Summer Steelman had big dreams for her life: She wanted to become a dancer and was even scheduled for several auditions on Broadway. But after the events of September 11, 2001, her plans changed.
“After 9/11, I decided to join the military. I became a Linguist, or a translator, in the Air Force and served for five years,” she explains. She originally planned on serving in the military for her entire career, but an injury prevented her from doing so.
When she was stationed in Hawaii, she met her now-husband, Matthew, who was also serving in the Air Force. Matt continues to serve today, marking 19 years of active duty.
When Summer decided to go back to school, her grandfather encouraged her to find out what she was most passionate about and pursue it as a career. “My grandfather, a WWII veteran, my hero and mentor, gave me the push I needed to search for my path,” she says.
After several different career assessments, she decided to get her degree in psychology. Not only did she enjoy the counseling aspect of her degree, but the career counseling aspect in particular. This led to a job at her university’s career office, where she became interested in participating in career fairs, giving resume advice, and helping students find jobs.
“All this led to my search for a job where I could focus on recruiting full-time,” she explains. “I’m thankful that I found my path and now get to help other veterans and military spouses find their dream jobs.”
As a Talent Advisor at L&P, Summer is passionate about making career resources more accessible to the military community.
“I’m very excited to be part of a team that is open to hearing my perspective as a veteran and military spouse,” she said. “I get to use my personal experience to help improve our recruitment efforts for the military community as well as improve access to resources for them.”
Summer also encourages veterans and military spouses who are looking for career support to reach out to their fellow military community. “It can feel overwhelming to navigate the Transition Assistance Program alone,” she says.
The Transition Assistance Program, or TAP, is a government program that provides those leaving military service with information, tools, and training to prepare them for civilian life.
“My advice would be to talk to other people that have gone through it and take advantage of the resources available to you. You’re not alone – there are people who want to help you take the next step in your career.”