Systems engineer Otto Chan-Arias went from being a standout in the Air Force to a standout at T-Mobile – a road map to success he’d like to share with veterans everywhere. You can read his full story on our T-Mobile Newsroom, just in time for Veteran's Day.
A Hero's Story
"I want to be a point of contact for any veteran who wants to come to work for T-Mobile," says Otto Chan-Arias. The former airman's open-door policy to military personnel supports that of the company, which is dedicated to hiring 10,000 more veterans and military spouses by 2023. Born in Costa Rica and raised in Washington state, Otto eventually found his way from the Air Force to working as a Senior Unix Systems and Design Engineer at T-Mobile.
Read a small sample of his story below and visit our Newsroom to read the full interview, where he takes us from his experience on the battlefield to resetting his civilian career with the help of company benefits – and share how he plans to pay it forward to help others making similar job and life transitions post-service.
What led you to the Air Force initially?
I just always wanted to serve something larger than myself. I wanted to be like my Dad, who served in the Army. He wanted me to join the Air Force, because he liked its reputation within the military branches. So in 2007, at age 19, I did. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
What was your active duty experience like?
My training was full of childhood dreams come true. In jump school, I got to freefall parachute from airplanes. Air assault school included repelling from helicopters. Sniper training, close-quarter combat training and so much else showed me the full capability of our military. I also got to travel to various countries, including humanitarian missions to help those in need during natural disasters, and see and interact with so many different cultures around the world, which was awesome. Ultimately, while serving in Afghanistan as a close precision engagement team leader, my unit got hit by an IED (improvised explosive device) where I suffered a TBI (traumatic brain injury). I received an honorable discharge, and was awarded a Purple Heart for wounds received in action.
What does Veterans Day mean to you?
Veterans Day is a time to celebrate the people who have sacrificed. My Dad, he got shot three times in Vietnam, so anytime Veterans Day rolls around, I call him and we talk. To me that's special. It's one day of the year set aside for Veterans to be recognized as heroes. It means the world to me. T-Mobile sponsors the Veterans Day Parade in New York every year – I marched in it last year. It's just awesome.
Read Otto's full interview here!
Donate & Educate
We stand ready to support our military and veterans. Two veteran organizations that T-Mobile supports are FourBlock, which focuses on creating courses to help veterans transition from service to the civilian workforce, and relief organization Team Rubicon, which offers veterans a chance to extend their service by directly helping those impacted by natural disasters.. In partnership with T-Mobile and Columbia University, FourBlock announced it will make FourBlock Online, an online career transition course specifically designed for veterans and the entire military community, available for free starting November 14, 2018.
Veteran's Day Events
To join us in celebrating the men and women and their families who have served for our country, you can tune in to The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Nov. 9 for a Veteran’s Day special or the iHeartCountry ‘One Night For Our Military’ concert featuring Brantley Gilbert and Eli Young Band (streaming at 7 pm PT on Nov. 11 at iHeartRadio.com/military), both sponsored by T-Mobile.