Warrior Wednesday: Rolande Sumner
Today’s Warrior Wednesday is Rolande Sumner! Rolande served in the Army National Guard as a clerk, 41L, in the Persian Gulf Era. She started in the Peace Battalion then transitioned to Active Guard Reserves seven years later and became a human resources specialist. Once in AGR, she transferred from Massachusetts to SC, working in combat arms support. She deployed to Afghanistan from 2012-13, where she was a heavy vehicle operator and human resources manager. After 20 years, she was medically retired
When she got out, she attained a regular, 9-5 job. However, she was not adjusting well to the civilian sector due to undiagnosed PTSD from her service. Shortly after, she started and pursued a skincare business for two and a half years. While doing the skincare business, she went into case management in the nonprofit sector. During that time, she discovered she enjoyed coaching since part of her job was to coach her clients.
After working in her skincare business and in the nonprofit sector, she opened up the business she has now, Life After Service, Transitional Coaching and Life Skills. “And I love it,” Rolande said.
From there, she went to coaching school and received her board credentials. Her audience for her business is primarily women veterans although she does help civilian women. What makes me different,” Rolande said, “I work with them on their mindset and every step of the way…and throughout the whole process.” She just launched her second cohort last week, on Wednesday.
Rolande said, “On the corporate side of the house, I help businesses retain their veterans via retention.” Rolande considered the misconception of some professionals, thinking the veteran is leaving the job on purpose. She considered the problem to be on both sides. From the veteran perspective, she said, “We are looking for specific things that the civilian sector is not giving us. We’re looking for guidance on what advancement looks like because that’s what we’re used to getting. We’re looking for continuous professional development. And we’re looking for a particular type of leadership.” Rolande continued, “When it comes to leadership, we just want to understand if this new boss is on our side or not. We feel like you care if you give us the rules of engagement. If you tell us, this is what the culture looks like.” Rolande explained she teaches supervisors how to teach professional development with little to no money.
“I love, love, love, love what I do.” She continued, “I love coaching. I love training.” She thinks her calling is in retention. Rolande said she predominantly works with for-profit businesses.”