Veterans Employment Trajectory (VET) Initiative
Turning military training into civilian success.
If you're a U.S. military veteran and college student facing the challenges of entering the civilian workforce, you're not alone. More than 3.5 million men and women have served in Afghanistan and Iraq since 2001. And like you, they want to start a career, build a better life and have a chance at the American Dream.
In partnership with Prudential Financial, The Washington Center has developed the Veterans Employment Trajectory (VET) Initiative, an immersive internship program to help translate the extensive skills you developed in the military and in college into a successful career. For years, Prudential has helped make life more secure for the men and women, and their families, who have served our country. And together, through the VET initiative, we are proud to do our part in helping veterans like you reach your professional and personal goals.
This is a highly selective program. To be eligible to participate, you must meet the following criteria:
- Be an honorably discharged U.S. military veteran.
- Maintain a grade point average (GPA) of at least 2.75 on a 4.0 scale (or equivalent). Students with a lower GPA may be considered.
- Be enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at the time of application (Note: If you graduate the same summer as the program, you are still eligible to participate).
If you have any questions:
During this ten-week program, you'll be matched with an internship that fits your personal and career goals. Many internship sites will be offering remote internships due to continued COVID-19 restrictions. You'll work full-time Monday through Thursday, whether you are in an in-person or remote internship.
On Fridays, you'll get special training that helps you apply your experience to build your career path. Students with remote internships may choose to stay in D.C. to attend the special training in-person, or may choose to attend all training virtually.
You'll focus on key parts of your workforce preparedness like your resumé and personal brand, job interviewing, networking and job search skills.
Additionally you will:
- Listen to and learn from more than 60 speakers and panelists.
- Get more than 46 hours of individual mentoring and career enrichment.
- Attend the Veterans Summit hosted at Prudential's Corporate Headquarters in Newark, NJ (this will likely be virtual).
This is a fully funded internship program sponsored by Prudential Financial. Sponsorship covers the cost of the program and housing (for students coming to D.C.). You will be responsible for food and living expenses. Additionally, TWC will give all participants $2,000 to help alleviate these expenses.
Housing and Living
The 2021 program will offer both a virtual and in-person option.
For those who choose to come to Washington, D.C., you’ll have the option to reside at The Washington Center’s housing facility.
We don't like to brag, but our neighborhood, NoMa, is one of the coolest and 'most connected' neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. You'll be in the middle of it all with easy access wherever you need to go.
Want to learn all about TWC housing, the community and the neighborhood? Check out our Housing page:
Health and Safety
If you plan to reside in TWC housing, you must have health insurance and provide your policy information prior to check-in.
To maintain social distancing, you’ll be housed in a private bedroom and have a private bathroom. You will have a shared living area and kitchen. You’ll be required to disinfect and clean your apartment each week, and TWC will conduct monthly inspections.
TWC has revised its Emergency Response Plan with new procedures for 2021. We have also implemented the following policy changes for our housing facilities:
- You will be required to wear a mask in all public spaces of the Residential and Academic Facility (RAF). We encourage you to bring a personal supply of reusable masks, but TWC will also maintain a supply of disposable masks if you lose or forget your face covering.
- You will be limited to no more than one guest in your TWC apartment at any one time. A guest is any building resident who is not an occupant of that unit.
- Non-resident visitors (excluding staff) will not be allowed in any TWC residences (with exceptions for check-in).
- The following occupancy limits will be in place for spaces within the RAF and residents will be required to sign in and out with the front desk for contact tracing purposes:
- The fitness center will be limited to four residents at any one time and masks will be required for use.
- The computer lab will be limited to two residents at any one time and masks will be required for use. Please note: The computer lab does not have printing capabilities for students; however, there are several local printing services that students can use if needed.
- The patio at the RAF will be limited to gatherings that adhere to Washington, D.C.’s current social distancing/gathering guidelines.
- The elevators at RAF will have a maximum capacity of two persons at any one time.
- Select classroom spaces will be available as socially-distanced remote work spaces for your use between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., as your apartment will not have a desk (it will have a kitchen table and coffee table in the common area). Residents will be required to sign in and out at the front desk in order to use this space and there are disinfectant supplies provided.
