The summer 2016 class of 2 to 4 Veteran Accelerator students were always busy. For 8 weeks, they participated in a variety of programs that focused on professional development, mentorship, and pure fun.
The students kicked off the summer with a welcome reception in which friends and members of the veteran community of Stanford came together to meet the new class of students. It was a beautiful night that allowed the veterans to get to know each other and to network with others. Shortly thereafter, the students visited the Etkin Lab where they learned about research being conducted on campus regarding PTSD in relation to military personnel. The students enjoyed this cool opportunity to get a MRI of their brain.
Every other Friday of the summer, the veterans also participated in professional development sessions. Topics included time management, mentorship, professional communication, and personal statement writing. These sessions gave the veterans the chance to learn from each other about best practices and it gave them space to think more deeply about how they can improve in these areas.
A big highlight of the summer was when the veterans had breakfast with General Mattis. The Arillaga Family Dining Commons Chef’s Balcony was a beautiful setting for breakfast. General Mattis shared expertise and advice that resonated with the students. They also had a chance to ask him questions. So much wisdom and knowledge was shared that will stay with the veterans for years to come.
Google and LinkedIn both hosted the student veterans where they got to network, learn about the company, and learn about career preparations. At Google, they took a tour and met members of VetNet, the internal veteran community at Google. They got to ask questions of a panel of veterans who work at Google, and they received individualized feedback on their personal resumes. At LinkedIn, the students were welcomed by veterans of the LinkedIn community. They asked the panel of veterans about their experiences transitioning into civilian work and the journey that got them to LinkedIn. They also were able to edit their personal LinkedIn alongside the experts and take a professional headshot to implement into their profile.
Throughout the summer, the students met up at socials where members of the Stanford veteran community were present to network and chat. The students had fun at the Virtual Human Interaction Lab, where they took their senses to a new world. Also, they had their handwriting analyzed, which created a lot of introspection and fun.
The summer ended with a bittersweet farewell reception. It was an awesome summer with so many opportunities, and Stanford Summer Session along with the students, were sad to see the summer come to a close. Without any doubts, this class of students was phenomenal, and we look forward to celebrating their accomplishments as they move forward.