A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program (CFP) is an innovative program that provides military service members with professional training and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce. Here are five reasons why you need to apply to participate in the CFP before you transition out of the military.
“My experience with Hiring Our Heroes’ Corporate Fellowship Program revolutionized my outlook on my own transition out of the military. At that time I had no plans on how I was going to search for work outside of the Army and I didn’t even have a resume.
“Committing to apply to the program gave me the reality check that I needed to take my transition seriously, and as a result I was accepted and now have an opportunity to pursue a career using a skill set developed by escalating responsibilities in the military and molded into a civilian model.
“During this program, I was a fellow with GENCO in Lebanon, TN, where I was I was able to apply my knowledge to improve production processes and lead a production team towards its goals. I was involved daily in production and engineering meetings as new models of product were introduced to the factory.
“Even with the compressed timeline of my fellowship the environment with GENCO promoted asking questions and pushed my professional growth. I have been offered a position with the company and using skills introduced by the program I was able to develop a professional network with the other fellows and career organizations around the Fort Campbell area.”
— James D., Graduate of Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program – Fort Campbell
“Throughout the 12 weeks of the Corporate Fellowship Program we bonded through our weekly class and roundtables and the many networking events we attended. We had the pleasure of meeting with so many company recruiters, human resources professionals and community representatives.
“Although a goal of the fellowship is to help place candidates with national and local companies for possible employment, I would not characterize this program as a job placement program. Rather it is a program to empower service members to understand their worth and professional acumen.
“I am so indebted to the HOH for this opportunity as I was eventually hired by my host company, Comcast. I will remember the many lessons I learned in this program, always.”
— Robert B., Graduate of Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program – Fort Carson
“My passion has always been to work in the IT industry and to land a technical job where I can actually roll up my sleeves and work on various platforms. Throughout my time in the military as a Signal Officer, I was exposed to a few technologies, but my main duties were managerial tasks and general administration.
“As I was in the process of transitioning out and interviewing at various companies, it became extremely clear that my lack of hands-on skills working in an enterprise IT department was eliminating my dream of getting a technical job above the help desk level, forcing me into a project management role.
“There are a number of skills that are required to be successful in this industry which certainly include technical skills, but more importantly include work ethic, responsibility, reliability, and a passion for the work and industry as a whole. The technical skills can be taught, but these other traits cannot.
“While interviewing on my own, I really wanted to convey these skills and really express the fact that if you put me in the role and allow me to ramp up, I can prove my worth and show that I would be a tremendous asset. This is what the Corporate Fellowship Program allowed me to do. Instead of trying to portray these character traits in a 30-minute phone or in person interview, which would ultimately reveal a lack of certain skills or experience and the ‘we’ll be in touch’ response, I was able to participate in an internship.
“I worked with Amazon Web Services for 12 weeks and showed that I will do whatever it takes to complete any assignment you give me and I have a work ethic that is unparalleled.
“Without this program, I wouldn’t have ever even made it to a phone interview because their technical bar is so high. After going through this program and being given a chance, Amazon Web Services created a position exclusively for my skill level and are hoping to have this be a viable career path for others similar to my skill sets and other characteristics.
“This truly is an experience of a lifetime and I am so thankful for all the program has done for me!”
— Ian S., Graduate of Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program – Joint Base Lewis-McChord
“During my time in the Army, I served as an Engineer Officer in the 555th Engineer Brigade. I commissioned out of West Point and served five years in active duty. I served one tour in Afghanistan as a route clearance platoon leader. Our mission was to keep the roads safe and secure for Coalition Forces in the Zharay District of Kandahar Province. After returning to JBLM and completing my time as a platoon leader, I was transferred to Battalion staff and later Brigade staff to manage training resources.
“It was while I served on Brigade staff that I learned about the Corporate Fellowship Program. The Deputy Commander of my Brigade recommended that I consider the program. He knew I was preparing to transition out of the military and believed I would be a good fit. As I learned more about what the fellowship entailed, I realized this was an opportunity I did not want to miss. Nothing could have prepared me better for life after active duty.
“While I was a fellow, I was immersed in the corporate culture and learned what it took to be successful in the civilian sector. Having only served in the military since graduating from college, I experienced significant culture shock.
“I was selected by ThyssenKrupp Aerospace to partner with one of their senior project managers. Our objective was to increase efficiency and production at one of their largest metal-cutting facilities. I was quickly put in a leadership role, overseeing three college interns, managing data collection and reporting for the project. It was exciting to see principles such as Six Sigma taught in our classroom and immediately applied in the business place. Our project team at ThyssenKrupp was able to identify significant opportunities for growth and contribute to the success of their operation.
“My experience with the fellowship and working at ThyssenKrupp Aerospace was invaluable. I am now working in construction management for Centennial Contractors Enterprises Inc. as an Assistant Project Manager, primarily managing projects under our contract with the University of Washington. It has been an exciting and challenging new experience.
“I am extremely grateful for the development and mentoring I received from the fellowship, and I hope to see the program continue for years to come.”
— Zach A., Graduate of the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program – Joint Base Lewis McChord
“My experience in the Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program has been very educational and a great way to help in my transition from 20 years of service to a private sector job search.
“The experiences from working directly with Amazon over the last 12 weeks have been amazing. The ability to step into a large corporation and given free roam was more than I expected. From the first day the entire team was receptive and welcoming. The project that I was a part of was to help improve the flow process for the vendor returns section. This project was my first glimpse into the Amazon environment and it was a ‘hit the ground running’ project. After the project was completed I was given the ability to train in areas such as the Pick, Pack, and Sort departments side by side with the managers and the Process Assistants that ensure the entire shift runs smooth. The entire 12-week experience was an eye opener.
“The opportunity to participate in this program is one that every soldier, transitioning and eligible, should strive to be a part of with fellowship program managers at the helm guiding the entire process and being available at any time for question or concerns.”
— Rodney G., Graduate of Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program – Fort Campbell
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A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation