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Life at Toast Blog

From the Military to Tech: Celebrating our Veterans

Laurina S.

Senior Technical Recruiter


In honor of Veterans Day, we spoke with Laurina S., a Senior Technical Recruiter at Toast, who previously served for 10 years in the Air Force. Read on to hear about how her experiences have set her up to thrive at Toast, and how she’s found community here with fellow veterans and military families.

 

 


Hi there! I’m Laurina, and I’m a Senior Technical Recruiter at Toast. In my role, I have the opportunity to speak with some of the most innovative minds in the industry about positions at Toast. I love hearing about diverse backgrounds and experiences, especially because my path to my current role is a bit non-traditional.


Prior to working in tech recruiting, I spent 10 years in the United States Air Force. Throughout this time, I held various roles in the military- from Operations Manager to Flight Crew.

 

Having exposure to several subcultures during my years of service in the Air Force benefited my career in tech since the start. I can adapt to change quickly, accept feedback, and drive results with a mission oriented approach. I am so grateful for the lessons I learned during my time.

 

Leaving the military and joining a tech company was certainly a challenge, but I have had so much fun over the past three years in tech. Interestingly enough, my military roots are what led me to Toast! I was working at a different tech company at the time, but I was eager for a new challenge. I was looking to join a smaller team, because I was yearning for a more hands-on, impactful role. After hearing this, a former colleague from the Air Force suggested that I check out Toast, and the rest is history!


One thing I love about Toast is how easy it is to build community. I’ve joined several communities at Toast, such as Military Veterans, ToastHer, and RemoteToasts. These communities regularly host informative discussions, social events, and much more. In honor of Veterans Day, the Military Veterans Community is making a donation to Let’s Chow- a nonprofit designed to provide services for military veterans through cooking therapy, cookware donations, culinary education, and business advice for anyone from home chefs to aspiring food truck or restaurant owners. It is so fulfilling to work at a company that supports so many areas that are important to me. 


 


When I’m looking to connect with fellow Toasters in person, I can go into the new San Francisco office. I love the flexibility I have at Toast. It’s nice to see colleagues in person and get out of the house from time to time! The San Francisco office is in a great location in the Financial District, which is bustling with other tech company employees. The office culture is welcoming and supportive. Everyone is friendly and I feel like I am hanging out with my friends rather than co-workers!


 


Another great thing about working at Toast is that I can share my passions and hobbies with my teammates. We’re all encouraged to bring our full selves to work, and it’s so great to be able to learn more about those around you. Outside of work, I am a competitive Latin dancer- Salsa dancing has been my favorite style of dance thus far! It’s a great workout and stress reliever. I’m a total foodie, too- I love trying new restaurants, which matches well with Toast’s culture! I also enjoy cooking, lifting weights, listening to audiobooks, and volunteering at my local animal shelter. I am an avid dog lover, and animal well being is a cause I am passionate about!

 

If you’re currently in the Military and looking to make the jump to tech, here are my top three tips for a successful transition:

  1. Focus on transferable skills! Leadership, adaptability, quick thinking- these are all things you have been building in your career, and will carry over well.
  2. Look for companies that have a focus on inclusive culture and mentorship. This will help you find a place that truly celebrates your diverse background, while also ensuring you have the tools and resources you need to adapt to a new role.
  3. Find a community. The Military Veterans community at Toast has been such a great space for me, and it’s a wonderful way to stay connected to the military community. 

Bottom line: try to feel confident when you’re making this leap by reminding yourself how hard you’ve worked to get here.

 

In my role, I work with so many candidates who bring a wide range of skills and experiences to the table. Whenever I’m working with candidates with unique backgrounds, I always try to help them translate their skills. Many Military members struggle with updating their resumes to match the roles they’re interested in- and that’s okay! It takes practice, but it is possible. Once you find a role that you’re interested in, study the different job descriptions for that position. You’ll start to understand key words and trends from those descriptions, which you can then weave into your resume. Remember to cater your resume to your audience! Represent yourself toward the career you want, not just the career you currently have or have had in the past. 


If you’re bready for the next step in your career, check out our open roles. Toast’s collaborative, driven culture has helped me feel fulfilled, welcomed, and celebrated, and I hope you’ll have the same experience. 

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