Sarah Roberts: Vocational Leader



While in the Army, Sarah Roberts helped establish finance offices in Iraq and managed accounts for the Department of Treasury and Federal Reserve Bank. After her discharge, Roberts worked with companies to create employment opportunities for Veterans.

One of the biggest challenges facing Veterans after leaving the service is finding a job–an issue that Sarah Roberts knows well.

After graduating from West Point, Roberts served for five years in the Army. In those five years, Roberts served in Germany where she collaborated with both military and civilian professionals to handle garrison finance. Then, in 2009, she deployed to Iraq for 15 months. There, she helped establish three autonomous Iraqi finance offices while also working with the Iraqi government to improve its banking system.

When Roberts left the Army in 2010, she charged hard into the civilian workforce, much as she had while in uniform. Her unique skillset and accomplishments led her to stints at Amazon, Nordstrom; Team Red, White, & Blue; and Microsoft.

At each stop, Roberts’s work highlighted the important and lasting contributions that Veterans can make in the civilian workforce. She also advocated for her fellow Veterans, leading each of her employers to make better hiring connections with Veterans.

At Amazon, Roberts helped create Veteran-based employment programs and marketing strategies that promoted Amazon as a preferred employer for military transition. During her time with Microsoft, she focused on establishing and improving an internal networking program for Veterans. And at Nordstrom and Team Red, White, & Blue, she championed employment and expanded accessibility opportunities for Veterans.

She is now the head of Military and Veteran Programs for LinkedIn. In this position, she educates and encourages Veterans on using LinkedIn to expand their connections on the site. As a guest on the Veteran-hosted podcast, Vet Pivot, she explained how she hopes that sharing her own experiences with transitioning from the military to the civilian work force will empower other Veterans.

“As a Veteran who’s transitioned and experienced several career changes in my life, I can only hope that sharing a piece of my story helps pave the way for future generations of Veteran,” Roberts said.

She also explained how she used LinkedIn to find work after leaving the military.

“I know firsthand when I made my transition to my first private sector job, it’s a huge hurdle,” she said. “I used LinkedIn as a tool to set up informationals [interviews] and asked people to advise me on how I could find meaningful employment. I used LinkedIn at every single juncture.”

Roberts said she is proud of the work LinkedIn does for groups like Veterans.

“Not only is LinkedIn a powerful tool, but also being part of a socially responsible company and focusing on populations that have limited resources and pieces in terms of building a professional identity and community is super motivating and inspirational,” she said. “I am humbled to be part of a company that is so committed to giving back.”

Thank you for your service!

Check out her interview on the Vet Pivot podcast here: https://vetpivot.com/podcast/


WriterSarah Concepcion 

EditorEssence McPherson

Fact CheckerShweta Rao

GraphicsAlyssa Morford

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

— VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you’d like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

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