UNeTech is excited to welcome Brendan McCullagh, a soon-to-be army veteran and software engineer, to our team through the Hiring Our Heroes program.
McCullagh joined the Army shortly after 9/11, leaving his life as a college student in Colorado to serve as a Paratrooper. He served in multiple leadership and direct action roles in Iraq and Afghanistan during his 20-year career. He will retire from the military in June.
“I can’t dye my hair purple yet,” he joked when talking about his retirement. “I’ll look like a unicorn by the time I get out.”
Stationed in Kansas, McCullagh connected with SkillBridge, a Department of Defense initiative which helps military members nearing retirement find internships and employment in their desired fields. Within the Skillbridge program is a Department of Labor partnership called Hiring our Heroes, which McCullagh is involved in. He has a degree in information technology and software development from American Public University, and desired to find a job within this field.
“I was technically trained in software development, but it’s really having the hands-on experience that is so important, that experiential learning model,” he said. “It has made all of the difference for me.”
When he began applying, McCullagh told Skillbridge that he intended on staying in Kansas or moving to Florida, where most of his family lives. Somehow, an offer from UNeTech slipped through and stood out from the rest.
“I’ve never been to Nebraska, and I don’t know anyone there,” he said. “The difference that led me to UNeTech was the people and the project. All of them spoke glowingly, not only of the institute itself, but of all the other teammates, and the experiences that they have had in Omaha overall.”
After meeting with Stephen Hug, McCullagh was connected with other veterans on our team. He was taken by the project and the opportunity to gain skills while also being part of a team.
“I was looking for a team to be a part of,” he said. “I wasn’t looking for a couple weeks of training and then to move on from there. I wanted a team that was passionate about the program that I was working on. It was the one place that had a team where everyone seemed to be rowing in the same direction.”
McCullagh will be working as a fellow on the DevOps team until his retirement in June. We hope to be able to welcome him to Omaha if he chooses to come experience the magic in person!