Episode 272 Peter Cline Boots to Books Transcript

This transcript is from episode 272 with guest Peter Cline.

Scott DeLuzio: [00:00:00] Thanks for tuning in to the Drive On Podcast where we are focused on giving hope and strength to the entire military community. Whether you’re a veteran, active duty, guard, reserve, or a family member, this podcast will share inspirational stories and resources that are useful to you. I’m your host, Scott DeLuzio, and now let’s get on with the show.

Hey everybody. Welcome back to the Drive On Podcast. Today. My guest is Peter Cline. Peter is an Army infantry veteran and founder of Boots to Books, a nonprofit that provides free assistance in attaining competitive education and employment to veterans and their families. Welcome to the show, Peter. I’m glad to have.

Peter Cline: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me on. It’s been a, been a long time coming. I’m excited to be here.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, absolutely. I know we, we were working on getting you on the show, uh, a little while ago and, uh, you know, schedules were just not lining up or whatever. And so, uh, now we’re here, and now I, I’m [00:01:00] kind of interested to learn more about your background and everything that you have going on.

But for the listeners who maybe aren’t, uh, quite as familiar with you, could you tell us a little bit about, more about your background?

Peter Cline: Yeah, definitely. So I joined the Army right outta high school, joined as an infantryman. Uh, despite my recruiter’s, uh, you know, best wishes, I did okay on the ASVAB and he tried to convince me to do any other job, but hard-headed.

18 year old Peter wanted to be an infantryman, and so that’s what I did. Um, was in the infantry, had really great leaders, got promoted rather quickly, started doing school. All of these things that I thought were gonna set me up to just have, um, an absolutely fantastic and easy transition. I’d have you. My job and, you know, college degree just waiting for me when I got out and when it came time for me to make the transition, that wasn’t the case.

Um, went through some struggles, got help from a friend, and ended up founding boots to books, which now seeks to help people have, and I’m sure we’ll, we’ll get much more into this. Um, but seeks to ease the transition, right? So if somebody’s trying to go get their education or go get great [00:02:00] employment, and that’s what we seek to help.

And outside of Boots to. I’m a student and I work at a strategy consulting firm, uh, that, that does a lot of really interesting engagements. Um, and so it’s been a really, really fun transition and I’ve ended up in a, a pretty fun spot. So I’m pretty happy about it.

Scott DeLuzio: Well, that’s good because like you said, there’s some struggles coming out of the military.

It’s not an uncommon thing. People have that all the time. Uh, they get out thinking that they know what they’re gonna do. What direction they think things are gonna go. And then, uh, life hits them and everything takes a 180 and they go a different direction. And, uh, they’re not exactly sure where they wanna be.

They don’t know what they wanna be when they grow up, I guess . And, um, so tell us a little bit about, uh, some of the struggles that you had after the military. And, and I’m imagining what led up to, uh, what, uh, boots to books is right now.

Peter Cline: Yeah, definitely. So it, it kind of goes into my own, um, transition a bit too is, is I had a rush transition.

Um, I was doing [00:03:00] all these competitions as I was getting out, um, the, the ultimate one being that the Fort Benning NCO of the year, so this, you know, big, uh, manager level competition, that was a week long. And, um, I did that and, and doing all these competitions and, and getting some awards and doing school made me think, uh, that my transition was gonna be super.

And so I, I went into it kind of cocky without doing, uh, the requisite kind of preparation that I should have been doing. And so that led to me now as I’m getting out, I had a couple months before I got out and I had been, you know, kind of applying to jobs, doing my college applications, uh, and they were just really staying stagnant, right?

Like I wasn’t hearing back from employers. I was reading my college application, application essay and being like, oh God, like this is, you know, it’s not moving, it’s not really telling a good story. Um, and so I reached out and, and really the, the. Catalyst for this was I realized, you know, I need to change something, right?

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. And, and that’s what I felt like I was doing. Uh, and so not hearing back from [00:04:00] employers college application stagnant, uh, I reach out to this guy Aubrey, who is not a veteran. Uh, he is not my co-founder though, and he was one of the smartest people I knew.

Also, one of my best friends. Um, he was working at a semiconductor company doing coding things I could never understand. He now works at a, uh, recently acquired startup in San Francisco. Um, but I reached out to him and he would meet with me every single week basically, and read through my resume, read through my college applications.

