Skip to Content
Jesus C., Military Veteran
Jesus C., Military Veteran

Life Changing Is ... Finding a Place

Jesus C., Military Veteran

"A lot of my military skills have helped me to be successful with UPMC."

Jesus always wanted to be a member of the military and enlisted in the Army Reserves at age 17 through the Army's split training option. He went through basic training after his junior year of high school, completed his senior year, and finished his training after graduation.

"When I first joined, I was young," he says. "I had a lot of high ambitions. I kind of believed a lot of what I saw on TV and thought that I was going to go into the special forces and all this stuff."

Toward the end of his first contract, the military work was going well. He couldn't find the right civilian job opportunity and was beginning to grow disenchanted.

"I had a kind of epiphany moment with my life," Jesus says. "I ended up getting really into shape, started focusing a lot on who I was as a person, started taking my life seriously a lot more and realizing that if I just waited for things to come to me, then nothing's going to happen."

Jesus learned of a work opportunity with UPMC Health Plan's Retail Innovations Team. The team was getting off the ground in Erie, and one of Jesus' fellow Reservists was helping to put the team together.

"I got in there, and I honestly never looked back," he says.

Jesus' military work is in supply and logistics — a high-stress job because of the importance of supplies in the military.

That job helped prepare him for his work at UPMC, where time management, adaptability, flexibility, and communication are important. He developed all of those skills in the Reserves.

"A lot of my military skills have helped me to be successful with UPMC," Jesus says.

As a member of the Reserves, Jesus still has to train and drill on a regular basis. And he also can be called upon for deployment. In November 2021, he deployed to Kuwait for 10 months.

"UPMC is understanding of those specific challenges," Jesus says, and he never worried about having a job to come back to. UPMC's Military and Veterans Affairs Department supports and provides resources for veteran and active-duty employees.

“I've never had anyone question anything that I've done with the service," Jesus says.

Jesus is now a platoon sergeant in the Reserves, where he oversees about 20 soldiers.

He says he's recommended UPMC to fellow members of the Reserves because of the wide variety of jobs available. He also tells his soldiers that when they're looking for civilian work, they should make sure their employer understands their Reserve responsibilities.

“The leadership just defines it entirely," he says. "If they're not on board and supportive of you taking that time, whether it's a pop-up mission or something actually planned, it can make your life very difficult.

"So, it's something that I tell my soldiers today. During an interview process, when you get an opportunity to ask questions, that should be one question that you're asking: What does that employer do to help reservists or veterans?"

At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means supporting those who serve.

See All That UPMC Does in the Community

Community Commitment

Community Commitment

Working in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and a wide range of community organizations, we are committed to improving the health of the communities we serve.

Charitable Giving

Charitable Giving

Life Changing Medicine at UPMC is made possible every day through the generosity of numerous individuals, corporations and foundations.

Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

With volunteers ranging from teens to seniors and options involving office work or patient care, there's a place for all qualifying volunteers at nearly two dozen UPMC hospitals.