Uplight prioritizes value-alignment and respects all diversity of thought and backgrounds, including professional and service backgrounds. By respecting the dynamic and valuable skill set outside of the energy and software sectors, Uplight has a special internship program working with the Department of Defense to provide experience to servicemen and women completing their final six months of service.
Here I speak to two alumni of this program are the Military Connection Employee Resource Group representatives, Betty Leicht and Eric Davids.
What are your roles and what do you do at Uplight?
Betty Leicht, (Lieutenant, United States Navy) Chief of Staff: I support the Executive team, focused on making time, information, and decision processes more effective. In essence, I keep the ship driving smoothly in the direction we are headed, meeting all of our planned milestones on our track.
Eric Davids, (Captain, United States Marines) Chief of Staff: I work on the Strategy & Innovation Team, Step Change Labs focusing on strategic partnerships, new technology solutions, and mergers and acquisitions.
Tell me about the Military Connection, its members, and the goals of the group.
The Military Connection provides a forum and fosters a community for Uplight Military Veterans and supporters to share stories, celebrate and commemorate significant Military holidays, and welcome Veterans to Uplight.
Eric: Betty and I both joined directly from service. One of our goals is to bring more exposure within Uplight to the Military. There are many people who are Vets or who have relatives who are Vets and this group is to serve as a forum for these people to come together. We are trying to create a sub-community with opportunities for Vets to share stories and have camaraderie. On Veteran’s Day this year, for instance, we hosted a forum for the company where anyone from this group was invited to speak on a panel about their Military service. Many people in Boulder and other Uplight office locations are unfamiliar with the Military and are unaware of why people join and why they leave. We wanted to provide a way for people to learn about what it is like to serve in the armed forces. Also, on Memorial Day, we planned a group hike for whoever wanted to join.
We also want to be a resource for veterans interested in joining Uplight. People from across Uplight have been willing to hop on the phone with a veteran to describe their function and what working at Uplight is like.
What makes working at Uplight great for Military Veterans?
Eric: Uplight recognized that although we’ve been doing work completely unrelated to software or the energy sector, we are hard workers, thrive in teams, and are fast learners. It’s been a fantastic place to learn, apply value, hustle, and make a difference through mission-aligned work.
Betty: It didn’t matter that I didn’t come from the software industry. Everyone is very open-minded; there is no clickiness. Everyone has made me feel welcome and excited to be here. Reactions from colleagues have been ‘cool, you’re bringing diversity and a different background’ and really value that. The mission focus is something Vets can appreciate as well and the mission is woven into everything we do. Our values really resonate-this is a mountain to climb, and it’s going to be challenging for the next few years. It’s wonderful to know that you share that mission and passion with your colleagues.
What do you think Uplight should aspire to be or do to better support Military Veterans?
Betty: Learning the jargon of the energy industry and the acronyms was difficult, but that wasn’t specific to Vets, just anyone new to the industry. In my Military service, I would see the impact of my work in the Navy very quickly versus here, I don’t always see the impact. There is a learning curve, but my manager and colleagues were all very understanding and the culture respects that transition. Everyone made me feel comfortable in the learning process.
Eric: Uplight provides the flexibility, space, and time to see where Vets’ skills may apply on different teams within Uplight. We’re an unknown entity coming in and Uplight takes the risk and respects our experience.
What would you say to other Military Veterans who are looking at working at Uplight?
Betty: Be ready to hustle. There is a great mission that is bigger than yourself, like the Military. You have great people to work with and bring the grit you develop from the Military.
Eric: Uplight is a mission-driven company in an exciting phase of growth and overall a great place to grow and learn as we seek to help create a more sustainable energy ecosystem.
Interested in working for a mission-driven, values-oriented leader charting the way to a more sustainable future? Join us! Visit https://uplight.com/careers/.