Um, and a lot of the time just be like a sense check, right? So he’d be, you know, Hey, I have no idea what N C O I C is. You know, noro does a recruiter who’s not familiar with the military. How can we reword this or, okay. You know, talk me through what you did in the service. Okay. You know, hold, hold on that bit there about, you know, training and developing a soldier who did X, Y, Z.

If you tell that in a translated manner that could really speak to the kind of leadership and development part that you wanna include here on your resume, um, college application essay, you know, tell me that story. Okay. You know, when you tell me that story, you know that you’re talking to me, you tell it in a [00:05:00] very compelling way.

You’re writing it though, like you’re talking to a friend in the military, you know, we gotta converge those two. Um, so it’s helped it a lot for me. And so we realized pretty quickly that. Getting a competitive education, getting competitive employment after the service was entirely possible. Um, but there are a lot of steps that needed to happen, and there’s, there was help that was needed for a lot of us.

Um, and I had taken, you know, I’d done school, I’d done a lot of things. So I was, you know, imagine how folks who hadn’t started their degree or, you know, hadn’t done really any soul searching, were feeling. Um, it’s, we started boots to books really based on that super personalized and accessible help he gave me, especially towards, you know, competitive education, competitive employment.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. And that’s something I think a lot of people are missing when they get out, is that translation between what you would tell another soldier, like, this is what I did, and that makes complete sense to another soldier. Uh, and maybe even, maybe even, it doesn’t make all that much sense to other people outside of like, [00:06:00] you’re an infantryman.

You know? We both were infantry. So if you and I were sitting around talking. What you did and what I did would make complete sense if we’re talking about it, but it may not make a, a ton of sense to someone who might be in, I don’t know, finance or some, some other, uh, job in the military, right? Um, but then now take that added level of complexity and now let’s explain all of that to a civilian who’s never been in the military, has no idea what it is that we’re talking about, not to say.

Not intelligent, like they couldn’t possibly grasp this concept. It’s just they’re not exposed to it. And you know, they, they, that’s not their world. So now we’re trying to, uh, explain this in a way that they’re gonna understand it. But that’s kind of hard when you’re so close to it. And so it’s helpful to have somebody who’s maybe a step removed from it and who can now work with it and, and massage it to get to a, a different point.

So it sounds like that’s kind of. You’re doing is like scratching [00:07:00] your own itch, trying to figure out how to get this, uh, to be something that would get you into college, get, get that next step going for you. Um, and then now with boots to books, uh, seems like that’s kind of what you guys are doing for other veterans.

Is that kinda along the, the right lines there?

Peter Cline: Definitely. Yeah. And, you know, we’ve put, um, put, put a structure to it and have, you know, kind of offerings now that are outside of that help Agre gave me. We’ve expanded on that initial idea a lot. Um, that’s really what it is. You know, I think, uh, you can draw parallels to when you were a private right or you just joined the military.

Like you have really no idea what 90% of the acronyms are, what, you know, anybody’s really talking about. You’re just trying not to get in trouble. Um, Like realistically, you know, you’re trying to survive for a little bit. Um, but I mean, that’s how it is when you’re, when you’re going to the civilian world.

Cause the vast majority of people, um, that we encounter either, um, never had, they might have had, you know, jobs, but they never had a real career prior to joining the military. Or they joined the [00:08:00] military and they were in for, you know, let’s say 10 plus years. Um, or, you know, they, they just have been disconnected from the civilian job market for so long in some way that they just don’t know how it works.

Um, which is completely reasonable. You know, when you join the military, you have no idea how things work. You don’t know how to go to a school. You don’t know how to game rank, you. Literally are just trying to figure things out. Um, and that’s why you have, you know, a team leader or someone else there who, who’s gonna shepherd you through that process.

Um, I think that a lot can be drawn to the civilian job market and we always see people kind of getting out and being super worried or super down on themselves of like, am I missing something? Like, why is this difficult for me? And it’s like, no, you’re just entering a completely different world. Um, but I mean a world that you are uniquely prepared to.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and it’s interesting too because when you have somebody who’s been in the military for 10 plus years and they get out and, you know, may, maybe they joined like right after high school and they, they’re, you know, 18 years old. They joined at [00:09:00] 10, 15, 20 years they’ve been in the military and they get out and now they’re, they’re going out looking for a job.

