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A program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

‘The Mission Is Job Opportunities’ — A Conversation about the Military Spouse Fellowship Program

The newly launched Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Fellowship Program is a first of its kind initiative that provides military spouses with professional training, networking and hands-on experience in the civilian workforce.

On this episode of the HOH Sitrep podcast, Crystal Cochran and Laura Schmiegel discuss the professional development and direct connections to local employers available to military spouses through this program. Cochran is the deputy director of the Hiring Our Heroes Military Spouse Fellowship Program and Schmiegel is the head of Military and Veteran Affairs at Booz Allen Hamilton.

The Military Spouse Fellowship Program is sponsored by Booz Allen Hamilton, Capital One, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Foundation, Military Corps Career Connect (C3), Lockheed Martin and the city of San Antonio.

Listen in as Schmiegel explains why Booz Allen Hamilton “jumped at the chance” to fund 100 military spouse fellows and how this program benefits both military spouses and employers.

Top Takeaways from “The Mission Is Job Opportunities”

1. Unlike veterans, companies often don’t think of military spouses as a separate employee group.

“People who aren’t familiar with this community may scratch their heads as to why these fellowships are needed.” – Laura Schmiegel, Head of Military and Veteran Affairs at Booz Allen Hamilton

2. Hiring managers may have difficulty understanding a military spouse’s resume because of the variety of work experiences they have had at various companies and employment gaps due to overseas military assignments.

“Sometimes it is difficult to read a military spouse’s resume and it’s not because there’s a bias against a military spouse. It’s just really hard to figure out where to put that spouse when you look at his or her resume.” – Laura Schmiegel, Head of Military and Veteran Affairs at Booz Allen Hamilton

3. This program helps military spouses get a foot in the door at companies in seven locations — Maryland/Washington, D.C., northern Virginia, Colorado Springs, San Antonio, Tampa, Honolulu, and San Diego.

“It’s the lack of a network that is the biggest challenge for military spouses. We are able to get past that by making a direct and warm connection to an employer.” – Crystal Cochran, Deputy Director of the Military Spouse Fellowship Program at Hiring Our Heroes

The application deadline for the 2020 cohort 1 is November 1, 2019. The 2020 Military Spouse Fellowship program cohort 1 starts on January 13 and concludes on February 21. For more information about the Military Spouse Fellowship program or to submit your application, visit hiringourheroes.org/fellowship/spousefellows.

4. The Military Spouse Fellowship Program builds on the success of our partnership with Military Corps Career Connect (C3) through the Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation and a Department of Labor grant.

“Through that pilot program, we were able to put 130 spouses into the fellowship program in the span of 18 months and 86% of them had job offers at the end of the program.” – Crystal Cochran, Deputy Director of the Military Spouse Fellowship Program at Hiring Our Heroes

5. The mission of the Military Spouse Fellowship Program is job opportunities for military spouses.

“We want the fellowship to be a test drive. A test drive on both sides. The company finds out if they are really interested in the person and their skill set … and may want to bring them on board. We want a fellow who feels essentially the same way – that this might be the right industry, company or role for them and they are excited to get in there, roll up their sleeves and find out if it’s the right step for them.” – Crystal Cochran, Deputy Director of the Military Spouse Fellowship Program at Hiring Our Heroes

The HOH Sitrep podcast is the official podcast of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s Hiring Our Heroes initiative. Subscribe to the HOH Sitrep podcast on iTunesGoogle Play, or your favorite podcast service and never miss an episode.

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A Program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation