Student success at MedCerts starts with creating a team of people who are passionate, intentional, and dedicated to the work they do. These qualities are even more valuable in the leaders guiding and managing internal team members.
Nicole Paquette, Military Enrollment Team Lead, embodies all of those qualities and more, which is why it’s no surprise she was recently honored with the Patriotic Employer Award from the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR).
Since 1972, the ESGR has acted as a division of the Department of Defense to assist National Guard and Reserve members with navigating their civilian employment alongside their service. They have 54 committees across all 50 states and are supported by over 3,000 volunteers. The Patriotic Employer Award is presented to individuals that go above and beyond to support and accommodate military employees. Nicole was nominated by Associate Military Enrollment Consultant and Nevada Army National Guard Officer Mickey Gamonal.
“She is completely supportive and understanding of all my roles and responsibilities as a platoon leader,” Mickey said of the nominee.
MedCerts Military Enrollment team was created in 2019 to coincide with the launch of the Army Credentialing Assistance program, which MedCerts is an approved vendor for. In November 2022, MedCerts was also approved as a vendor for Air Force COOL. An important component of that team is that every member is a Veteran or currently serving in the National Guard or Reserves and the team exclusively works with military students looking to use their Army or Air Force Credentialing Assistance funds.
As the leader of this team and a Coast Guard Veteran, Nicole understands the unique challenges her team members and military students face. We sat down with her to learn what this award means to her, how she makes sure her team feels motivated and supported, and what working at MedCerts means to her.
MedCerts: Congratulations on your nomination and receipt of the Patriotic Employer Award. What does this award mean to you?
Nicole Paquette: This is by far the most meaningful award I have received in my professional career and I hold it near and dear to my heart. It is really something special when the people you directly lead take the time and energy to recognize you as a leader. I believe this is the highest praise you can ever receive when you are in a leadership role.
MC: In leading the Military Enrollment Team at MedCerts, what do you do to foster a military-friendly working environment for your team?
NP: First, I think it’s so important to praise each team member in both a personal and group setting regarding their service and their job performance. I really am all of their biggest fans. I’m also always trying to create fun and creative ways to motivate the teams with interdepartmental games. We just finished up a month-long game of Battleship between each individual Military Enrollment Consultant. Additionally, I make sure I give recognition to their respective service branch’s birthdays each year.
MC: What advice do you have for active duty or military veterans looking to advance in their military career or find post-service employment?
NP: For Active Duty, National Guard, or Reserves looking to advance in their current career, I would say the MOST important factor you must execute is doing your due diligence. You have so many benefits through the branch of service you are serving in and education is one of the top ways to receive promotion board points for your advancement packet.
For Post-Service Employment, again, I would say the MOST important factor you must execute is doing your due diligence. Make sure you do the leg work and research the company or organization to see if they are the right fit for you no matter what. Don’t be afraid to go into the interview asking unconventional questions; once you do you will know if they are a fit for you and if you are the right fit for them.
I really appreciate when I’m interviewing a candidate for my team and they come prepared with these types of questions. It shows me that they are extremely passionate about their time in the service as well as making sure they find their next career home, not just their next job.
MC: As a leader here at MedCerts, and someone who served in the military, how do you believe we foster an environment that is military-friendly?
NP: MedCerts is – and I really mean it – the most military-friendly company internally and externally that I have ever been a part of. I am extremely honored and proud to work for a company that goes above and beyond for its Veteran team members. MedCerts also does their due diligence in making sure the Military Enrollment Team is comprised of all Veterans and/or current National Guard/Reserves military personnel.
Additionally, one company-wide event that I’ve overseen for the last 2 years is our “Wear R.E.D.” initiative. R.E.D. is an Acronym for “Remember Everyone Deployed” and MedCerts has agreed to donate $1 for every picture of a team member that is submitted to our All-Company Teams chat on the last Friday of every month. Last year we donated $381 to Disabled American Veterans (DAV).
Michigan ESGR volunteer Frederick Kaiser came to MedCerts offices in October 2022 to present Nicole with her award alongside MedCerts Vice President of Enrollments Mark Adamo. Watch the video of the award presentation here.
MedCerts is proud to serve military service members and military spouses in their pursuit of education as an Army Credentialing, Air Force COOL and MyCAA military spouse-approved educator. Since the launch of the Army Credentialing Assistance program, MedCerts enrolled 3,455 military service members in healthcare and IT certification programs as of November 2022. Nicole Paquette has personally enrolled over 1,000 military students.
Interested in learning more about MedCerts programs and how we can support your pursuit of education, connect with one of our military education consultants today.