Veteran Hylite: Joe Kocsis

Welcome back to the Veteran Hylite blog series, where we shine the spotlight on individual veterans and how they are playing an important part of the HylandLife. From data capture to management to tech support, veterans are using their knowledge, skills, and training to help Hyland push the innovation envelope.

This time, we check in with Joe Kocsis, a content services developer as well as the president of Hyland’s Veteran Employee Resource Group. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1996 to 2008 and was stationed all over the world, including:

  • Camp Lejune, North Carolina
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Bridgeport, California
  • Camp Lejune (again!)
  • Aurora, Colorado
  • Iraq
  • Afghanistan
  • The Horn of Africa

Lessons learned

Along the way, he learned some tricks.

“I served as a CounterIntelligence/Human Intelligence Specialist, MOS 0211,” said Kocsis. “In that role, I learned a lot of people skills, how to communicate, and the value of building networks to get things done.”

He also learned that the keys to a successful network are having a friend in every department and knowing how to work successfully with those departments.

“In the military, everyone has a baseline, so you know exactly what that person studied and what their knowledge base is,” said Kocsis. “In civilian life, two people doing the same exact thing can have drastically different experiences, so you need to be conscious of that.”

The ability to work well with others is something he carried over into civilian life as well. I know that can be a difficult transition, so I asked about that.

“It was a big adjustment transitioning to civilian life. It was slow and painful,” said Kocsis. “That’s why being the President of Hyland’s veteran’s group is so important to me. I get to meet vets on their first day. I get to see the look in their eyes when they’re like ‘Wow, you’re really going to help me out. We can make positive contributions at this company!’”

It’s a two-way street. Because as much as we help them, their knowledge and experience helps us. Hiring veterans has not only led to us being named a Military Friendly Employer, it has also opened up a recruiting avenue that gives us access to professionals who are eager to share what they’ve learned.

They’re also people who know how to work well on teams, which is a huge part of being a Hylander.

Lunch with … Elon Musk

Next up was my favorite part of these interviews, where I ask, “If you could have lunch with anyone, living or dead, who would it be and why?”

“That’s a tough one,” said Kocsis. “There are so many people I want to meet. But I’ll go with Elon Musk, because that dude doesn’t know how to fail. He sets goals and achieves them. As CEO, if he doesn’t hit goals, he doesn’t get paid. I would love to sit down with him and pick his brain. I’d also like to write a line of code that will go to Mars.”

If that sort of innovative mentality sounds familiar, it’s because Hyland is shooting to go to Mars as well, though more in theory than practice. While we’re an extremely motivated group of people, that doesn’t mean we don’t like to have fun. … And drink a lot of coffee.

“As far as the perks go, I couldn’t survive without the free coffee. Vanilla,” Kocsis told me. “I also like the on-site amenities: The diner, dry cleaner, and barber – it’s a lot like a military base where you don’t need to leave. Coming to Hyland gives you a similar feeling. There are many similar amenities to a military base – including childcare. It’s really cool to have those kinds of things right where you need them.”

Advice for other vets

With his involvement in our recruiting efforts as well as leading our veteran’s group, Kocsis has valuable insight into how other vets can get into the tech field.

“Don’t be afraid to start your way up from the bottom,” he said. “Don’t ever think because you were a specific rank, that you should settle for a corresponding level in your civilian career. On the other hand, don’t think a position is below you. You’ll get to where you want to fast enough because of your ingrained work ethic.”

That’s great advice for everyone.

Thanks for reading. We’ll be back again with another Veteran Hylite soon!

Courtney Byham is a recruiting program manager at Hyland. She has been a member of Hyland’s Recruiting team for five years. In her current role, she manages recruiting relationships and implements programs to improve Hyland. She holds a business degree from John Carroll University. In her spare time, she enjoys baking, hiking and spending time with family and friends. Her favorite Hyland perk is the walking path.
Courtney Byham
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Courtney Byham

Courtney Byham is a recruiting program manager at Hyland. She has been a member of Hyland’s Recruiting team for five years. In her current role, she manages recruiting relationships and... read more about: Courtney Byham