The only thing that they have, and I say the only thing loosely, I’m not downplaying the military here or diminishing the, its importance, but the only thing that they’ve had is their military experience. And they look around at some of their peers who maybe they went to high school with, who are now, uh, moved their way up the corporate ladder.

They’re, they’re working in in different jobs. There’s gotta be some of that, maybe imposter syndrome or self-doubt that creeps in. It’s like, like who, who am I to be able to do any of these jobs? Like I, I wouldn’t be able to do that. I, I gotta work my way up. And it might be feeling like you’re at the bottom of the ladder now working your way up, but in reality you’ve got a lot to offer.

And it’s just a matter of translating it to something that a civilian employer is going to underst. Definitely. Yeah,

Peter Cline: no, I completely agree. And I think, you know, [00:10:00] there’s, um, it, I mean it’s interesting I guess on the imposter syndrome front, right? I, I think all of us get it to an extent just cuz you’re, you know, it’s such a big change, right?

Like it’s a 180. You go from being, uh, whatever you did in the service, um, to a completely different role. And you’re often given a good amount of responsibility because you’ve proven you can handle it in the past. Um, . And I mean, I think that it, it’s funny, I mean, I’ve talked to people who’ve been out for super long times who are now, you know, partners at like big four, uh, consulting firms and they still feel that and they’ve gone on to get MBAs and do all these great things.

Um, but it’s kind of universal. And I think that’s like, the funny part about it is like, you know, you know, people have imposter syndrome because they chose to go do something. Kind of makes them more uniquely prepared than anyone else in the world. And so that’s why, that’s why they’re questioning themselves is because they’ve had that experience, uh, which I think is funny.

Uh, but yeah, I mean I think the translation’s a big part and I think, you know, um, there’s [00:11:00] kind of two ends of that, right? There’s the translation that’s super important, but then there’s also, you know, you can’t make the mistake of thinking like, okay, because I’ve been in the military, cuz I’ve done this, now I can get any job without any more work.

It definitely prepares you and, you know, sets you apart as a candidate. Um, but at the same time, you know, there’s, there’s always, you know, if you’re trying, especially trying to make like career switch, there’s always upskilling to be done. Um, but that military service will always be kind of the sweetener in your job application.

Um, but yeah, I mean it’s, I guess there’s kind of polar ends of it. You know, there’s the. You know, I, I’m not qualified at all. I need to like, do everything I can to prepare and then there’s like, no, I’m good. I don’t really need to do anything. You gotta kind of find it right. You know, find your way. Right.

There’s a sweet spot. Yeah, exactly.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah. Yeah, yeah. Um, And, and so let’s get, let’s get back to, you know, boots to books and, and what it is that you do. You know, so obviously you’ve, you’ve refined that process from what that initial, um, you know, translation [00:12:00] period there. Uh, what are some of the other things that you, you do for veterans and, uh, and their families too, right?

I, I believe it’s, it’s not just limited to the veterans, right?

Peter Cline: Yep. No, it’s uh, veterans Traditioning, military members of the Garden Reserve dependents. Um, we try to be as, as inclusive as possible, um, cause we know that the kind of struggle doesn’t stop at the person wearing the uniform. Um, so for our services, there’s really three buckets I would put it in.

Uh, there’s the technical upskilling. There is the soft skills slash live event. And there’s hiring opportunities. So for the upskilling side, um, that really breaks down into two pieces. There’s the higher education and then there’s professional certifications. So higher education wise, um, I’ll start when somebody’s just looking at applying to school.

We can help people either get connected or speak with our team, uh, when they’re deciding what school they should do, what major they wanna pursue, how they’re gonna pay for it, if they’re, you know, having some issues with benefits or whatever it may be. Um, so they’ve decided their school and their major fantastic.

Now they’re [00:13:00] doing their applications. We can help with their application. We can help them pay the fee if the school won’t waive it. And then once they’re actually enrolled in school, they’ve been admitted. Fantastic. Every semester you’ll get $500 from the va, right? For your book stipend if you’re using the GI Bill full-time.

Depending on where you go to school, that $500 can be used by one class. One class with three expensive books done, and then you have four more classes. Uh, and so people are starting every semester like, like a serious financial deficit, um, which is horrible. And so something we’ve done every sem Yeah, every semester since we were founded is we open an application for us to pay for your textbooks that exceeds your benefit limit.

