Mentorship Opportunities for Veterans
Mentorship Services for Veterans
Mentorship doesn’t have to end when your military service does. There are organizations out there that offer veterans mentors with the purpose of guiding them to valuable careers after their service ends.
Mentorship is often misunderstood in today’s society. In fact, I believe that many problems people face in life could actually be solved by having a mentor, someone to guide us through any of the challenges that face us every day.
Military members are used to mentorship. At the beginning of my career in the mid-1990s, I received mentorship from various leaders that made me a better soldier. Two decades later, as my career came to a close, I was mentoring junior leaders and soldiers who were just beginning their careers.
American Corporate Partners
The American Corporate Partners (ACP) offers a virtual 1-on-1 mentoring program that assists veterans with career development, networking, and general mentorship. Veterans are paired with a mentor and can expect 12 mentorship sessions, happening once a month.
Many of the mentors are from Fortune 500 companies and are experts in their industries. Their goal is to give back to those who have served their country in the armed forces. Veterans and mentors are matched by ACP so as to provide for the best experiences for both parties. One notable mentor has been George Oliver, the CEO of Johnson Controls.
Who is Eligible?
Any post 9/11 Veteran who has served for at least 180 is eligible for the ACP mentorship program. The ACP also welcomes active duty spouses. All Veterans may also access Advisor Net, which is an online networking resource that is a great place to ask questions of numerous advisors and find new networking opportunities. There are discussion boards and even private messaging available on Advisor Net.
How to Apply?
Visit their website, www.ACP-USA.org, and fill out an application. It only takes about 10 minutes. You will be expected to answer questions about your background, interests, military experience and mentorship preferences, such as gender or Veteran preferences.
After you apply, you can expect a call from ACP within 24 hours, according to their website. They will schedule a 15-minute phone call to ask a few clarifying questions to match the applicant with the perfect mentor.
Since 2016, Veterati has been offering their mentorship platform to service members, veterans, and military spouses across the country. They have partnered with the nation’s leading Veteran Service Organizations (VSO) and military employers to offer free, on-demand mentoring to the entire military community.
Their mission is to help unemployed/underemployed veterans and spouses find meaningful employment, and they are driven by the idea that 80% of job opportunities are accessible only through personal networks. Veterati strives to be your personal network.
Mentors from Veterati deliver the following support for transitioning and transitioned service members and their families:
- Personalized Advice – A mentor will make contact and offer mentorship for your specific situation and desires.
- Questions and Coaching to discover new possibilities – A mentor will assess where you are and where you want to go, and help you plan to get there.
- Insider job search tips – Job hunting is already difficult, but having tips and advice from a mentor can give you an edge that may land you a job.
- Introductions – Networking is huge when it comes to job hunting. Having the right connections greatly increases your chances of employment.
How to Sign Up?
Head to the Veterati Sign Up page where you will be prompted to sign in with your LinkedIn account. (Follow the link if you don’t already have one.) Sign up takes about a minute and there are no fees or limits to how many mentors you can talk to.
Heavy Hitting Veteran Support
Veterati maintains strong partnerships with other organizations like the USO, Hiring our Heroes, and IAVA. If you are transitioning, check out their Transition Center, where you can have your transition questions answered directly by mentors and other mentees.
FourBlock supports veterans to successfully navigate their transitions by providing the education, mentorship, and relationships needed during that process. Their focus is on helping veterans build professional networks that will lead them to a hiring manager.
This organization is composed of Fortune 500 companies and top universities. Add the transitioning veteran, and they will learn through a blended online and in person program developed in partnership with Columbia University.
How to Apply?
If you’re interested in applying to FourBlocks mentorship program, head to their application page and fill out the webform. They will ask for your LinkedIn profile information, as well as information related to your military service. You will be required to upload your proof of military service, usually your DD214. If you’re active duty, you can still apply, but you’ll need to upload a copy of your current orders and a valid, government-issued ID. (They do not want you military ID.)
Check out their Schedule to see if there is a program starting near you.
If you are a veteran or military spouse, leaving the security of the service can be stressful. Luckily, there are numerous organizations out there, many of which were founded by veterans like you, that want only to clear that path to your next career.
I encourage you to take advantage of the mentorship opportunities offered by these great organizations.
(Photo by Medienstürmer on Unsplash)
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About the author
Robert Haynes is a retired Army infantryman who has a squad of kids and is married to an active duty Soldier. He is a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, who spent his last few years in the Army as a Drill Sergeant. He is now a full-time dad, freelance writer, and out-of-work comedian.