Each apartment is fully furnished and includes:
- a full dining set (pots, pans, dishes, silverware, coffee maker and toaster)
- iron and ironing board
- vacuum cleaner
- mop and broom
- washer and dryer
What to Pack
Please be prepared to pack the following:
- linens including twin-sized sheets, towels, a blanket/comforter and pillows
- personal toiletries
- government-issued ID card
- at least three business professional outfits
- notebook and pens
- clothes hangers
Once you’ve arrived we recommend you purchase these additional items:
- cleaning supplies
- dishwasher and laundry detergent
- toilet paper and paper towels
Due to limited storage we cannot accept packages in advance of your check-in date.
We give you your space, but we don't leave you totally on your own. Our student services team and alumni mentors make sure you have the support you need, any time day or night. And our disability services staff ensures that every student has the tools they need to live comfortably, complete assignments and succeed in their work.
You may be eligible to receive academic credit for your participation in this program, which would also allow you to continue receiving GI Bill benefits while at TWC. However, credits are determined and awarded by each university. TWC does not grant credit. You are responsible for arranging any academic credit through your college or university. You should discuss arrangements with you institution, prior to starting the program.
Dates and Deadlines
- Application Deadline: Wednesday, February 24, 2021
- Finalists Contacted: Friday, February 26, 2021
- Finalists Interviewed: March 2-4, 2021
- Acceptance Notifications: Wednesday, March 10, 2021
- Check in: Sunday, June 6, 2021
- Internship Begins: Tuesday, June 8, 2021
- Internship Ends: Thursday, August 5, 2021
- Check-Out: Saturday, August 7, 2021
How to Apply
Start and submit the online application by clicking the button below. Throughout the process, you can save your application and return to it at a later time. You must include the application documents listed in the section below to complete the application process.
If you're not quite ready to apply, fill out our request for information and a member of our staff will reach out to you.
You need to submit the following documents along with your application:
- Resumé (2-page max.): include your educational background, honors or recognitions, work experience, activities, special skills, etc., including military experience. Please include any computer-related expertise or foreign language skills, as well as prior internships and community service activities.
- Unofficial Transcript: official transcripts are also accepted, but are not required. If you have attended several higher education institutions, only your most recent unofficial transcript is required.
- Your DD-214 (discharge)*
- Letter of Recommendation: Your letter must be from a faculty member or professional supervisor. If you have a GPA below 2.75, you’ll need to submit two letters of recommendation. Your recommender will submit their letter directly to TWC through the application.
- Statement of Professional Interest (approx. 100 words): broadly describe your internship interests, future career goals, skills you are hoping to gain, and ways in which you will contribute to your placement site. Please do not specify the name(s) of any particular organization in this statement.
- Issues Essay (approx. 500 words): reflect on a key issue related to your professional field of interest and demonstrate your written communication skills to TWC and prospective internship site supervisors.
* "Less than honorable" discharges will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
I just graduated. Am I still eligible to participate?
Only if you graduated the spring prior to the VET initiative summer program.
What types of internships are available?
We partner with over 500 organizations spanning the greater D.C. metropolitan area, in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Students with a variety of interests across all majors and sectors are able to find meaningful experiences and gain transferrable skills.
How can my GI Bill funding be applied towards the VET Initiative?
- You should first verify at your institution if internship credit is required or can be earned in order to graduate.
- Upon confirming that you may receive credit for completing the VET Initiative, you should then follow your institution's procedures for reviewing and approving the VET Initiative internship for academic credit. This may require providing them with detailed programmatic information, which we will be happy to provide by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once you're approved to receive academic credit, you should meet with your institution's veterans’ office to discuss the process to administer GI Bill funding for the VET Initiative. You may need to meet with an official in the veterans’ office and/or the financial aid office for processing the sign-off on the approval form.
- Your designated official will then send the approval form to the State Approving Agency (SAA). The SAA representative will make the final determination if the VET Initiative meets the necessary requirements for continuation of benefits. If approved, the SAA will send a notification to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for continuation of benefits.
How can I fulfill my mandatory drill and/or training obligations during the VET Initiative?
Prior to the start of the program, you should make the necessary arrangements with your Chain of Command in order to be excused from your monthly drill and/or annual training obligations. You can either be excused or can arrange to fulfill your reserve duty obligation with an alternate unit (e.g. Army National Guard, Army Reserve, Air National Guard, Air Force Reserve, Navy Reserve or Marine Corps Reserve) within the D.C.metropolitan area. Our VET Initiative Manager can assist you in making these arrangements while still fulfilling the program requirements.
You can view TWC's Internship Policies here, which includes information on student conduct, billing, grades, and much more. All students will be expected to follow these policies so we encourage you to review them.