Alumni Spotlight: Krista Desmond

Krista Desmond is a U.S. Marine Corps military spouse and a Spring 2023 graduate of the FourBlock-Prepare to Launch U (PTLU) Military Spouse Career Readiness Program.

Krista Desmond

Service (Branch, Length of Service): U.S. Marine Corps Military Spouse
Education: B.A., The Catholic University of America
Major: Elementary Education 
FourBlock Cohort: Spring 2023 Military Spouse Career Readiness Program
Current Company or Organization: Hire Heroes USA
Position: Transition Specialist
Hobbies & Interests: Peloton fitness, hiking, golf, and hanging out on the soccer sidelines. 

Krista shares her experience in FourBlock-PTLU’s Military Spouse Career Readiness Program.

What struggles or barriers did you face during your spouse’s career? 

I began my career as an elementary educator. The first barrier I faced as a working military spouse was the need to change my teaching license with each move. Not only did I need to test and/or transfer all paperwork when we moved, [but] I also needed to pay state licensing fees with each move. Secondly, every time I began in a new state I would start as a “Step 1” on the pay scale, despite my prior teaching experience elsewhere. I took a 50% pay cut when moving from Washington, D.C. to North Carolina during our first PCS. Once we had children, childcare was my other barrier. Being married to an Infantry Officer meant many late nights/weekends of work for my husband, and weeks and months of solo parenting for me. Having a full-time career and small children was not possible.  

What drove you to apply to participate in FourBlock/PTLU’s Military Spouse Career Readiness Program? 

My husband participated in the veteran’s side of the FourBlock program, loved it, and suggested I join the PTLU Military Spouse Career Readiness Program. He knew I was looking to pivot careers but I was unsure of how to translate my 10+ years of community involvement into a career path. 

How did the program impact you? 

The program truly changed my life! Not only did the FourBlock and PTLU crews help me realize my true potential and navigate a way to put everything I’ve done onto paper, but they truly supported me. I gained so much confidence from this program. I don’t just feel like a FourBlock/PTLU grad, I feel like I have developed lifelong relationships with not only Susan, Kelley, and Andrea, but everyone in my cohort as well. 

What were your key takeaways from the program? 

Work is work. I cannot put onto paper the number of times I have said this to myself, and others. As military spouses, we do so much that goes unnoticed and unaccounted for. We have skills that are 100% transferable to the corporate world. There is nothing a military spouse can’t do. Also, LinkedIn was a tool I never utilized before – now I consider myself really good at it! I didn’t understand the importance of networking and the power of LinkedIn. Don’t be afraid to reach out, to network, and to ask some pretty important people to meet with you. Chances are if you ask, people will say yes – people want to help, especially when you’re a military spouse or service member.   

What did you like most about FourBlock/PTLU’s approach and/or the Career Readiness Program?  

No one did the work for us. You get out of this program exactly what you put into it. Career exploration and choosing our lane were great lessons. If I was not forced to do that, I would probably be back in an elementary classroom. 

How did the program help prepare you for your current role?  

The program not only helped me to figure out which skills I have that are most transferable, but also helped me plan for interviews and negotiations. Being able to learn about and then practice for interviews in real time was a great experience.  

What can military spouses expect from the program?  

Expect to learn, expect to work. If you follow the guidance given and follow through with what is being taught you can significantly change your life. 

What do you like most about your current company or position? 

The company culture of Hire Heroes USA is extremely welcoming. Before my first day I had numerous LinkedIn messages welcoming me to the team, and everyone I’ve interacted with has really wanted to help me succeed. The leadership from managers upward has been wonderful. All my life I have wanted to do something to make a difference and better our world, I am working in a position where I can better the lives of veterans and military spouses every day. 

What one piece of key advice would you give to other military spouses who are currently transitioning? 

It isn’t going to be easy. I don’t say this to be negative or scare anyone, but when the going gets tough- keep going. I remember hopping on a grad call one day and telling Kelley and Susan I almost applied for a job at the grocery store because it was all too much. They encouraged me, reminded me the process doesn’t work overnight, and gave me suggestions and guidance to keep going- by the next grad call I had accepted an offer. Don’t give up! 

Learn more and apply to the FourBlock-PTLU Military Spouse Career Readiness Program at:

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