My Journey from Army Soldier to SAP Developer

Nov 12, 2018 8:05 AM ET
Campaign: Accenture

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Aleathia Coles-Dixon’s resume highlights all the high bars she has already achieved: Military intelligence expert. Technology systems developer. Master’s degree candidate.

“Accenture is good for military vets because it enables us to lean into projects,” she says, “to take that leap and be leaders within our field and within our teams.”

Learning from the military 
After graduating from North Carolina’s Fayetteville State University, Aleathia joined the U.S. Army; to her, the 9/11 terror attack was a calling “to be on the frontlines, to protect.”

Trained as a human intelligence collector, she was deployed to Guantanamo Bay, where she swept cells for contraband. Later, she worked for a contractor in Afghanistan as a counterintelligence screener.

Aleathia says she joined the army as a “laid-back, even goofy” young woman. But she quickly learned how to muster determination and focus—without losing the warm personality that she exudes today.

Aleathia says the army taught her adaptability, determination, leadership and how to set high bars for success. But her inner drive is all about building human connections.

“I’m definitely a people person,” she says. “I like bringing people together—that joy people have when they are surrounding each other.”

Transitioning to an IT career
The day after her 24th birthday, Aleathia was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and underwent both radiation and aggressive chemotherapy.

Today she is cancer-free, but her illness led her into the Wounded Warriors Project, which then encouraged Aleathia to join NS2 Serves, an Accenture Skills to Succeed partner established by the president of SAP National Security Services (SAP NS2) to train veterans in high-tech careers.

Aleathia never imagined she would be a technology expert (and confesses a one-time phobia of computers). But her participation in NS2 Serves, which holds one of its annual training sessions inside the Accenture Federal Services’ San Antonio Delivery Center, led to her position at Accenture.

Aleathia loves not only the intellectual challenges of her job at Accenture but also the opportunity to satisfy clients by fixing their tech problems.

“Any issues within the computer system on our client side, we're able to dive down into that system, build it back up, repair it, fix it and make sure our clients are always happy,” she says.

In addition to being co-lead for Accenture’s LGBT employee group in San Antonio, Aleathia is a minister and, through Accenture, very involved in local charities in San Antonio, where she and her wife are based.

“I love being out within the community,” she says. “I bring my daughters every chance I get. When you're blessed with so much, you definitely have to give back.”

Learn how military veterans can find their fit at Accenture. Check out current opportunitiesand join our team.

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