Career Story: Veterans Administration Service Representative

Veterans Administration Service Representative

Job Title: Veterans Service Representative

Type of Company: I work for the Veterans Administration, providing veterans with counseling and guidance on their different benefits.

Education: BS, Human Resource Management, Capella University (online)

Previous Experience: I worked for the Post Office for about a year and a half then transferred to another government agency.

Job Tasks: My primary responsibility is to screen all mail that is received in the office and make sure that each piece is filled out accurately and decide what the next step should be. Once I figure out the next step for that piece of mail, I check the appropriate computer screens and route the mail to its intended destination.

I provide guidance to veterans on what benefits are available to them upon returning from active duty. I provide the proper documents to them and answer questions about education or health benefits that are due them and their family members (upon determining that they are in fact eligible). I maintain several web-based databases that monitor inquiries received from veterans with questions about pending claims. So, not only do I process mail that comes in via the Post Office, but I also process "mail" that comes in through our online application system and telephone.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is getting to help veterans with their claims and benefits questions. And since I'm a veteran myself, I can ensure that they are treated as I would want to be treated myself. I enjoy the learning that goes on in my office. There is always something new coming out to help veterans or to make the work process easier. It's a good feeling to know you're helping someone out.

The worst part of the job would have to be the people who come in and yell at you.

Job Tips:
1. Make sure that you have a strong work ethic and are willing to learn anything that comes your way.

2. Take a lot of communication classes for this career because you have to be able to deal with people from all backgrounds and communicate effectively with them.

3. Brush up on veterans benefits. Network with other veterans and do research on the internet about benefits for them and their families.

Additional Thoughts: It's always good to be adaptable and learn a lot about the company before applying anywhere. This way when you interview, you know what you're getting yourself into and will have a greater knowledge of how the company operates. I know that I definitely would've tried to do some sort of internship before so that I would've specifically gotten a job in HR. But, if you believe in yourself and are confident, you can make it anywhere. Don't let other people try to hold you back from things that are attainable. I was promoted within a year of being at my current company, and it shows what hard work and persistence will do.

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