DETROIT — The job of a Navy recruiter has its challenges. It’s hard for some people to stand in front of a classroom and try to properly communicate the benefits of the Navy to high school students who might already think they have everything planned for their future.
Electronics Technician (Nuclear) 1st Class Moses Ortiz struggled with this when he began recruiting at Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) Heartland in April 2021. He was speaking with students who appeared to have no idea the cost of school and the debt they were about to incur. He knew of the significant benefits the GI Bill and the Navy could offer them, but he struggled to fully paint that picture for the students.
“It seemed like they weren’t really signing themselves up to find out what failure might look like,” Ortiz said.
He said students often overlook the college debt they will be paying off over the next 10 to 15 years and the reality of what comes with that debt. He wanted to find a way to better explain how committing to joining the Navy could dramatically change their quality of life over the next few decades.
“One of the key moments, and one of the key things from when I started to really get into presenting, before I had any material in the first place, was when I had a nuclear prospect that I was trying to get into office,” Ortiz said. “He was on the fence for about two months.
When Ortiz finally sat down with the student and his mother, he learned of the student’s excellent GPA and the scholarships he was already offered, but when he asked him to break down his expenses from the life, future salaries, and other statistics, he and his mother began to see the opportunities the Navy could provide.
After that visit, Ortiz started to really dig into the numbers. It took a few more visits, but the student eventually agreed with Ortiz that the Navy could offer him so much more than the traditional college route.
“But I felt like I could have had this conversation quicker if I had the material on hand,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz spent months researching and working with a designer to create an infographic with verifiable statistics specific to Indiana, the state in which he works.
“From there, when I started giving presentations, I had an immediate and direct change in how teachers perceived us,” he said. “Before, we weren’t reaching the crowds I wanted to reach, which was students who were locked into the idea that college was the only option. They already knew what they wanted to be at 17.
He said that this new presentation he developed opened up a wider discussion among the students, and in those discussions he realized that not a single one had a decent plan or knew the consequences their actions could ultimately result.
He continued to work on his script to refine the key message, which was the importance of having a realistic and achievable plan for the future, and also how the Navy could provide a more immediate way to get where it wanted. to be. He even created a website, www.whatisyourplan101.org, where students, parents and teachers could see for themselves where he got his facts from.
“Overall, it’s both informative and engaging,” said Justin Manalang, Gas Turbine Systems Technician 1st Class, Recruiter at NTAG Heartland, after viewing his presentation. “Most kids don’t want to listen to a recruiter because we’re just talking, but the visual presentation helps a lot to overcome that.”
“I think his presentation broke down the benefits of the Navy, as far as a long-term plan goes,” said fellow recruiter, Torpedoman’s Mate 2nd Class Andrew Williams. “It showed that you don’t have to follow the normal mold of graduating from high school and then straight to student debt.”
Ortiz’s presentation skills caught the attention of his chain of command. At the end of last year, he made his presentation to the management of NTAG Heartland in Detroit. Most recently, during a visit to the area, Rear Admiral Dennis Velez, commander of Navy Recruiting Command, had the opportunity to speak with Ortiz and see the presentation for himself.
Velez immediately saw the wider potential and immediately saw how it could benefit recruiters nationwide. Development of tools and displays that will work for recruiters in other parts of the world are being developed based on Ortiz’s presentation, including a website where recruiters can customize information for their region or for the situation of a specific person. Ortiz hopes this will help other recruiters scout potential future sailors who may be about to join the Navy.
“The final result [of traditional college] almost always will be five to 10 years of debt,” Ortiz said.
Ortiz wants students to know that the time spent incurring that debt could instead be spent earning an income and learning a high-level skill, while earning a degree if they so choose.
To see the presentation and research available to Ortiz, go to www.whatisyourplan101.org.
|Date posted:||18.02.2022 16:16|
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