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Hiring Our Heroes Spotlight: Preston

Preston headshot

Preston S. | Senior Principal Engineer, Solutions Architect | USA

Originally Published: October 17, 2022

At Dell Technologies, we make it our mission to recruit the next generation of leaders and innovators to help us thrive in an ever-competitive market. To achieve that, we do our best to fill our ranks with team members that are diverse in background and thought processes.

Over the years, we’ve found that veterans are a key talent pool to tap into. The skills and experiences shared by veterans bring discipline, commitment and loyalty to their positions and their teams.

To help us find the best veteran talent, Dell Technologies is a proud partner of the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship program. The HOH Fellows Programs are best-in-class workforce development programs that place highly skilled and educated transitioning service members, veterans, military spouses, and military caregivers with employers committed to hiring them.

Today, we’re featuring a HOH alumni: Preston, Senior Principal Engineer – Solutions Architect at Dell. In this Q&A we talk about his time in service, what life at Dell looks like for him, and the skill sets and expertise he’s been able to translate over to his current role from his time in the military. Get to know Preston; in his own words:

Preston, let’s start by getting to know you. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in the small town of Forsyth, GA. I graduated high school and attended college at Albany State University.

I decided to leave college early and joined the military, where I served 20 years working in the IT and cybersecurity realm. It was there that I met my wife Monica, and we now have 4 lovely daughters.

Talk to us about your experience within the military – what branch did you serve in and any highlights of your time in service?

I’m proud to say I served in the United States Army. I served multiple tours in Iraq and had the privilege to work with various foreign countries to teach and train them on the best cyber security practices in support of US contingency operations.

When you finished your tours and were on the civilian job hunt, was Dell on your radar as a potential employer?

Not initially. I learned more about the potential of a career at Dell through the interview process for the Hiring our Heroes program.

A big focus for Dell is our work culture and helping our team find that right balance. You have 4 daughters, so I would imagine that sort of commitment is something of importance to you. Can you tell us what your experience has been like in that area now as an employee?

The flexibility offered by Dell is unmatched. Having the ability to complete my work and still be at all my family’s important events was a huge factor for me. Really, all they ask of me is to communicate my availability or outside engagements.

I can say that, truthfully, Dell treats everyone as a member of the team and values their input. The team I worked for ensured I was comfortable in my role and gave me the chance to thrive, while working on real-time projects.

You mentioned being able to thrive through the work you do. What do you feel is required of you within your role that allows that to happen? Maybe skillsets that translate over from your time in the military, etc.  

There is never a day at work where I find myself saying, “I’m bored,” or “I don’t want to be here.” I’m constantly challenged and love being able to find solutions for modern day projects and initiatives.

In terms of skillsets, I feel like I’m able to leverage a fair amount from my time in the military. Things like conceptually understanding cyber threats, attacks, and other advancements seen within the world.

Also, having strong problem-solving skills, being resourceful, and interpersonal skills to interact with the multitude of people you will meet on the way. It’s been great to implement my knowledge within those areas into my role now.

Would you recommend Dell as an employer of choice for like-minded veterans transitioning out of the military? If so, why? 

I definitely would! Dell offers people the chance to excel and show their technical skills, as well as their understanding on concepts and use cases. If someone wants to build upon what they’ve learned in the military and carry that on into another career, Dell is the perfect place to be.


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