Military-to-Business Transition Resources, Part 2

Gaining Exposure: Company and Sector Programs

Today we host part 2 of a 3-part series that distills the best military-to-business transition resources into one comprehensive guide. 

For those who are considering transitioning or have already decided to transition, but are unsure of which industry or function to enter, these articles will help. They build upon the “Military Career Path Decisions” series by aggregating information about programs that will allow you to better understand different industries and business functions.  

For those who have already decided to transition to business, but will do so via an MBA, these articles will also assist with your process. Information about mentorship and company or sector exposure can help you craft your narrative and focus your efforts during school. They also build upon the “Transitioning to a Top Tier MBA” series by explaining the various support and scholarship opportunities available to aspiring MBAs. 

This series focuses on understanding and exploring the corporate world, and does not specifically cover entrepreneurship. However, you can leverage some of the resources contained in this guide to help with entrepreneurial endeavors.

  1. Getting Started: Mentorship 
    1. Why Mentorship? 
    1. What Is American Corporate Partners (ACP)? 
    1. How Does ACP Work?
    1. What Can You Discuss During Calls?
    1. Who Is Eligible To Participate? 
    1. How Do I Get The Most Out Of The Mentorship Experience?
    1. Where Should I Begin With The Resume And Cover Letter Review?
  2. Gaining Exposure: Company and Sector Programs, Military Hiring Pipelines
    1. Consulting
    1. Finance
    1. Healthcare
    1. Media
    1. Technology 
    1. Other Resources 
    1. Conclusion 
  3. Leveraging MBA Application and Scholarship Programs:
    1. Veteran-Specific Programs
    1. Other Programs 

Now that you’ve (hopefully) signed up for mentorship under American Corporate Partners, you have someone to help guide you during your career exploration. During this exploration, you may encounter one of three situations:

  1. You find that you are interested your mentor’s industry or business function, and that you want to pursue a career in those respective fields. You want to learn more, but how do you get an immersive experience? 
  • You find that you respect your mentor, but are not passionate about their industry or business function. How do you explore other industries? 
  • You love your mentor’s industry or business function, but are still curious about other industries – what are some of the ways to find out the true nature of these industries? 

Here’s where specific company or sector programs come into play. The nature of these programs is highly variable: the goals, the competitiveness of entry, the duration, and the scope significantly differ amongst the programs. However, you can leverage these veterans-specific programs to boost your understanding of specific sectors and organizations or accelerate your new career. 

Some programs and resources can be used while on active duty, in conjunction with the DoD’s Skillbridge program, during transition leave, or after transition. Be aware of how application deadlines and program timelines nest within your overall transition plan. 

Also included in this article are links and descriptions of other veterans-focused nonprofits, conferences, and sites that aggregate information about specific industries. These sites can aid in your quest to gain exposure to different industries. There are many resources out there, and we encourage you to explore what’s available to you! 

Several Notes:

  1. This list is not comprehensive, but it serves to aggregate some of the most prominent programs while giving a sense of what companies are doing to attract and cultivate veteran talent. 
  • If an industry that you’re interested in is not listed here, but has a veteran-specific transition program or internship pipeline, please reach out to us to let us know and we’ll add it to the list! 
  • Industries are listed alphabetically with no preference given to any specific industry or program; each one varies in terms of salary, benefits, lifestyle, etc – all important and very personal considerations that you should keep in mind when assessing your next career move. 
  • Within each industry section, programs are listed from shortest to longest for the intensive / formal portion of the program; many programs incorporate long-term curricula or networking opportunities which you can leverage well into your career. 

Consulting

            Deloitte Career Opportunity Redefinition & Exploration Leadership Program – Exposure Program

Consulting is a diverse and varied industry that can suit many veterans’ interests and abilities. While Veterans typically break into consulting via a full-time MBA, this is not always the case. If you’re thinking about pursuing a consulting career, but do not want to pursue a full-time MBA, we highly recommend that you read the Victor Cheng material highlighted in Part 1 of this series.

            If you are not set on consulting, but want to learn more about the industry and how to prepare for a career in consulting, Deloitte holds the Career Opportunity Redefinition & Exploration (CORE) Leadership Program. This program is designed to help service members and veterans with the transition in several ways. 

            The program usually takes place at Deloitte’s campus in Westlake, TX (though this will probably change for the 2021 iteration), and Deloitte expects to hold the program in early 2021. 