Uh, we actually have yet to have somebody apply who qualifies and not get at least one book paid for by us. So we’ve been, had a really good track record on that front. Um, so help people pay for textbooks that exceed their benefits and. They’re approaching graduation, they’re looking at doing graduate school.

So they have to take the gmat, G R E or lsat, depending if they’re gonna business school, [00:14:00] some other master’s program or law school. Uh, we’ll pay the cost of their test prep so they can prepare for that test, knock it outta the park, get into a great graduate school. So that’s kinda how we help with higher education.

So helping them decide where to go. Pay for that application fee and do it. Pay for books, pay for the G R E, GMA and lsat. And then throughout school if they wanna connect with people, build their network a little bit, do some backwards planning on roles. Uh, look for internships, we can help there. Uh, professional certification side of that, four times a year we open a scholarship to pay for people’s professional certifications.

So that’s everything from Lean Six Sigma to Comp tf. You wanna work in cybersecurity to excel in financial modeling. If you’re looking at doing consulting or banking. Um, to a variety of other ones. We’ve even had it now, um, to where when we open these scholarships, you can submit your own certification to us for up to a thousand dollars.

Uh, and basically say, Hey, uh, there’s a prompt that they’ll be given of, Hey, you know, why this certification? How does this align with your career goals? Um, we’ve had people submit certifications that weren’t even on our [00:15:00] radar, that really aligned with our career goals and made sense that we paid for. So that’s four times a year.

And the goal there really is to give people something on their resume that a recruiter who is completely unfamiliar with the military can understand, right? So we’re not the certifying authority. We fund it and we use the industry recognized, uh, people. So if we’re doing, you know, project management certifications, we’ll use the Project management Institute.

Compt obviously is recognized. Um, so the accredited providers so that when these people apply to roles through military service as a sweeten, But they have something the recruiter immediately recognizes and knows the value of, oh, I know what that degree means. Oh, I know what that certification means. Um, so that’s the, the technical upskilling part.

Then there’s the soft skills slash live events portion. Um, this is every month we have events to help people realize what it is they want to do, um, how to do their resume, how to interview, uh, and to build their networks. And so the way these events are structured, Is we try to have, we, so we have four hiring fairs a year, and I’ll get into the employment opportunities next, but the goal [00:16:00] is to have one chance to get technical upskilling, so a scholarship, and then these live events so they can build their job seeker skills all before a hiring fair.

So they have a chance to get some hard backing on their resume and then learn, what do I want to do? What are different careers like, how do I do a resume and how do I interview before they go into a hiring fair? And the cycle starts all over. Um, For the actual events, past events have looked like a recruiter round table with Oracle and Rivian, where we brought ’em on, the recruiter shared, hey, like these are pitfalls I see from candidates and when we’re trying to hire them, uh, these are things of a, a piece of advice I would give you.

And you’re gonna talk to a recruiter, uh, this is how to, you know, build out your kind of job seeker profile, how to interview. Uh, we’ve done resume review events. We’ve done career days where we have 10 different speakers come on in. Law, finance, hr, cybersecurity, project management, all different roles.

They show this is what I actually do every day. These are the skills that you actually need to succeed in this industry. And this is who’s getting hired. Um, so the goal is we start with an event like that. So hiring [00:17:00] fairs every, uh, three months. So let’s say month one, we have a career day so people can figure out what their target is and start backwards.

We have a chance for them to get a certification in between there. Then we’ll go into more specific events. So resume reviews, interview, preparation, recruiter round tables before we go into that hiring fair. Uh, and those hiring fairs are the last bit. Uh, so every three months we have hiring fairs.

They’re completely virtual so you can access ’em from home. Uh, and it’s kind of suits the crazy transition lifestyle, right? Cause it can be overwhelming and very all consum. Um, but these hiring fairs are, are pretty awesome. And, uh, we’ve got a lot of really good companies that are, uh, coming back every single time.

Uh, and so what they are is they’re only for the military community, right? Only that group we described completely free. Like everything else we do, you can log on and visit virtual booths, have live conversations with these recruiters, apply to roles, view keynotes, uh, the companies that come. We’ve had Amazon, we’ve had Accenture, Oracle, Raytheon, Adobe’s come, TD Bank, bank of [00:18:00] Montreal.

