V.E.T.S. Program Launches Third Class, First in Los Angeles

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York, N.Y. (April 5, 2014) – Sharp Decisions has launched its third training class of their highly successful V.E.T.S.™ (Vocations, Education and Training for Service members) Program, and first in Los Angeles, that began Saturday, April 5, 2014.

After celebrating the one-year anniversary of the launch of the program on March 4, 2014, Sharp Decisions is continuing to SharpVETSbyLogopush forward and make a difference by taking the program to new heights as a national initiative.

The launch of this class in Los Angeles continues on the goal Sharp set for itself a year ago to increase the number of program participants to at least 200 participants by the end of the 2014 calendar year.

“We are excited for the launch of our new class and even more excited to take the program across the country to Los Angeles,” Sharp Decisions CEO, and program founder, Karen Ross said. “We are looking forward to our program’s continued success and support as this class begins its training.

V.E.T.S. is a private initiative that leverages the skill sets of veterans, training them in specific Quality Assurance Software Testing, Project Management and Business Analysis capabilities, while providing them with specific industry knowledge and an awareness of emerging developments, legislative, compliance and regulatory reporting.

Each trainee receives extensive training in a classroom setting from a quality assurance-testing expert in quality assurance concepts and methodologies, as well as industry-specific domains like Finance and Healthcare.

These veterans spend the first few weeks of training in a classroom, while the remainder of the time is focused on hands-on training, with the goal of helping these trainees adjust to corporate testing environments.

The reason these veterans have such a high success rate is because they work in a team-oriented environment, as they are accustomed to from their time in the military.

Once these veterans have completed the five-to-six week training program they are ready to start their new careers. The goal, then, is to deploy these quality assurance teams to client sites.

For more information on the V.E.T.S. Program, visit www.sharpdecisions.com/vetsprogram/.

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About Sharp Decisions

Sharp Decisions, Inc. is an award-winning firm that provides strategic technology consulting services to commercial and government clients throughout the United States and around the world. Founded in 1990, Sharp Decisions has built an impressive client list through their dedication to maintaining strong relationships with existing customers, while strategically forming new alliances. For more information about Sharp Decisions, call (212) 481-5533 or www.sharpdecisions.com.

About the V.E.T.S.™ Program

Sharp Decisions’ V.E.T.S. Program is a private initiative, entirely funded by Sharp, to place post-9/11, tech-savvy U.S. armed forces veterans in technology jobs across the country. V.E.T.S. leverages the skill sets of veterans, training them in specific QA Software Testing, while providing them with specific industry knowledge and an awareness of emerging developments, legislative, compliance and regulatory reporting. This program returns veterans to the workforce and provides companies with engaged and qualified teams, while bringing jobs back to America at competitive offshore pricing. For more information about Sharp Decisions’ V.E.T.S. Program, call (212) 481-5533, email us at pr4vets@sharpdecisions.com, or visit us at www.sharpdecisions.com/vetsprogram/.

Contact: Jared Baiman, jared@sharpdecisions.com, 212-403-7571

V.E.T.S Program will continue to Thrive in the New Year.

SharpVETSbyLogoWhen Karen Ross created the V.E.T.S Program, she recognized that there was a dire need for Veteran jobs and while other organizations were sitting idle she chose to do something about it. At the same time, Ross realized that overcoming the stigma of the “ability and stability” of Veteran hires would not be easy. When many companies were nervous to invest in Veterans, Ross discerned that if given suitable training and the proper avenue for success, these Veterans would thrive.

And she was right.

Veterans jumped at the chance. Expressing their gratitude to be able to work for their success, instead of having it handed to them. They wanted an opportunity, not a hand out. Because of their desire to grow the success rate of the program has been high, and many Veterans have completed projects at top tier companies such as Emblem Health.

A manager at Emblem Health was thrilled at the service she received from Sharp Decisions V.E.T.S Graduates, stating in a review,

“Maritza and Victor both made it a priority to ensure that there was complete understanding regarding their assignments and asked questions to ensure there was no miscommunication between us. They are both hard working and very diligent in ensuring that they’re assigned tasks are completed both accurately and in a timely manner.”

She was not only pleased at the quality of service she received, but also the personal demeanor of the Vets.