            Participants can network with Deloitte leaders and other veterans at Deloitte, build their personal brand, and gain networking strategies. The program is available to those who meet the following criteria: have a bachelor’s degree, have less than 10 years of active duty service, are transitioning out of the military in the next 12 months, or have transitioned out of the military in the previous 12 months. You can access the informational page here

            Even if you’re on the fence about consulting as an industry, CORE helps participants understand how to brand themselves and to build their own brand. This is a crucial practice that is necessary for any industry you enter.  

Finance

            You can have a rewarding (and lucrative) career in finance, but knowing where and how to explore the different roles and positions is tricky. Here are several paths that can help you explore:  

            Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program (GSVIP) – Exposure Program

            Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s most revered banks, holds a weeklong intensive apprenticeship followed by a full-year virtual curriculum to facilitate veterans’ transition into finance. 

Goldman Sachs - Wikipedia

            According to the GSVIP page, participants are given access to “training focused on capital markets, business overviews with senior divisional leaders, professional skills development, and networking with the Goldman Sachs Veterans Network.” 

This year, the program is being held virtually from November 9th to 13th. To be eligible, you must have completed at least one year of military service, have a separation date between January 1st, 2019 and December 31st, 2021, a bachelor’s degree, and demonstrate an interest in financial markets. Applications are due on September 20th and you can access the application here

            JP Morgan Chase & Co. (JPMC) – Internship / Hiring Pipeline

            JPMC’s Military Pathways Direct-Hire Program is not an exploratory program like GSVIP or Deloitte Core is, but it’s an established hiring pipeline that “connects top veteran talent to essential roles at JPMC and provides candidates the training, support, and exposure they need to grow into future leaders across our most demanding businesses.” 

JPMorgan Chase (JPM)

            According to the program page, participants receive “Induction training and acclimation support in your first month on the job”, “12-months of program support, coaching and career development from our dedicated Pathways team”, “exposure to senior members of the business”, and “professional skills training throughout the year”. 

            Applicants are placed in areas such as Asset & Wealth Management, Consumer & Community Banking, Commercial Banking, and Corporate & Investment Banking. 

            To qualify, you must have 4+ years of military experience, a bachelor’s degree, and within 0-5 years of separation from the military. 

            JPMC’s Military Pathway does not currently have a landing page, but you can read more about the program here

Veterans on Wall Street (VOWS) – Support Network

VOWS offers the best aggregated overview of veterans assistance and hiring programs offered by prominent financial institutions. A nonprofit that seeks to boost veterans’ representation and support in the financial world, VOWS has multiple chapters across the US and hosts an annual symposium where veterans can explore the world of finance. 

VOWS touches on the Goldman Sachs Veterans Integration Program, as well as several other banks’ efforts to hire and integrate veterans. If you are interested in investment banking, equity research, sales and trading, or related functions, then VOWS is a great place to start. 

Healthcare 

            Johnson & Johnson Military Veteran Leadership Development Program (MVLDP) – Hiring Pipeline / Career Development

            If you’re committed to transitioning to the healthcare space, Johnson & Johnson offers the Military Veteran Leadership Development Program (MVLDP). J&J produces medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods (CPG). According to their fact sheet, “the MVLDP at Johnson & Johnson is a program designed to provide transitioning Veterans with professional development career opportunities within an industry leading health care company. MVLDP is our only cross-functional, cross-sector general management learning development program.” 

            Enrolled in the program for 18 months, MVLDP participants will receive the following benefits, but must meet the following criteria to be eligible for acceptance. 

            More information can be found here

            Of note, J&J also partners with ACP and provides employment opportunities for spouses; more is written on this subject here

Media 

            Viacom CBS Veterans Internship – Internship           

If you’re interested in media, Viacom CBS ran a veteran’s internship program for several years. However, this internship was only targeted at student veterans. Here’s Viacom’s current landing page for its Veterans Internship.

Technology 

            Tech provides veterans an exciting, fast-paced, and innovative environment in which to build innovative products and services. Many of the prominent tech companies have veterans affinity groups and value what veterans bring to the table. Here are two nonprofits dedicated to helping veterans transition into tech. Both provide structure around the process that one would normally find with a more traditional recruiting pipeline like JMO recruiting. 