Publius Media, general Dynamics, information technology and, and a bunch more. Uh, and really what’s cool about it is there’s a range right from Fortune 500, so from Accentures all the way to startups that are really exciting and looking for good roles. We’ve got federal agencies that come. We’ve got police departments that have come.

Uh, and so the goal is at these hiring events, we’ve given people all the things they need to prepare to come into this event and get hired. It’s only for the military community. The vast majority of these recruiters are either members of the military community or large support. So they understand the value that you’re bringing and they’re willing to listen and learn.

If they don’t, um, if they don’t know, you know exactly what it is that you’ve done. Um, and they’re just great. I mean, people are getting the in one charge to these companies is they’re providing feedback, right? So if you’re not getting hired, they’re gonna tell you this is why. Uh, and so that’s the basic structure is preparation for three months, hiring fair start the cycle.

Um, and everything’s free. It’s worked really well. I mean, we’ve had these companies come back to these hiring fairs again and again and again. Namely Accenture’s in Oracle have been, [00:19:00] I think, at every single one we’ve ever had. Um, and those are, I mean, some of the most competitive places to get hired in the United States.

Um, they realize there’s so much value in military veterans and the military community as a whole. And so it’s, it’s been awesome. And once again, everything we do is, is completely free. We’re a nonprofit. We. I think that is something that has been very cool as people have, you know, reached out and like, oh, you know, how much does it cost?

Or like, you know, what’s, what’s the catch? Basically like, you’re not gonna pay for my books and certification and then try to get me hired. You know, what, what’s the catch? Because I think we’re a naturally distrusting group of people and, and there’s no catch. It’s pretty cool. I mean, we’ve got some really great donors who’ve enabled us now to be able to be like, there’s nothing.

We literally just wanna see you get outta the military and. .

Scott DeLuzio: And that’s the best thing about it too, is that there is no catch, uh, that you can get this kind of assistance. And for the people who are out there who might be feeling stuck, like, I don’t know what the next step is. I’ve, I’ve applied to a bunch of different jobs.

[00:20:00] It’s not going very well for me. Maybe my resume sucks, maybe my interview skills suck. Maybe all of these things combined suck. I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know where to turn, like who’s gonna just help me for nothing? I don’t have any money to pay for this. Now here we are, we got, you know, boots to books and, and you can reach out, get the assistance that you need, and it doesn’t cost you anything.

And that’s, that’s a beautiful thing. And I think that’s a, just a great thing that a lot of nonprofits bring to the table when it comes to the military community, is that they have this ability to provide these services.

Oftentimes no cost. If there is a cost, sometimes it’s very little. Um, but in your case, there’s no cost. And so like you’re, you’re helping people out. You’re, you’re filling a need. You’re, you’re having this, this, uh, sense of purpose and, and meaning in what you do, but also these other people are getting the, [00:21:00] the assistance that they need so that they can go on and lead, uh, meaningful lives as far as their, their careers, their education, all that kind of stuff goes.

And it’s, it’s a great thing. I, I think it’s awesome, uh, that, that these, these types of things exist. Um, you know, it just, You know, a great way to, to go through that whole process and, and when you have a one stop shop that, that takes you through all of it, through the, the training side of thing, the education, uh, to the networking and, and all that.

And then, then ultimately to the hiring phase of, of everything. Uh, it’s really just a, a great process that you, you have.

Peter Cline: Definitely, I appreciate it. You know, it’s been, uh, the result of, of various, you know, iterations, right? Like we, we started just kind of doing, uh, live events and then we were trying to cover certifications and so it’s really grown and, and.

What I think is really cool about it is we’re a small organization. Um, we’re not bureaucratic at all. We take feedback very well. I mean, I’m on LinkedIn almost every single day talking to people and getting feedback [00:22:00] and trying to improve what we’re doing. Um, and what what’s great about that is we can adapt very quickly to demand.

Uh, kind of an example of that is we had, uh, initially when we first started, we had a huge demand for cybersecurity, which is still there. I mean, so many people wanna get out and do cyber and, and make sense. It’s a huge industry. It’s growing and it pays very well. Um, but we had a huge number of people who wanted cyber support, who wanted to break into cybersecurity.

And that’s not our industry. I mean, not mine at least. Um, but cuz we’re a small group, we could adapt really quickly and find speakers who are going to help find organizations that wanted cyber talent. Um, and I think that’s something that’s been great. I mean, we’re very personable and reachable. , um, kinda that accessibility thing, right?

