Alexandra Babka was discouraged. A military spouse, she hadn’t had any luck finding employment since she and her husband relocated to the Navy base at Patuxent River, Maryland. “I had a college degree and several years of work experience. Was all that work for nothing?” questioned Alexandra. “With previous job searches, I had to hide my status as a military spouse. I started to think I might never find satisfying and rewarding employment.”
Connecting veterans, service members, and military spouses with meaningful employment opportunities is essential to our nation’s security and the sustainability of our military. That’s why Booz Allen chooses to partner with Hiring Our Heroes and, together, develop some of the most innovative solutions to address veteran and military spouse employment.
On-the-Job Training in Corporate Fellowship Program
One solution? The Hiring Our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program. Hiring Our Heroes invited us to be the first corporation to help sponsor and launch the program because we understand the employment challenges military spouses face, such as gaps in their resumes, that can prevent them from moving forward in the interview and hiring process. Our initial grant funds the first 100 fellowships, helping match military spouses with on-the-job training, professional development and networking opportunities at companies in San Antonio, San Diego, Honolulu, and the metropolitan DC area. We have already inspired other companies to give as well, creating a sustainable and expanding program that will help hundreds of military spouses get a critical ‘foot in the door’ to meaningful jobs.
Alexandra learned about this newly established program at a Hiring Our Heroes hiring event. Once she qualified, she spoke to a few Booz Allen employees—military spouses like herself—and was pleasantly surprised when Booz Allen worked with her to see how her previous experience in manufacturing could apply to consulting. After a 5-week fellowship supporting proposal production, Booz Allen hired Alexandra full time as a program analyst providing analytical program management support for a Navy project. “That Hiring Our Heroes event changed my life,” says Alexandra.
Finding Solutions for Veteran and Military Spouse Unemployment
Since 2013, Booz Allen has partnered with Hiring Our Heroes. Our firm is a natural home for veterans who want to continue their mission and we value our military spouses whose talent and ingenuity make us a better company. One-third of our workforce is military connected, and most of our client work is performed in support of our nation’s security—via the Department of Defense and intelligence community, among others.
In addition to the Corporate Fellowship Program, we’re deeply involved in helping Hiring Our Heroes develop best practices for signature programs. We are co-chairs of the Military Spouse Employment Advisory Council and members of the Veteran Employment Advisory Council. We’re a Founding Coalition Member of the Hiring 100K Military Spouses initiative, a 3-year national campaign to find real solutions for military spouse unemployment and underemployment. We’re also corporate co-chairs of the Military Spouse Economic Empowerment Zones, working with local stakeholders in San Antonio, San Diego, Tampa, and Northern Virginia to tackle the challenges of military spouse employment head on.