The Prudential Foundation and TWC Position Veterans for Professional Success

Members of the VET initiative 2017 cohort

Learn how a partnership with TWC helped the Prudential Foundation further its goal of supporting Veterans with opportunity.

More than 3.5 million men and women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq. As troops return home, the U.S. job market has seen a rapid influx of veterans in search of quality civilian jobs. As part of their ongoing commitment to support veterans, Prudential partnered with The Washington Center to address one of the most common challenges facing young veterans: translating the extensive skills they developed while in military service into a professional career.

This common challenge was the impetus for The Washington Center's Veterans Employment Trajectory (VET) Initiative. The Prudential Foundation asked us to design a program specifically to cultivate career advancement and workforce preparedness for veterans entering civilian professions.

Mark Brown's story illustrates both the challenges and the benefits of the solution the Prudential Foundation and TWC developed to address it. While serving six years in the the U.S. Navy, Mark earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Engineering Technology from Excelsior College and worked as a nuclear propulsion technician on a submarine.

After leaving the Navy, Mark earned another degree in Economics from the University of Michigan–Flint. His plan was to be a financial analyst. However, even with a degree in Economics, when he applied for internships at financial institutions, the “nuclear engineering” stint on his resume presented a barrier. Then Mark discovered and was accepted into TWC's VET Initiative ten-week immersion program in Washington D.C.

[Mark's] plan was to be a financial analyst. However, even with a degree in Economics, when he applied for internships at financial institutions, the “nuclear engineering” stint on his resume presented a barrier.

Mark Brown (left)
VET Initiative Alumnus

Here Mark, along with the other 24 other student veterans in his cohort, was exposed to nearly 120 speakers, experts, leaders, coaches and career counselor. He participated in workshops, site visits and discussions to help veterans grow personally and professionally. The program also helped him secure an internship at the International Economic Development Council, where he got hands-on experience in the financial industry and networked with industry professionals.

But of course, the best outcome of all is that after his internship, Mark was offered and accepted a full-time position with the Council.

25 student veterans participated in the VET Initiative in the summer of 2017. Six months later…



 

Ultimately, Mark’s goal is to some day transform the efficiency of financial markets using big data and machine learning to exploit areas of arbitrage. To do this, he is taking courses in machine learning and data science while also pursuing yet another degree. This time it's a Master of Science in Applied Economics, concentrating in financial economics, at Johns Hopkins University.

We are very proud of Mark and his accomplishments, and we're proud that the VET initiative helped him and his cohort overcome common challenges among veterans to launch successful careers when they return to civilian life.

The Washington Center

The Washington Center is the largest and most established student internship program in Washington, D.C. Since our founding, we've helped more than 55,000 young people translate their college majors into career paths. We use our scale and expertise to customize each student’s experience to be truly transformative.