. Relying on intangible skills such as leadership, integrity, discipline, and professionalism that the military does such a great job of instilling in all its members is key when looking for civilian roles. With the recent growth of apprenticeship programs such as Apprenti, transitioning servicemembers have a great opportunity to pick up highly coveted tangible skills and help kickstart a great civilian career.
What is your favorite thing to do in Cincinnati?
I've only lived in Cincinnati for the past 2 years, so I'm still in the exploration phase, but I can say that the city has a very unique feel to it. My top "Nati" things so far have been BLINK, Labor Day fireworks view from Mt. Adams, archery, dodgeball, and Cincinnati Reds games.
The second Apprenti Cincinnati co-hort of 2019 (pictured above) graduated from technical training in November. There are three additional groups currently in training for Java software developer, IT business analyst and IT support roles.
Apprenti Cincinnati is supported by a tech talent collaborative of the Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber, CIO Roundtable and local technical training providers. The program is powered by the generosity JP Morgan Chase.
The inaugural hiring partners are Ascendum, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Great American Insurance Group, Kingsgate Logistics, Kroger Technology, Northern Kentucky University IT, Paycor, Procter & Gamble, The E.W. Scripps Company, Total Quality Logistics and UC Health.
Interested in a career in tech? Visit apprenticareers.org.
Interested in hiring tech talent and participating in Apprenti’s 2020 cohorts? Contact Christina Misali, Talent Connections Leader at email@example.com or 513.579.3108.