How Autodesk Veterans Network enables veterans to have thriving careers

3 min read

I joined Autodesk in January 2019 and am currently an Instructional Designer and Content Strategist for Customer Success Learning. I’m also a member of Autodesk Veterans Network (AVN), one of Autodesk’s employee resource groups (ERGs). AVN connects veterans with other veterans at Autodesk to help each other and create a sense of camaraderie. Over the past two years, I’ve acted as the events lead and the communications lead for AVN, and I was recently selected to be AVN’s next global lead beginning in February 2023. I couldn’t be more excited!

Helping veterans reach their full potential in the workplace

When it comes to transitioning to the corporate world, veterans can face many challenges. Either by their nature or their military training, veterans are humble. They are trained to do the job without complaint and without boasting when they’re done. This can prevent a veteran from advocating for themselves to get to the next level. They often let their actions speak for them, but in a world where people are so busy making sure the world knows what they’ve done so they can get ahead, they may fail to notice what their colleagues have done. Because of this, it’s important for veterans to show the value they bring in order to get promotions and raises.

Another challenge veterans face is moving from a hierarchical chain of command to a decentralized management structure. At Autodesk, we are focused on being innovative; coming up with the next big thing to help our customers be successful. Autodesk knows ideas can come from every level. Sometimes, if a veteran pitches a new idea to their boss and that person fails to see the vision, the idea may never even get off the ground.

That’s where AVN comes in. Our mission is to enable Autodesk veterans to have thriving careers while also making Autodesk an employer of choice for veterans. To do this, we’re working on connecting every AVN member with a mentor and an advocate to ensure we all have the opportunity to thrive. Mentors will help AVN members figure out how to navigate their careers at Autodesk, while advocates will help promote the great things they’re doing to ensure every veteran feels like a valuable member of the One Autodesk team. After all, isn’t that what we all want — to feel valued?

Planning for 2023 with our outgoing AVN global lead, Andy Mott, at the ERG Leadership Summit

The value of veterans in the workforce

I’m a firm believer that skills can be easily taught, but values take time to cultivate. Veterans embody the values Autodesk is striving to teach every employee as part of our culture code. Values like: everyone working together as One Autodesk team to reach a shared goal; integrity to always do the right thing rather than the easy thing; courage to stand up for what is right; humility to put our customers’ needs before our own; and accountability to do what you say you’ll do. What organization would not want employees like that?

I’m excited about what’s to come for AVN in 2023 and beyond. I decided to apply for the global lead position because I love seeing people reach their own version of success, whether they’re a parent who is rocking being a great role model, or an employee who is setting new records every day. I’m looking forward to helping every veteran here at Autodesk define what success means to them – and then making sure they achieve it.

Read more: Outgoing AVN global lead Andy Mott shares his journey from the U.S. Navy to Autodesk

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AVN ERG Diversity