When we talked about Aubrey’s help that he gave me, right. Uh, is I think we’ve kept that as a core can of, you know, we don’t wanna become an organization that has like, This is what we do. We’re not gonna listen to you. You can either use this, you know, check the block service or you can, uh, we try to make it as, as personalized as possible and, and kind of community-based.

Right? It’s like what [00:23:00] you were saying, you know, people feel stuck. They feel like there’s no support. Um, and often if they reach out to an organization and like get an automated email back and then like they can never talk to anybody. It’s like, all right. Like, great. Um, and that’s, I think something we’re, we’re trying to

Scott DeLuzio: avoid.

Yeah, because no one wants to just feel like they’re another number or another name that is being turned through a system to spit out the other side in some cookie cutter fashion. You, you want that personalized approach that says, look, this is what I want to do. I, I maybe don’t wanna work for one of those companies in, uh, You know, in finance or in, you know, whatever.

Like I have this very specific thing, this is what I want to do and this is where I see myself going. I just don’t know how to get there. Uh, and, and when you have somebody who actually takes the time to listen to what it is that you see for your future and knows how to get you to that place, or in your case, like maybe you’re not the cybersecurity, You know, somebody who might be, [00:24:00] you can put them in touch with those people and that, that helps ’em get along the, the right path as opposed to just saying, well, no, you’re gonna go into finance, so I don’t care that you want cybersecurity.

You’re going into this cuz this is, you know what, what we know. Like that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense and that wouldn’t be a very successful venture. But, but what you guys are doing, uh, seems like it’s, it’s really more personalized and it’s, it’s pushing people in the direction that they want to go, uh, and, and helps them to be successful when they get there.


Peter Cline: Yeah. That’s the goal. You know what, uh, try to cater to everybody’s, uh, there, there’s a very diverse set of interests, right? Coming from our community. Um, and our goal is to cater to that, right? From the companies that come to our affairs and the roles they have to the certifications we offer.

Um, The goal isn’t to push everybody towards being, you know, project managers. Right, right. We wanna let them just, you know, decide what it is they wanna do and then empower them on that

Scott DeLuzio: journey. Exactly. Yeah. Um, now I know you mentioned earlier you’re a nonprofit and so I know [00:25:00] nonprofits I always are in need of either assistants, like things like, uh, volunteers or, uh, donations even, uh, for the listeners who are out there, Want to help out.

Maybe they’ve already, uh, you know, gone through this whole process and they, they’ve stumbled their way through it and they want to be able to help other people if, if they wanna volunteer or if, uh, they want to donate to help cover the costs of some of the books and other things like that, that you guys might, uh, have a financial need for.

Uh, where can they go to reach out to you

Peter Cline: guys? Yeah, definitely. Um, so on the donation side, if it’s they wanna do a monetary donation, they can just go to our website boots, the number two books.com and there’s a, a portal right there on the front. Um, if they wanna volunteer, if they wanna talk about, uh, you know, structuring their, giving in a, in a kind of special way, if they wanna do an in-kind donation, whatever it may be.

Um, or they just, you know, have some feedback they want to give, um, they can email info boots, the number two books.com. We are. Incessantly checking, so they will hear back from us very quickly. [00:26:00]

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, that’s, that’s good. And especially an organization that takes feedback and uses the feedback as opposed to just like, okay, yeah, we have this, we have the suggestion box out there, but we never look at it, you know, it’s collecting dust because we’ve never opened it to actually see what the suggestions are.

It’s just, it’s a feel good thing. Right. There’s, there’s those companies out there. Um, Yeah, taking those suggestions and, and using that to help, uh, grow and become better, uh, at what you guys are doing because it’s, I mean, with anything in life, you, you always have to look to, you know, what’s next and, and how do you get better once when you reach a certain goal, you wanna, you wanna hit that next goal and you wanna just keep getting better and better and better.

And, um, you know, especially with a young organization. You, you want to get better and you want to help and serve as many people as possible. So that’s, that’s great that you guys take that kind of feedback and use it to, uh, improve yourselves. Um, now on the other, on the, the flip side of things here. So if there’s a veteran out [00:27:00] there or one of their family members are dependent, uh, who.

Is looking to get some of the assistance that we talked about earlier. Um, you know, whether it’s, uh, some of the, the tech technical skills, the, the education or networking or, or even going, you know, attending some of these hiring, uh, job fairs. Uh, you know, if they want to get involved with that, where can they go to find out more about some of these events?

