Note from MOAA: American Corporate Partners (ACP) is a national nonprofit organization focused on helping veterans, transitioning military members, and active-duty military spouses find their next career. Here, ACP Senior Communications Associate Millie Donnelly outlines the organization’s recent work.
Since 2008, American Corporate Partners (ACP) has been providing mentorships to veterans transitioning from service with at least 180 days of post-9/11 service. Today, ACP has helped more than 23,000 veterans with their career transitions into civilian life. The free, yearlong mentorships are customized to fit the protégé’s specific needs and interests.
In 2016, ACP recognized a need for programming aimed specifically toward veterans and military spouses; thus, ACP’s Women’s Program was founded and launched.
Within ACP’s mentoring program, 20% of our protégés identify as women. They tend to face unique challenges when it comes to employment. Therefore, ACP has prioritized providing additional support to this demographic.
As part of the program, women protégés may choose to be paired with a mentor who shares their gender identity and can discuss how to successfully navigate personal branding, employment, and competitiveness in a male-dominated industry. Much like ACP’s protégés, our pool of mentors is equally diverse, with 30% of our mentors identifying as women. The day-to-day work each mentor pours into their protégé allows them to be better equipped and prepares them to achieve their career goals.
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ACP partners with Ellevate Network, a global professional women’s network, and Lean In, a community dedicated to fostering women’s leadership and workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion. Mentors who come to ACP from these unique organizations are well-versed in leadership development, coaching, résumé review, interview preparation, building the protégé’s self-confidence in the workplace, and combating imposter syndrome.
For Women’s History Month, ACP is proud to celebrate the significant accomplishments of all of our active duty spouses, with 91% of military spouses being women. Often, our active duty spouse protégés come to us with significant dilemmas that other job-seekers do not face, such as needing a remote position for transferability or having considerable gaps in their résumé due to relocating and resettling. Despite facing unique challenges, military spouses are some of the most dedicated, hardworking, and flexible employees a company could hope to hire.
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Recently, ACP protégé and active duty spouse Audrey J. decided to take advantage of her spouse’s upcoming change of station by switching careers. She had previously worked in accounting but knew she wanted to make the switch to a career in IT. As soon as meetings with her ACP mentor started, the pair hit the ground running! They began by narrowing down which career areas to focus on, and after several months, Audrey’s accomplishments spoke for themselves. Audrey was starting a master’s program at a top university and was interviewing for multiple positions. Before long, she accepted a job as an associate consultant at a tech firm! Here at ACP, we are always delighted to share in the successes of our protégés like Audrey, who work harder than most to soar to new heights!
ACP’s Women’s Program hosts a monthly webinar tailored for a woman-heavy audience. A few past topics include: succeeding in a male-dominated field, navigating federal employment, and establishing an executive presence online or in-person. ACP also hosts weekly professional development webinars for all audiences targeting a variety of topics, from industry exposure to updating your LinkedIn profile.
As ACP looks toward the future of growing its fantastic program, applications are open to all veterans who served for at least 180 days active duty post-9/11, as well as to active duty military spouses. Veterans can apply at this link, and active duty military spouses at this link. If you would be interested in signing up with us as a mentor, please apply here!
Making a Difference in Military Life
Military spouse blogger Mrs. Navy Mama shares her support of MOAA’s efforts to help military families and how you can get involved.