With a family legacy of military service, Bruna Pitts has always appreciated service to country. After moving to the US and meeting her husband, a Staff Sergeant in the US Army, she realized the importance of finding a job with a company that understands the unique aspects of military life.

Bruna shares how a fellowship, the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring our Heroes (HOH) program, has connected her with others in the military community and provided her with new opportunities to advance her marketing career.

Can you tell us about your background and how you got connected with Hiring our Heroes?

I am originally from Brazil and started my career doing brand strategy in the fashion and beauty industry. I moved to the US and met my husband who is active duty in the US Army. We’ve been married just over a year now, and I am so proud of him and everyone who serves. My grandpa served in the Brazilian Air Force and my uncle is still active duty with the Brazilian Air Force, so I am familiar with military life.

Establishing a career as a military spouse can be really challenging. Something that lingers in your mind is knowing you’re going to be moving a lot. I’ve accepted this, but there is always concern about job stability.

I was networking with other military spouses online and someone shared information about the Hiring our Heroes Fellowship program. It was a great fit for me and a way to make connections. The participating companies already know you’re a military spouse and know your background, needs, and possibility of PCS. Also, it opened doors to job opportunities I wouldn’t have had, even with my bachelor’s degree and an MBA.

I applied, was accepted, and soon heard from Rhiannon Schweitzer about a marketing coordinator role. Rhiannon is a project manager with Salas O’Brien’s federal team who came through the HOH program as a military spouse four years ago. I didn’t know a lot about Salas O’Brien, just that it was very different from my fashion background! I found the Glassdoor page, saw the great reviews, a strong culture, and that people clearly love working here. I knew I needed to do the interview.

Bruna and her husband, Staff Sergeant George David Pitts at his 2024 promotion ceremony.

What has stood out to you most so far in your time at Salas O’Brien?

It can be overwhelming to start a new job in a completely new industry! The team members at Salas O’Brien have been very understanding, open, and willing to help me learn, even being in a short-term position. My fellowship is 12 weeks and while it could turn into a full-time role, it is not guaranteed.

I also appreciate the flexibility in my schedule. I work out of the Baltimore office and have a hybrid schedule with two days in the office, two days at home, and Fridays off work to attend HOH huddles with other program members.

There are a lot of team members with military backgrounds, and I’ve really enjoyed meeting and sharing experiences with them. They’re all very engaged in their jobs and are dedicated to delivering for their clients. They encourage me to show what I can do, to spread my wings and give all of myself.

Is there a particular experience or accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I have enjoyed every part of my role so far! It’s different from what I used to do in brand strategy, but I find everything very fulfilling. I help with a lot of marketing activities that support our client teams and projects, including project newsletters, internal communications, and managing opportunities in our database.

I just returned from the SAME JETC 2024 event in Orlando. I truly loved attending and was so happy to be invited. I manned our booth and got to see the true essence our job, the networking and the connections, and how leaders like Hillary Bassett and Harry Kleiser interact with our clients. I learned a lot by being there and am grateful for the opportunity.

Salas O’Brien team members at the SAME JETC 2024.

How has the Fellowship and this experience contributed to your professional path?

For me, it gave me leeway to change industries mid-way through my career and provided me with an opportunity that I have been wanting for a long time, thanks to the program. It is also giving me new skills that I can use moving forward in my career, for example learning more about internal communications and learning Adobe InDesign, which I never used in my previous roles.

The fellowship program is 12 weeks, with HOH orientation week one and time with the company starting on week two. In this short time, you have freedom to learn and the chance to get a foot in the door with a company that is open to people of different backgrounds. It is a huge plus for people, and I see a lot of spouses do just this—open doors and build a foundation in a new area.

What advice do you have for other military spouses considering their careers?

Be open to all opportunities. Even if the role doesn’t seem to be a direct fit, it can give you valuable experience, especially if you are open to using this time to switch up your career path and try something new.

This is something we talk about a lot in our Friday HOH huddles—taking a chance on a role that may feel different. Military spouses are underemployed because they sometimes may feel they aren’t qualified for certain roles and because there are many companies that don’t understand the unique aspects of our life. HOH helps to break through that.

I am lucky to say that Salas O’Brien gets it. They truly embrace the military community and have a culture that reflects this. Finding a company that has a culture that is a good fit for you is important. I still have a few weeks left in my fellowship and while my goal is to obtain a full-time position, I am grateful for all I am experiencing.



Salas O’Brien is proud to have a strong network of veterans and military spouses on our team who are continuing their service through meaningful civilian careers. Learn more on our Military and Veteran Talent page.

Visit www.hiringourheroes.org for more information about the program and how it connects members of the military community with businesses across America.