Posted by: Alison Damast on October 16, 2009
I recently wrote a story about how business schools are trying to attract more candidates with military experience through new initiatives like the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon program. Recruiters also are angling for a chance to bring veterans into their companies, pursuing them more aggressively than ever before. One way some are doing this is by participating in the MBA Veterans Career Conference today in Chicago, which organizers are billing as the first event of its kind. A number of top companies – 14 in total – are recruiting at the career fair including big names like Apple, General Electric, Google and Credit Suisse. Recruiters will be talking to 130 veterans from 41 business schools, a majority of whom served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The career fair was organized by David Chonowski and Chris Peterson, both former U.S. army officers. The pair founded the MBA Veterans Network last fall, while they were second-year MBA students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Their vision was to help connect military personnel with recruiters from leading companies, as well as raise funds for a charity focused on helping soldiers and their families (a donation this year will be made to Paradox Sports, an organization founded by a United States Military Academy graduate who was injured in Iraq).
So far, it seems like the pair has accomplished their goals. It will be interesting to follow how influential this organization becomes as more military personnel start coming home in the next few months and years. It seems like it has a lot of potential to become a real resource for veterans, as well as companies who want to do more targeted recruiting.
Readers, why do you think companies are interested in hiring more MBA veterans? What special skills do you think they bring to the workforce?