Peter Cline: Yeah, definitely. So, um, two spots. Then also something that I have failed to mention thus far. Um, so they can go to our website boots, the number two books.com and there’s a signup here thing and they can tell us what they’re interested in and then every time we have an offering that suits their needs or reach out and let ’em know.

So if they say certifications, every time we have a scholarship open, we’ll email them and say, Hey, time to apply. Um, or, you know, I wanna get hired. Okay, cool. We’ve got this hiring fair. Or Hey, we just released an open roles newsletter. Um, so our website, also our LinkedIn, if you, uh, follow boots to books on LinkedIn, that’s the place to get the most, um, to get the information the fastest.

[00:28:00] Cuz we’re always on there releasing what’s coming out now. Um, and that’s one of the places we interact with people the most as well. Um, so I’d say definitely if you’re a transitioning service member, dependent, whatever it may be, and you’re not on LinkedIn, make a LinkedIn. Um, because it’s an invaluable tool and you’ll build your network quickly and then follow boots to books.

And I can tell you about a hundred other people you should too. But, um, there’s that. And then also, um, on our website, uh, there’s a link right at the top that says, take the Transition masterclass. Um, do that because a hundred of the questions that you have when you’re getting outta the service or answered it, uh, we built this masterclass that is a hundred some videos.

Every topic from employment to entrepreneurship to, uh, financial literacy, to using your benefits to mental health. Um, all of these are broken down into bite-sized videos. So like a resume, there’s like 10 videos on the resumes, like how to write a bullet formats federal resumes, hundreds on videos, breaking [00:29:00] down the toughest topics in transition into bite size pieces.

And they’re each taught by relevant experts. So, There’s like Adobe’s head of military, uh, head of military recruiting is teaching a video on like interviewing. Uh, there’s career coaches who have insane track records teaching about the resume. There’s VA benefits counselors talking about benefits.

There’s financial planners on there talking about financial literacy. Um, there’s case studies from a bunch of different founders and entrepreneurship, um, everything from cybersecurity to non-profits, um, to consumer, uh, consumer goods companies. It is this, Insane collection of knowledge. Um, so I would recommend anybody who’s transitioning to do that, it’s once again, totally free.

And there’s a community built around it, almost like a Facebook for transitioning military, uh, which is pretty cool. So they can go in, interact, ask their questions, um, and take that course. But that is a big suggestion I have too, would be to just do that cuz a lot of the things people are wondering about will be answered there.

Scott DeLuzio: And that’s a, a [00:30:00] awesome tool to have available to you because, Like sometimes, like you may not be able to make it to like a, a physical event or, or someplace to, to physically be, or even even a virtual event, uh, where it just may not, may conflict with your schedule and, and things like that. You may just not be able to make it to something like that.

But then you have, uh, these videos that are. Online. They, you can watch ’em at your leisure. You can watch it at two o’clock in the morning if you want, you know, when whatever fits your schedule. Um, you, you could just watch those videos and, uh, when my first reaction when you said there’s like a hundred videos, I, I was thinking to myself, oh my God, that’s like information overload.

That seems like it would be too much. But you, the way you, you, you clarified it was that it’s, you know, bite size pieces specific to certain things. Interviewing or, you know, different areas there. It’s not like you need to go into every single one of these videos because, [00:31:00] uh, you know, someone who’s not interested in starting their own company can skip the whole entrepreneur section.

Like that’s not probably all that relevant to them. Right. But they can, they can get into the, the pieces that are relevant and those are the, you know, the bite sized pieces that, that they may need and, and. The information that they’re, they’re gonna need to be successful in that. So it’s a good way to have that all set up.

Peter Cline: Definitely. Yeah. You know, I think the, the nice thing about the video course format too is it’s always accessible, right? So yeah, I think information overload and that kind of fire hose of information is, is an issue in the transition. Um, and a lot of us run into it. There’s so much to learn, um, and to do, uh, but having it so you can be like, okay, like, you know, I’m writing a resume now.

totally don’t remember anything I learned from that masterclass. Like, what? You know, what the heck? They can literally go back in and just click, okay, write a resume, bullet. I’ll re-watch the video. It’s short to the point, and it’s always there when you need it.