“My team has actually told me how much they will miss them. They participated in our Secret Santa gift exchange and have gotten along well with everyone around them, even during our floor move. Maritza and Victor, were both extremely professional and integrated into my existing team with ease, it was as if they had been working with Emblem Health for years.”

The success of this program is in large part due to the Veterans who continue to work hard every day to prove that they can do it, that they are just as capable if not more capable then the non-veteran worker. Another huge key to the success of the program is Ross’s and SDI’s, constant commitment to see this program not only grow but thrive.

The SDI team now works effectively as unit a total unit, invested not only in the program but in individual Veterans like Maritza and Victor. They, just like at Emblem Health have cohesively melted into the Sharp Decisions team, and their success is just as vital as our own.

In the New Year SDI will continue to work tirelessly with new Veteran Classes, alumni, and companies to make sure that Veterans do have that chance. That when they come home or complete their service, they recognize that there are companies out there like Sharp Decisions who want to help provide them with a spring board to their futures. As Emblem Health and SDI can attest, the venture can pay off for everyone.

Do You Know When your Interview is Really Over? You Might be Surprised.

Thank you ! aRTICLESo you have just finished the interview you have been prepping all week for. And you are most likely overcome with the mix of emotions that can flood you after the excitement of the interview wears off.

“Did I do well, why did I say that, did they like me?”

It is easy for us to get lost in the post-interview whirlwind of thoughts, but one thing that is important not to forget: once you step out of the interview room you are not entirely done with the interview.

You should make sure that you always remember to send your interviewee a thank you note. Doing so shows that you are responsible and considerate of others time. Not receiving a thank you note from a potential employee, can be a red flag to employers.  This is also a chance for you to stay fresh in the mind of those who interviewed you.

Writing a thank you note can be easier and much quicker than you think.

According to TheWorkBuzz.com, “In your note, thank the interviewer for their time, mention a specific part of the job or interview you connected with, reiterate your interest in the position and close with, ‘I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks,’ and sign your name, including your contact information again.” Outline some of the positive moments you had during the interview.

Sample of a thank you note: 

Dear Mr. Richard,

            I want to thank you for taking the time to meet with me this afternoon. I really enjoyed speaking with you on 123 inc.’s strategic plans for the future. Again I am very thankful to be in consideration for this position, and excited at the possibility of working with such a great company in the future. I look forward to hearing from you.

     Thank you, 
         AA. Smith

Keep the note short and simple, and send the note in a timely manner. The better late than never mentality does not work here. Sending the thank you note a week later defeats the purpose. You want to get a chance to send the “Thank You” before they have a chance to make their decision.

It is simple: When in doubt say Thank You. It is never a bad idea in any situation to thank someone for their time.

2014: The Year of Kicking Your Goals in The Butt

It is almost the New Year which means a fresh start for most people. It is the time when individuals begin to reflect on their past and refocus on the present. Some of us are happy with our lives at the current moment; others are hoping the New Year may bring with it a new job, stronger relationships, a promotion, etc. Whatever you wish for in the New Year,

Impossible .

below are a few tips for setting and achieving those goals.

First, express your goals. It is hard to see a goal come to fruition if you have not yet determined what it is that you want. Give yourself some time to reflect on what you would like to see happen in the New Year. Ask yourself what is it that would make me happier; is it less time at work, a new job, a desire to be more social, or to be smarter about saving money. Setting goals can give you both short term motivation and a long term vision with incentive. Write your goals down and place them in a spot where you can be reminded of them.

The good news is that most goals can be accomplished if we create a plan and stick to it. The hardest part can be actually following through with the plans we set.

Think about it, how many of us vow to lose ten pounds after the holidays only to find ourselves three months later stuck with a gym membership and a holiday gut that refuses to go away. Life, children and family can get in the way until we find that we are no longer going to the gym three times a week like we did in January, now it is more like three times a month (if we are lucky). So how do you prevent that from happening?

According to MindTools.com, “a useful way of making goals more powerful is to use the SMART mnemonic”

S – Specific (or Significant).

M – Measurable (or Meaningful).

– Attainable (or Action-Oriented).

R – Relevant (or Rewarding).

T – Time-bound (or Trackable).

