#56: Mike Slagh – How a US Navy Veteran Started a Company to Help Veterans Break Into Tech

Play episode

Mike Slagh is the Founder of Shift.org, a hiring pipeline for military veterans. Back in the military, Mike was a bomb technician and since finishing his service a little over a year ago, he started Shift.org to create new pathways for veterans into various industries that didn’t exist before.

There will be about a million new veterans in the next five years, which means there are 20,000 military service members leaving every month. Mike’s greater purpose is to help bridge that gap between the military and the civilian world through skills translation and leveraging the power of personal connections.


Years in Tech 3
Lives In: Bay Area, CA
Current Job Founder
Date Recorded 3/27/2017

Show Notes:

[01:10] Mike talks about his military path and how he ended up joining the bomb squad in the navy dive school

[03:35] Did you know that people in the military have an incredible capacity to attain technical skills so quickly? In fact, in order to go into the submarine program, you have to attain the civilian equivalent of a nuclear engineering master’s degree in six months.

[07:07] Why people in the military have a hard time trying to find a job and the hack Mike discovered to get under the radar of companies through the VetTechTrek

[12:50] Why Mike decided to target tech versus other industries, how they’re helping veterans transition into tech, and the power of finding your internal advocate in a company

[15:50] Mike talks about how you can actually translate your skills as a military into a leadership role in the civilian world.

[19:30] What is Shift.org and how they’re solving skill translation for military vets to give them more insights into the types of roles they qualify for and for the recruiters to give them insights into what types of backgrounds they should be looking at from the military

[23:22] Mike’s advice for those transitioning from the military and his opinion on Vetforce, Salesforce’s program for vets and their spouses

[27:12] Mike recommends getting into coding bootcamps and other skill immersions and he briefly discusses the GI Bill benefit, hoping they would verify bootcamps soon.

[35:00] The current traction of Shift.org in catering the need for skill translation besides the military industry and Mike’s plans for 2017

[38:10] Mike shares some job search strategies. Visit Vets.gov and check out 1,500+ companies that have made a public commitment to hire veterans.

[41:23] Mike gives his three-piece advice to those finishing their service who want to venture into startups and describes the roles of Shift.org’s team

Contact Info:

Mike Slagh

Email: mike@shift.org

Twitter: @mslagh

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mslagh/


Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources





GI Bill


Y Combinator



Operation Code

Personal Projects/Partnerships:



More from this show


Episode 3