From Service to Software: Jen's Journey as a Military Spouse

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At SAS, we recognize and appreciate the valuable skills and experience that veterans, active duty military, and military families bring to our workforce. We honor the service and sacrifice of military families, and actively support our employees in their transition from the military to the civilian corporate work environment.

Today, get to know Jen Norton! She’s a Senior Manager of HR Information Systems, a military spouse, and a mom of two. Hear more about her 6 years (and counting!) of living the #saslife, and how she’s been supported by SAS along the way.

The Norton family

Jen’s Journey to SAS

My career started in marketing and event planning, but I made a career change after my son was born in 2008, just four days prior to my husband’s deployment to Afghanistan. After working as an Executive Assistant for an HR executive in the healthcare industry, my career progressed into Human Resources and then into HR Information Systems. In 2014, I joined SAS as a HR Information System Analyst. I’m now the Senior Manager of the HR People Systems Team, leading a global team of Workday analysts.

Workday is our global human resource information system and is a vital tool for all employees. I’m proud to manage and configure the system that directly impacts our employees’ everyday lives!

Life as a Military Spouse

Throughout our marriage, my husband has been deployed four times and has participated in several missions and trainings (ranging anywhere from 3 weeks to four months).

While military spouses often live in the shadow of service members, we play a significant role in the lives and morale of our spouses and families. Military spouses take on the role of both mother and father, along with all the additional responsibilities our service member may have performed at home. It’s often said that as military spouses, we “serve outside of uniform.”

Elijah and Lilias

Lilias and Elijah

Backed by the SAS Family

During my husband’s most recent year-long deployment, SAS supported me in balancing my work and life. Life as a working military spouse is very busy, and SAS’ onsite services like the health care center, pharmacy and meals-to-go helped me save time (and my sanity!). My manager even encouraged me to flex my hours so I could pick up my kids from school, allowing them to maintain a normal routine and schedule while their dad was deployed.

While these benefits certainly make life easier, my favorite thing about SAS is the people I work with every day. There’s a sense of family. On the weekend of my husband’s most recent deployment, my co-workers banded together and had flowers and a card delivered to my house. Inside the card were encouraging notes and a subscription to curbside grocery pickup – for a year! Their kindness brought a smile to my face every time I picked up groceries.

This year, my manager, Theresa, and I also participated in the North Carolina National Guard and Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve’s “Boss Lift!” We spent the morning learning about the National Guard Aviation Battalion and how they work to keep our country safe and even flew over the SAS Campus in a Blackhawk helicopter! It meant a lot to me that she took time out of her week to learn more about what it means to be part of the military community. It was an experience I won’t soon forget!

Check out that view! Theresa (L) and Jen (R) enjoyed a flight over SAS Headquarters as part of the "Boss Lift."

Supporting the Military Community

The skills military spouses gain from managing a household, family and juggling work during deployment enhance our teamwork skills, work ethic, problem-solving and leadership abilities, and are a great asset to companies in all industries.

I’m extremely proud to work for a company that supports and appreciates military service members and families, and that values the skills that the military community brings to the table.

Jen, we appreciate your family’s service to our country, and the amazing work you do here at SAS! Check out our website to learn more about how we support the military.

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About Author

Alyssa Grube

Associate Communications Specialist

Alyssa Grube is an Associate Communications Specialist focused on employee programs, culture, and employer branding. She’s passionate about the intersection of people + brand, and loves sharing the SAS story with the world. Seriously, ask her about why she loves SAS – just grab a coffee first.

12 Comments

  1. Danielle Pavliv on

    Love this blog! Jen, thank you for all you do for SAS and for you/your families service to our country!

  2. Janet Stone on

    Great article and pictures! Love the "Boss Lift"! 🙂 Thanks, Jen, to you and your husband for your service!

  3. Taylor Parrish on

    Such a wonderful article! I am so grateful to know this hero (because that's what military spouses are) personally, as my manager. Thanks to you and your entire family for the sacrifices you make, and the service your husband provides to our nation.

  4. Julie Janeczko on

    Great article about an amazing person! Thank you to both you and your husband for your service and dedication!

  5. Christy Crumpler on

    I love this article, it gave me chills reading it! Jen, a huge thank you to you and your husband for all of the sacrifices you have made and continue to make.

  6. Christy Broughton on

    I love this article!! it is a great tribute to your husband and family. I am always amazed at how Jen does everything! 🙂

  7. Lisa Horwitz on

    Thank you for your service, Jen, and for that of your husband. Here's to many more years living the #saslife.

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