Famous for its rich Spanish culture, Tex-Mex cuisine, and year-round warm weather, life in the Austin, Texas, area has its perks. For Maureen Short — a West Point grad who served over eight years in the Army — living there had yet further appeal: its military associations. Maureen had a well-paying job as a defense contractor, and her husband (also in the Army) was stationed at nearby Fort Hood.
So it came as a shock to some that Maureen ultimately decided to move across the country to snowy Michigan with her two children and husband — on the eve of the latter’s nine month deployment to Korea, no less. But there was a strong reason behind the move, and today she calls the relocation to Michigan “one of the best decisions our family has ever made.” What, exactly, made the move so worthwhile? General Motors.
Today, Maureen has what she calls her “dream job” as a Senior Safety Engineer at GM, an opportunity she first learned about in Texas. It was there that she met GM’s military recruiter at a veterans’ career conference, and they quickly signaled to her that there was something special about life at GM.
“Understanding military roles and responsibilities isn’t easy… and when managers see a resume that they are unfamiliar with or have to ‘decode,’ they will move on to the next applicant,” Maureen explained. Yet, that wasn’t the case when talking to GM’s recruiter — quite the opposite.
“He spent several hours with me looking at what I had done and asking about my interests,” Maureen said. “He didn’t want to just bring me to GM; he wanted me to be in a job that fully utilized my skill set and brought value to the company. Their ability to look at my resume, understand what I had done in the military, and discuss some possible opportunities was refreshing and exciting.”
Maureen was interested, to say the least. But, as she put it, “A move from Texas to Michigan with a military husband and two kids was not an easy decision,” especially with her husband about to deploy and the kids in the middle of the school year.
“To confirm whether this would be the right decision for our family, we all flew to Detroit,” she said. “The cold and snowy weather was a shock to my system, and continuing to work in the Texas warmth would have been the easy option.”
After meeting her “amazing” future team and getting a better feel for Michigan life, though, all parties were sold — even more so considering GM was willing to wait until June to officially bring Maureen on, allowing the kids to finish school.
“It wasn’t just a ‘let’s get you hired’ situation,” she recalled. “There was an investment of time and energy spent working with me… GM has people dedicated to making your move successful. From professional movers to realtor assistance to calls from my future bosses, GM did everything possible to make the transition smooth, and it absolutely made me feel welcomed.”
For her part, Maureen was so touched by all of the support she received during her transition that she’s able to make a claim few people today can say about their employers: “I knew that when I moved to General Motors, I would be with them for life.” And she’ll be with them quite happily for life, if the way she speaks about her day-to-day life is any indicator.
“Since joining GM, my projects have been focused on my expertise and passions,” Maureen, who works within the company’s Global Safety Center, said. “When you find a job that takes everything you have learned and lets you apply yourself to helping people, it becomes a dream come true.”
Not only that, but Michigan has turned out to be just as much of a “dream come true” in its own right.
“Detroit is a fun city; my daughter and I like to visit the farmer’s market on the weekend, where you can get beautiful flowers and fresh vegetables, and our family has become huge Tiger fans,” she said. “There is nothing better than leaving work, grabbing the kids, and spending the night watching a baseball game in the summer… This mobile military family has finally found a home.”
If you’re looking for a new opportunity, like Maureen was, we have good news for you. GM is currently hiring — for roles ranging from creative design, marketing, and finance to engineering, software development, and manufacturing — and you can check out their openings today. See what opportunities await you!
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