As we celebrate Veteran’s Day this year in the United States, we’re reminded of the passionate veterans that work here at Adobe. Maggie Pratt, who’s been with Adobe for a little over a month now, brings with her a wealth of experience from her years with the US Army. When asked how people can best show their appreciation for veterans, her answer was simple—get to know veterans as whole people. Learn about her story below.
Tell us who you are and what you do at Adobe.
I’m a senior employee experience business partner. I work with business leaders to develop strategy and drive strategic talent priorities. I also coach leaders on how to increase employee engagement, organizational effectiveness and manage change.
You’ve been part of the civilian workforce for a little over 2 years now. What brought about the change and what brought you to Adobe?
I wanted to put down roots and get my kids through high school. I’ve held strategic HR roles over the last decade in the Army, and I knew I could apply those skills to a civilian career. I learned a lot and enjoyed my previous employer, but after 2 years, I was ready for the next step in my own development journey. I wanted to find a company that had a close connection to the customer, and Adobe has a reputation in the area as being a company that really makes a difference in customers’ daily life. I was really excited to join.
Can you tell me about your background at West Point and with the US Army?
My dad was in the Army Reserve when I was growing up, so I’d often see him in his uniform—that was my first exposure to the Army. When I decided to go to West Point, I knew it was a great academic program but I was drawn in by how they challenge cadets athletically and provide leadership development opportunities. I grew up playing sports, and I really liked the team aspect the Army provided. After graduating, I was deployed to Panama as a Second Lieutenant for the military police. I never planned to stay for an entire Army career but I really enjoyed my roles and found great development opportunities. In 2001 I was trying to decide if I wanted to stay or leave the Army, but after 9/11, I felt I could make a difference, so I stayed. I had the opportunity to work with and learn from some amazing leaders and I felt my work was meaningful. In the military you spend a lot of time learning how to lead and studying group dynamics. I’ve always loved that kind of work. It’s all about working with people. My military career is just one part of my work experience, but it’s who I am and who’ve I’ve always been.
What do you normally do to celebrate Veteran’s Day?
I have a lot of friends who are veterans and my husband is still serving on active duty, so I still feel very connected to the military community. Veteran’s Day is a nice reminder, it’s every day for me! I make it a point to call and connect with my friends and relatives who have served, and I check in on them regularly. They’re my community.
How can people show their appreciation for veterans?
Get to know veterans as whole people. A great way to show appreciation is asking a veteran about their service. Sometimes people are afraid to say the wrong thing and avoid talking to veterans about their service. Show genuine curiosity and ask questions like, what inspired you to join? What was most rewarding? Getting to know a veteran and his or her life experience through a meaningful conversation is a great way to express your gratitude.