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ViacomCBS VetNet’s Veteran Immersion Program 2021 Cohort meet with Bob Bakish, CEO, ViacomCBS

ViacomCBS Veterans Network is excited to announce the 2021 VIP Meet and Greet Web Series, featuring a variety of industry professionals and C-suite executives from across ViacomCBS. These sessions are highlights from ViacomCBS Veterans Network’s first annual Veteran Immersion Program, in which transitioning veterans were able to meet with and learn from ViacomCBS executive leadership and ViacomCBS VetNet advisors and ambassadors. The Meet and Greet sessions are moderated by Richard M. Jones, EVP General Tax Counsel & Chief Veteran Officer, ViacomCBS, and/or Betty Diaz, Director of Programs & Operations, ViacomCBS.

Web Series Episode 1:

Vet Net Meet & Greet with Bob Bakish, President and CEO, ViacomCBS

Early September 2021, the ViacomCBS Veterans Network wrapped up its first inaugural Veteran Immersion Program (VIP). The VIP cohort finished their program with a capstone Meet & Greet featuring Bob Bakish, the President and Chief Executive Officer of ViacomCBS.

Bob understands the military philosophy of “servant leadership” and gave insight and guidance to our nation’s veterans and service members. The session was moderated by ViacomCBS’ Chief Veteran Officer Richard Jones, a former Army Ranger, and current EVP General Tax Counsel, ViacomCBS. Betty Diaz, Director of Programs & Operations for ViacomCBS Veterans Network, was in attendance as well as Brad Mueller, Director of Creative and Communications, ViacomCBS Veterans Network & Jim Garrisi, Army Veteran and Senior Director, Information Security, ViacomCBS.

The Cohort listened to insights from Bob’s personal growth and professional development experiences and were given the chance to introduce themselves and ask questions. Bob shared about veterans within his own family, and he advocated that “Inclusivity [which includes veterans] drives better business performance.”

Bob advised young professionals to “build their credibility” in their fields through hard work. He suggested first focusing on what you know before gradually expanding in the space, while always remaining dependable.

In response to a question about the difficulties of running a company as large as ViacomCBS, Bob mused that his highs and lows all come from the same question: How do you ensure consistent results in a changing world?

“Successful people embrace change,” Bob said. “Ask for help, build a network over time of people you can turn to. Mistakes are inevitable, don’t let that demoralize you. Learn from it, and move forward, you are wiser for it.”

Check out the video recording of the event HERE on the ViacomCBS Veterans Network YouTube page.

Many of the veterans in the room were first generation college students or the children of immigrants. “I feel extremely grateful to the ViacomCBS VetNet leadership team, and especially to Bob for allowing us to share our experiences in and out of service, and to get insight from the wealth of talent throughout the company,” said Chris Barrett, a Marine Veteran and Graphic Designer at ViacomCBS VetNet. “It shows how much ViacomCBS cares about their veterans not only as employees, but as people.”

“It was inspiring to hear Bob’s advice to continuously “create success in an ever-changing environment.” As Veterans, many of us are trained to adapt, improvise, and overcome in real world situations, and those skills carry into our roles today,” said Will Kelso, a former Army Combat Medic and Video Producer at ViacomCBS VetNet. “The Meet and Greet series renewed a sense of purpose within me as to why I wanted to pursue a career within our industry, and I’m grateful to Bob Bakish and to the ViacomCBS Veterans Network Leadership Team for their constant support, and the resources they provide for those who have so proudly served our nation.”

Bob left them with one last insight, “A career is about learning, and change is a fact of life. Embrace it. Go after it. Learn from it.”


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