Why Veterans Should Consider Internship, Research, and other Experiential Learning Opportunities

Veterans who leave military service and pursue a degree come to their academic program with a wealth of experience and accomplishments. So, if you already have working experience, why get more experience in the form of an internship, research, volunteer work, or other experiential learning opportunities?

There are a host of benefits to consider when exploring these options, some of which include:

Gaining insights into a new career choice. Perhaps you are studying for a different career field than you had while in the military. Participating in an internship could allow you the space to gain greater knowledge of what the career involves on a day-to-day basis. It could also provide you with direct experience to list on a résumé and contribute to a future employer.

Networking within the civilian workforce. If you’ve recently separated or retired from the military, you may find it beneficial to create a civilian network. Participating in experiential learning opportunities can allow you an opportunity to develop these relationships, perhaps even in a new field or industry. With so many job seekers finding their next opportunity through networking, it can be a huge benefit to begin expanding your civilian network.

Getting to know companies. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you’ll gain an inside look at a company’s culture and operations. While doing so, you’ll have the chance to show off your skills and demonstrate your experience as companies get to know you, too.  

Participating in meaningful projects. Project-based opportunities can provide short-term experience while providing a sense of purpose. You can contribute to an organization or community while utilizing a pre-existing or building up a new skill set.

Further developing your career by pursuing experiential learning opportunities while a student can be an excellent complement to the experience you already have. To locate your next internship, research, or volunteer opportunity, be sure to check out Handshake.

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

By Mary Malerba
Mary Malerba Assistant Director, Alumni Relations