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Marine Veteran Uses Combat Skills to Help Agencies Meet Mission Goals

People enter the business world from many types of backgrounds, but one of the most demanding—and ultimately most valuable—is the US military.

Mark Matzke, Oracle federal civilian account manager, knows this from direct experience after serving as an infantry officer in the US Marine Corps, with deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. A veteran of fighting in Helmand province and other combat zones, Matzke now advises federal agencies how Oracle solutions can help them meet their mission goals. The Marines, it turns out, had a lot to teach him for this civilian role.

“My military experience reset my outlook on life in terms of understanding what’s possible,” Matzke says. “When you’re in situations where there’s a lot at stake, you end up learning who you really are.”

His personal growth began early in basic training. “They said, ‘Get your rucksack; we’re leaving in 10 minutes,’ and I was asking all kinds of questions, like ‘How far are we going, how long will we be gone, and do we need to bring food?’” Matzke recalls. “Three months later, when they said that all I asked was ‘What direction are we going?’ That mindset pays off in spades in civilian life.”

Now a husband and father of twin daughters, Matzke transitioned from military life to Oracle’s public sector operations with the help of Bud Langston, vice president, Oracle Public Sector North America, and a retired rear admiral with the US Navy. At the end of his Marine career Matzke earned an MBA degree from Boston University and worked with Langston as part of an Oracle job training program that offers a 12-month internship for injured veterans. Matzke received a Purple Heart for an injury he suffered while in Iraq.

Like a boot camp, the internship program teaches everything from how to dress for work to in-depth training on specific skill sets. Matzke says he wasn’t immediately sure that joining an IT company should be his first step after the Corps. “But I really liked the Oracle people I met and decided this was exactly what I was looking for,” he says.

How have his military skills translated to civilian life? “The process of planning and execution are the same,” Matzke explains. “When I was deployed in the military, I was responsible for little patches of land—my areas of operations—and my job was to leave them in better condition than when I arrived. I now think of my accounts as my new areas of operations, and I make it my mission to make sure everyone has what they need to succeed.”

Read about what’s available today in Oracle's Injured Veteran Job and Training Program and get details about Oracle solutions for the public sector.

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