            BreakLine – Hiring Pipeline

            BreakLine’s program description says it all: “BreakLine is a career accelerator for hard-charging, high-performing veterans who are interested in pivoting into tech. You will receive access to a robust curriculum designed to help you successfully land a role in tech, build your professional network, and join an active community of BreakLiners nationwide. The BreakLine team will guide you through the entire process, from resume reviews, to sourcing relevant roles, to interview prep, until you land and accept a role. We stick with you every step of the way!”

            Furthermore, they highlight that they offer “2-day virtual programs that provide an additional behind the scenes look at our partner companies. We host workshops, in-depth discussions with industry leaders, and provide an inside look at top tech companies. Attending a program isn’t mandatory, but it’s highly recommended! Once you’re admitted into BreakLine, you are eligible to attend any of our upcoming programs. If you’re unsure of which program to attend, our team can help you select one that best aligns with your timeline.”

            The deadline is coming up quickly, though in-person programming is set to resume in 2021. 

To get a better sense of who BreakLine can connect you with, here are some of BreakLine’s partner companies: 

            To learn more about BreakLine, please visit their Veterans page. You can also apply here

Shift – Internship / Hiring Pipeline

            Shift is similar to BreakLine in that it facilitates veterans transitioning into the tech sector with structured support. However, Shift internships are designed to be used in conjunction with the DoD’s SkillBridge program. 

Shift.org

Applicants apply up to 12 months prior to transition, match with a fellowship that suits their interests and abilities, and participate in an internship with their target company. The ultimate goal is employment with that company. Shift ensures this by providing support along the way. 

To get a better sense of who Shift can connect you with, here are some of Shift’s partner companies: 

            You can learn more about Shift here

Other Resources

Hiring Our Heroes – Internship / Hiring Pipeline

            In Hiring Our Heroes’ own words, it is “an innovative 12-week program that provides transitioning service members with professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. The professional development offered through the program prepares candidates for a smooth transition into meaningful civilian careers. Participating corporations benefit by gaining access to the best and brightest transitioning service members, while also developing a more comprehensive understanding of the veteran job market.”

Hiring Our Heroes > Eglin Air Force Base > Article Display

            For candidates to be eligible, they must have a bachelor’s and three years of leadership experience or an associate’s and five years of leadership experience. They must also be within 180 days of transition by the time their 12-week program is to occur. See below for the three cohorts’ dates and times: 

            You can access more information about the Hiring Our Heroes program here

Junior Military Officer (JMO) Recruiters – Hiring Pipeline

Bottom line with JMO recruiters: they’re suitable depending on your personal situation and employment preferences, but they cannot get you into certain fields (e.g. consulting, investment banking, and most roles that recruit from MBA/MPA/JD/PhD programs).  

JMO recruiters primarily send applicants to consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, and manufacturing firms. You usually cannot use a JMO recruiter to end up at a consulting firm or a bank. Why is this?  

This is because consulting and finance firms have their own specialized recruiting pipelines that primarily draw from undergraduate, MBA, and other advanced degree (MPA, JD, PhD) programs. Additionally, JMO recruiters typically pitch the executive MBA path to applicants and seek to place candidates directly into roles since their business model requires them to find employees for their partner companies. 

The good thing about JMO recruiters is that they’ll support you along the transition with resumé reviews and interview preparation – they have a vested interest in you getting a job. This path is structured and well-defined.  

For more information, we recommend that you read the Sitreps to Steercos blog post about JMO recruiters here. The most succinct overview of how JMO recruiters can help you. 

Service Academy Career Conferences (SACC) – Job Fair

            While only open to service academy graduates, SACC offers attendees the opportunity to learn about different industries and network with company recruiters. Company chats and information sessions can help you better understand the nature of an industry and the culture of specific companies. Also included in SACC registration is a resumé review. 

Normally held four times a year in San Diego, Nashville, Washington, D.C., and Orlando, SACC will now be held virtually from October 27th – 28th, 2020, February 25th -26th, 2021, and May 6th-May 7th, 2021. 

            You can visit their site to learn more about the participating companies and details of upcoming events. 

Conclusion

We hope that you found this breakdown useful and that you are able to take advantage of these programs during your transition! There are many other fields that we did not touch on: automotive manufacturers, airlines, aerospace and defense contracting, and consumer packaged goods. However, we would like for you to take some inspiration from this list and see if your preferred industry has a program like the ones listed above.  

Be sure to tune in for part 3 next week!

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