Since the 2022 Russian invasion, Ukraine’s veteran population has increased from roughly 500,000 to over 1.2 million and counting, yet the country’s ability to support its servicemembers has declined due to the war’s impact on the economy and infrastructure. Two…
OVMA Connect Offers Veterans a Chance to Build Relationships With Students, Alumni and Mentors in Their Community
In summer 2021, the University’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs (OVMA) announced the launch of OVMA Connect, a mentoring platform powered by PeopleGrove that builds professional networks by connecting student veterans and alumni with career mentors in support of their career journey. OVMA Connect strives to offer practical and effective networking with the Syracuse University veteran and military-connected community. PeopleGrove expanded their capabilities beyond mentorship with the introduction of “higher education’s first career access platform,” which will offer an enhanced experience for all 300 OVMA Connect users and with an eye on increasing users.
OVMA Connect through the PeopleGrove platform offers a new way to match students and alumni with mentors based on their interests, career objectives and career exploration. OVMA believes that the best college experience is more than just getting a degree. Students and alumni alike should look beyond the classroom for areas of personal and professional development. OVMA Connect empowers student veterans to unlock social capital and learn from others who have been in their shoes through mentorship connections.
No matter the phase of their career, a mentoring program will help both students and alumni get through it. Users can get exposure to different industries and jobs, resume advice and hone their interview skills. Employers are looking for specific skills and experience on OVMA Connect that may open doors for students. There are also highly qualified alumni to provide informational interviews, job shadows, mock interviews, resume reviews and more to support users.
OVMA Connect’s unique access provided to alumni differentiates the platform. Whether a user is a recent graduate or lifetime member, the ability to connect and receive help is the same. The service will connect mentors and their mentees in an organized and managed way, allowing a virtual space for relationships to live and grow. Landing jobs can be hard, but a strong mentoring relationship on OVMA Connect can help.
During the onboarding or signup on OVMA Connect, the platform’s artificial intelligence suggests matches between students, alumni and mentors. This process allows students and alumni to highlight their interests and areas of strength. Through the platform, users can schedule mock interviews, network, have their resumes reviewed or they can find internships and full-time jobs. As users interact, they can receive and provide feedback. For example, on a post-mentoring engagement, one student stated, “[My mentor] posted excellent questions and listened politely to my responses. I would be happy to work with him in the future.” Mentees can also send emails directly to mentors requesting connections. The mentor of interest could be someone who shared similar educational experiences, holds a position of interest to the student or simply be someone who is kind enough to talk with you. In addition, the platform can be used as a great tool to track career trajectories as students, alumni and mentors engage with one another to create meaningful and impactful connections.
OVMA Connect continues to grow every week. It gives students access to opportunities and people that help them discover the right career and provides alumni with a chance to share advice and discover budding students. Membership is free for life and takes just two minutes by registering on the OVMA Connect website.