Scott DeLuzio: Yeah, and I think that’s one of the big [00:32:00] things that people deal with when they’re leaving and transitioning out of the military is they, they go through those classes.

That are supposed to help you in, in that transition. But again, it’s like drinking from a fire hose and you get so much information thrown at you in a very short period of time. And at the time some of the stuff may just not seem all that relevant to you. And so it’s like, okay, well I’m gonna dis, dis dismiss that, but then six months or a year later you’re like, oh wait, I remember they talked about that.

I just don’t remember what they said. But there’s nothing to go back to. Right. Um, and so having videos like this that you can go back to, Is excellent because then you can, uh, you can go back and refresh your memory, uh, or, or just use that as a, a reference guide to help you in whatever stage of your, your transition that you’re in.

Right? Definitely. Yeah. Um, anything else that, uh, boots to books, uh, has going on that you wanted to share with the listeners?

Peter Cline: Yeah. [00:33:00] So I. Take the masterclass. Um, that’s one thing, and then June 2nd we’ll have another hiring fair. Um, so you know, if you’re following us on LinkedIn, if you’ve signed up on our website, um, you’ll get the information on that.

Free hiring fair. I expect many of the same companies will be there. So everything from the Accentures and Oracles down to the fun new startups. Um, so company size, industry and role for. That’ll be exciting. We’ve got another scholarship coming up June 14th, so we’ve got some events in May as well. Um, one specifically to help military spouses, um, I think that’ll be May 19th, uh, but then another scholarship June 14th.

And so if you’re looking to pay, uh, or to get a professional certification, uh, do yourself a favor and do not pay for it. Let somebody else pay for it. Uh, specifically us . Um, So that’ll be June 14th. There’s a lot of really exciting things coming up. Uh, we’ll be traveling around and speaking at a few different places.

I’m gonna be at, uh, golden Gate University this coming Monday. I’m sure we’ll be [00:34:00] jumping around to get ’em out more in the next few months. Um, so a lot of exciting stuff. Um, and more and more partnerships, more companies coming to hire. Um, it’s. There’s very much a movement, um, to support the military community happening.

Um, and I think it’s growing day by day and companies are realizing like, wow, these are good employees, you know, day out. Like, we need to keep fire in here. Um, and so outside of our events, I think there’s gonna be a lot of exciting stuff that gets announced, um, and more movements coming.

Scott DeLuzio: Do you have, uh, on your website, is there like an events page for upcoming things that you have or is there like a newsletter, something that people can sign up for that they can find out more about things coming up in the

Peter Cline: future?

Definitely. Yeah. On our website there’s a newsletter sign up. Um, and then also if they just sign up on that, uh, sign up form, we’ll be notified of, of every future thing that’s pertinent to what they’re looking for

Scott DeLuzio: from. Excellent. And I will have links to all of this in the show notes. Uh, so I’ll have links to your, your website, your social media, the, uh, [00:35:00] LinkedIn page for the company and everything like that.

I’ll have that all in the show notes for the listeners who are gonna get in touch, uh, either to take advantage of the resources that you’re offering or to help out and volunteer, donate, uh, time, resources, money, whatever it is that they have to offer. Um, For the listeners, check that out in the show notes.

Uh, Peter, it’s been, uh, an absolute pleasure speaking with you today. I, I really do appreciate you taking the time to join me and share all that you’re doing with, uh, boots to books and, uh, everything that you’re, you’re doing, uh, to help out the veterans and the veteran, uh, community.

Peter Cline: Definitely. Yeah.

Thanks so much for having me on. Um, and for those listening, if you’re, you’re stuck in a bad spot, you think. It’s stagnant or transition’s impossible. Keep your head up. There’s an ungodly amount of opportunity out there. Um, it just takes a little bit of trials and tribulations to get to that, that sweet spot.

Scott DeLuzio: Absolutely. Uh, and uh, yeah, you guys are doing great work to help people get to where they need to be. So thanks again for joining [00:36:00] me and thanks for everything that

you guys are doing.

Peter Cline: Definitely. Yeah. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with anything, Scott.

Scott DeLuzio: Thanks for listening to the Drive On Podcast. If you want to support the show, please check out Scott’s book, Surviving Son on Amazon. All of the sales from that book go directly back into this podcast and work to help veterans in need. You can also follow the Drive On Podcast on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and wherever you listen to podcasts.

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