For example, instead of having “get a new job” as a goal, it’s more commanding to say “Secure a new job by December 31, 2015.” When you set a deadline for yourself it can drive you to work harder. “Putting in dates and times allow you to measure achievement. If you do this, it will be easier to know exactly when you accomplished the goal, and you can take satisfaction in having completed it“.

Make smaller goals for yourself. If you want to lose ten pounds in the New Year, perhaps you can plan to lose 5 pounds by June. Once you have completed that goal, you can create another one. If the first goal you set for yourself was too easy, then make the next one harder. “I am going to lose another 5 pounds by October”. “Or I am going to start sending out resumes in January and I want to be interviewing and working with a recruiter come March”. Smaller goals are easier to accomplish and help move us towards the “bigger picture”.

Breaking your goals down is not the only step in accomplishing them. You cannot complete anything if you do not give yourself the time to work on it. Factor in time, specifically geared towards accomplishing your task. Allow yourself a couple hours each week to focus on your overall goal. If you want a new job spend those hours refreshing your resume, sending out applications, or talking to recruiters.

Set realistic goals. Think; is it realistic that you will find and be hired at a new job by next month, probably not. If you give yourself 6 months to acquire a new job that can be a little less intimidating. So be realistic about what you can achieve in a given amount of time. Not allowing yourself enough time may cause you to become discouraged or overwhelmed.

Remember some goals take longer to accomplish, and not all plans will work out as “planned”. But that is why having a “smart” strategy, and allowing yourself room for mistakes will help deliver you to the results you want.

With time your goals will change. It is okay to adjust your target if you want to.Maybe you have tried finding a job and nothing seems to work out so you get tired of it. Perhaps starting a new job, or moving, or whatever else your goal is motivating at first but then become daunting as time goes on. Bumps along the road are inevitable, but if you want to see your goals accomplished your best bet is to stick with it. That is why it is essential to know what you want to accomplish out of your goals and why. If finding a new job is what you want because you are not happy with your current position; try to not let the challenges entice you to walk away. Remember the outcome will most likely be worth the struggle.

And when you do complete your goal, like finally landing that job of your dreams or losing those 10 pounds reward yourself.

You worked hard, and you deserve it.

 

Sharp Decisions Annual Holiday Party 2013

 

“This is my wish for you: peace of mind, prosperity through the year, happiness that multiplies, health for you and yours, fun around every corner, energy to chase your dreams, joy to fill your holidays!” - D.M. Dellinger

V.E.T.S Program Veteran David Anderson – Adjusting to Life After Service

An Army captain, skilled with foreign languages and trained to fly planes carrying personnel and cargo, wouldn’t be believed by most people to be lost in their career path.

But when David Anderson came back from his 2009 deployment to Baghdad, he caught himself going for month-long stretches without a job. One of the biggest problems he faced was translating his wide skill set into something of value for prospective employers.

“I moved to NYC, and I could not find a job for eight months,” he said. “As far as growth in my career, it wasn’t great.”

Before he joined the National Guard, David was a stockbroker who held a degree from Michigan State. As an enlisted soldier he served as a logistical specialist, but eventually the skies called him and he went for flight school in Alabama.

Soon after it was an officer’s commission, but it did not change the constant sting of unemployment for David. His last spate without work led him to join V.E.T.S. after meeting a group of trainees at a conference in Pennsylvania.

“It’s nice to work with veterans,” David said, adding that he enjoys the camaraderie and knows the other team members will be supportive if one person is struggling or having trouble.

David must still fulfill his duties in the Guard as a pilot and commanding officer, and one of his concerns when joining the program was being able to balance his military duties and civilian employment. While some employers are not receptive to those aspects of his life, David said he has found in V.E.T.S. and Sharp Decisions willing partners that understand and appreciate the sacrifices he makes to serve his country.

Since starting with the program, David has already worked on projects as a software analyst. He said that while the work has a sharp learning curve, he is confident in his training and is glad the program exists as a relief to veterans looking for work.

CEO Karen Ross on The Blaze: Giving Veterans a Opportunity not a Handout

Entering its 9th month in December, the V.E.T.S program has seen its share of ups and downs. Just like most programs in its early stages the program is learning, adapting to the changes and continuing to grow.

Sharp Decisions CEO Karen Ross, recently sat down with Andrew Wilkow on The Blaze to discuss the V.E.T.S program.

Check out the interview below: