Veterans @ Xperi Employee Spotlight: Dylan Wondra

November 9, 2023 Xperi Veterans @ Xperi
Employee Resource Group

Xperi job title: Sr. Director – Product Management

Military rank: Aviation Boatswain’s Mate – Aircraft Handling – First Class (ABH1)

Branch: United States Navy

Number of years served: 10

Military experience

What motivated you to join the military?

My family has a history of military service. I joined the military shortly after 9/11, motivated by a strong desire to serve my country and make a meaningful contribution during a time of great need. The events of 9/11 deeply impacted me, and I wanted to be a part of something bigger than myself while working alongside incredible individuals dedicated to defending the United States of America and its allies.

Can you share some key experiences or lessons from your time in the military that you believe have been valuable in your career at Xperi?

My military service instilled in me a strong sense of discipline, teamwork and adaptability. These qualities have been invaluable at Xperi, where collaboration, problem-solving, and resilience are essential. Additionally, my leadership experiences in the military have translated well into my role at Xperi, where I lead and manage effective teams.

How did your military service shape your work ethic and approach to challenges?

The military taught me the importance of dedication and perseverance in the face of adversity. It ingrained in me a strong work ethic and the ability to stay calm under pressure.

Can you discuss any significant achievements or milestones from your military career that you feel contributed to your professional growth?

During my military career, I achieved multiple awards and achievements while serving on five deployments overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation New Dawn.

Transition to civilian workforce

What motivated your decision to transition from the military to a civilian career, and how did you decide on the technology industry?

My decision to transition stemmed from a desire to explore new opportunities and challenge myself in a different environment. I was drawn to the technology industry because of my personal interest in tech and the potential for innovation and growth.

What challenges did you face during your transition, and how did you overcome them?

Transitioning to the civilian workforce can be challenging, especially when it comes to translating military experience into civilian terms. I faced this hurdle by seeking guidance and networking with veterans who had made similar transitions.

Were there specific resources or support systems that helped you navigate the transition from military service to a civilian career?

Yes, I found support through veteran mentorship programs and organizations that specialize in assisting veterans with career transitions. These resources provided valuable guidance and networking opportunities that eased the transition process.

In what ways did you leverage your military experience to stand out during the job search and interview process?

I highlighted my leadership experience, adaptability and problem-solving skills during interviews. I emphasized how these skills were transferable and advantageous in a civilian workplace. I also shared stories from my military career that showcased my ability to excel in challenging environments.

Current role at Xperi

Could you provide an overview of your current role at Xperi and the responsibilities it entails?

As a senior director of product management at Xperi, my role revolves around TiVo OS, where my team and I shape the roadmap and product strategy. We are focused on creating extraordinary experiences for our customers and end consumers. Our work is grounded in the core values that define Xperi — an unwavering focus on our customers, a dedication to high performance, a culture of continuous innovation and a profound appreciation for our people. We collaborate closely with our engineering teams to translate this vision into practical solutions, ensuring that every aspect of TiVo OS reflects our commitment to delivering exceptional experiences.

Are there aspects of your current position that you find particularly fulfilling or challenging, and how do you navigate those?

I find it extremely fulfilling to see a product evolve and meet customer needs successfully. However, the tech industry is fast-paced and ever-changing, which can be challenging at times. To navigate this, I prioritize continuous learning and staying updated on industry trends.

Can you share some examples of how the skills you developed in the military are applicable in your day-to-day work at Xperi?

Skills such as leadership, adaptability and the ability to make critical decisions under pressure have been invaluable in my role. They help me lead cross-functional teams, respond to changing market demands, and ensure the success of our product offerings.

Professional development

How do you continue to invest in your professional development, and have there been specific learning experiences at Xperi that have been crucial to your growth?

I’m committed to ongoing professional development, which includes staying current with industry certifications and taking advantage of opportunities for training and upskilling. Xperi has supported my growth through various internal programs and resources.

Are there mentorship or support programs at Xperi that have played a role in your career development?

Yes, Xperi has a strong mentorship program, and I’ve benefited from the guidance and expertise of mentors within the company. These relationships have provided valuable insights and accelerated my career growth.

Advice for others

What advice would you give to other military veterans who are considering a transition to the civilian workforce, especially in the technology sector?

My advice would be to leverage the skills you gained in the military, emphasize your adaptability and problem-solving abilities, and seek out mentorship opportunities from veterans who have made the transition successfully.

How has your military background contributed to your ability to adapt and thrive in a dynamic industry like technology?

My military background has equipped me with the resilience and adaptability needed to navigate the ever-evolving tech industry. It’s a sector that values innovation and problem-solving qualities I developed in the military.

Now that you have transitioned to the civilian workforce, how do you help/mentor/advise other individuals who have recently made the same transition?

Now that I’ve successfully transitioned to the civilian workforce, I’m deeply committed to paying it forward and helping other individuals who are navigating a similar transition from the military. I actively participate in veteran mentorship programs and networks, where I offer guidance and support to those who have recently made the leap into civilian careers. Drawing from my experiences, I advise them on how to leverage the valuable skills and qualities they developed in the military, such as leadership, adaptability and a strong work ethic, to excel in their new roles. I share insights on how to effectively translate military experience into civilian terms during job searches and interviews, emphasizing the unique value that veterans bring to various industries, including the dynamic technology sector. I believe in the importance of building a supportive community and providing a helping hand to fellow veterans as they embark on this significant transition, and I’m committed to offering my assistance and insights whenever possible.