MORGANTOWN -- A U.S. Navy veteran, who faced her own trauma, has set out to help other military members returning to civilian life.
Natalie Oliverio spent four years active duty in the U.S. Navy. She joined in January 2001 and her first day out to sea was Sept. 10, 2001.
"I wake up in the morning, it's Sept. 11 and, of course, the world was forever changed, and the military was forever changed too," she said.
Serving her country for those four years was integral to shaping the rest of her life. The military was not a job, but a lifestyle. Coming back home after service, she felt like she didn't belong and that feeling shook her.
Oliverio described her start in the Navy as the scariest time of her life.
She said the military doesn't really prepare a person for what comes next.
"It is truly foreign when you leave that military lifestyle and transition to the civilian lifestyle," she said.
The abrupt change can be met with fear of the unknown or failure -- and that's why many military members and their families may feel lost in the transition.
In the last 10 years, Oliverio has worked for six employers. She's recruited for every industry imaginable, she said.
It taught her that all transitions are the same. Sure, moving from active-duty to civilian life was the toughest, but moving from different opportunities can be just as scary.
"That inspired me to create an organization where I could help impact military service members going through transition," she said.
Military Talent Partners helps vets, their spouses and Gold Star Family members by showing them how to understand the differences between military and civilian life. It helps them tap into their potential, and reach the goals of which they're capable.
Oliverio said people really just need confidence to replace their fear.
"Most people who leave the military want to continue to serve. They want to feel like they belong, they want to have a purpose," she said, "and being able to bridge that gap and introduce them to that purpose, we're setting up our country to be more successful than ever before," she said.
Oliverio, who spent three years mentoring and coaching, turned her volunteer work into a business model. She noted that every success she's had in life is because she had an incredible mentor. Her company works with three of the leading veteran service organizations that provide mentorship and coaching to clients.
The company can introduce the businesses to the exceptional military talent available, and also offer a full scope of talent solutions available to those looking for recruits. They'll match the best candidate between the two.
Oliverio said the best part of her job is getting that, "I got the job" phone call from a client.
"Knowing that we have an impact on that type of a life-changing result is the best feeling in the world," she said.
As the founder and CEO of Military Talent Partners, Oliverio is a one-woman show, but has contract recruiter partners who are able to support the business once more clients are acquired. She obtained her business license in May and went full time July 1. The company has hit the ground running and is eager to accept new clients.
"We want to do business here in West Virginia because we know a lot of veterans and spouses that want to come home to West Virginia, and we want to give them meaningful careers right here in the Mountain State," she said.
Oliverio is not only upbeat and knowledgeable, she has a true desire to help people find their voices in their careers and passions. Through Military Talent Partners, employers can see that veterans and their families are no different than anyone else.
"Being able to make veterans and military spouses more relatable and to have their skills become more transferable into a civilian world creates nothing but a space for success for all of us," she said. ___
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