THree Questions For kevin nguy

November 10, 2021

Kevin Nguy is the incoming co-chair for the Veterans Employee Resource Group (VERG). A Navy veteran, Kevin served as a Submarine Officer for seven years on active duty and still serves in the Navy Reserves. He studied electrical engineering at the University of Michigan and was commissioned through the Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC).

Kevin joined Berkeley Lab in June 2020 as an Electrical Project Manager in the Projects & Infrastructure Modernization Division. He enjoyed the advocacy and welcoming environment of VERG meetings, influencing him to step into the co-chair role when called upon. Kevin is looking forward to helping to build a strong and engaged veteran community at the Lab.

What made you decide to join the Navy?

The main reason I joined the military was to repay my country. My parents are immigrants to the U.S. [from Vietnam] and the U.S. has provided my family and I a better life. Having my education paid for, seeing the world, and doing something exciting were other bonuses from joining the Navy!

Berkeley Lab is your first civilian job after your military service. What attracted you to your role here?

The mission! I wanted to make a difference, whether directly or indirectly, to renown science. The position I was offered sounded exciting, offered an opportunity to make an impact, and utilized the skills I gained in the Navy.

While I was transitioning from the Navy and did not know what to expect, finding an employer that understood my background and my skill set was important. I was very fortunate to connect with my manager/mentor, Mark Scott, who was also a Navy veteran. I hope there is this same welcoming environment and mentorship for all transitioning military members and that the Lab is an employer of choice for veterans.

What would you say to other managers or supervisors who might be considering recruiting for a veteran hire?

I would say that, like the Lab community we have here, veterans are very diverse. Not only culturally, but also their jobs and skill sets. I truly believe that personnel is the greatest resource that the military has and that really shows with the level of education and training of military members. They are not only entrusted to be boots on the ground, but also to run complex operations and manage science and technology projects. Veterans bring to the table not only hard skills, but also many of the soft skills required to succeed in any job. Traits common with military members include independence, responsibility, a sense of duty, and hard work. Veterans have a lot to offer!

Kevin driving a submarine (surfaced) with the Hawaiian Islands in the background

Kevin giving a speech at the 2018 Society of Asian Scientist and Engineers National Conference