Scoring in Transition
By Joe Cote
Southern New Hampshire University and the Boston Celtics further solidified their partnership this year by combining forces to offer the second installment of Scoring in Transition.
The job exploration and development program helps military service members and veterans transition into civilian careers by exploring their career options and identifying ways their military experience translates to the civilian job market.
“It’s important that SNHU continue to provide resources to these students in order to assist them in finding the career they will love and be successful in,” said Steve Thiel, SNHU director of partnership marketing. “There are unique challenges that veteran students must overcome, and SNHU and the Celtics are thrilled to work with them to overcome those hurdles.”
Prepping for Transitions
The Scoring in Transition program is delivered in four parts in as many months. It kicked off at the TD Garden in Boston in January with a career exploration session with SNHU Career advisors and Celtics front office staff. The SNHU Career experts and Celtics staffers spoke with students about their work experience and skills, as well as any military experience that could translate to a civilian career. They also talked about their ideal job titles with the intention of finding ways the students’ military and work experience match up with the career they’re interested in.
In February, students attended a webinar focused on writing or optimizing their resumes. The third Scoring in Transition event, in March, concentrated on interview skills. The program culminated in April with a hiring fair featuring companies invited based on the career interests of the students; these included corporate partners of SNHU and the Celtics and businesses with a track record of hiring veterans based on their military experience.
“The hiring fair is a tremendous opportunity for these veteran men and women, as the companies and students both understand the value of them as former service members,” Thiel said. “It relieves one of the major hurdles veterans have to face in the career search process.”
Driving for Success
Angelika Maryniak, SNHU Career Connections team lead, said many of SNHU’s military students are particularly driven to succeed in their chosen careers because it’s often a second career and one they are pursuing based on a passion they have for the field.
“Our military students are very unique in that a lot of them have already had their first careers, so they come with a lot of dedication. They come with a lot of drive to complete something that they’re really interested in, that they’re good at and that they can use their previous career experience (in) their new one.”
U.S. Air Force veteran Stephen Osborne, a student in the bachelor’s in operations management program, said he particularly valued the opportunity to speak with career advisors in person.
“As an online student, I am used to interacting from a distance, but there’s really no substitute for face-to-face interaction,” he said. “I hope by meeting some of the career development team that it will put a face to who I am as a person and help them better assess my strengths and weaknesses.”
Scoring in Transition is only one part of SNHU’s partnership with the Celtics. The university has also teamed with the Celtics to open or renovate technology labs in Boston and in Manchester, New Hampshire, middle schools. The Championship of Opportunity Scholarship gives a Boys & Girls Club member a four-year scholarship to the SNHU main campus in Manchester, as well as a $5,000 grant from SNHU to a Boys & Girls Club alumnus to continue his or her studies on campus or online. The Celtics also host Heritage Nights at certain home games, including Latin American Night and Asian American Night.
Thiel said the Celtics are the perfect corporate partners for Scoring in Transition.
“The program is a true partnership, as SNHU provides its extensive career resources, while the Celtics provide fun opportunities at each event so that students are further incentivized to attend,” he said.
Students get to have a bit of fun, too. After the career assessment workshop in January, Celtics staff led students onto the TD Garden floor, where they posed for a group photo while the Celtics and Detroit Pistons players began their warm-ups. They were then treated to a suite upstairs provided by the Celtics to catch the primetime game, as part of the Celtics’ “Seats for Soldiers” night.
“While career resources are always available to all of our students, both military and civilian, the Celtics provide fun activities to make the events more attractive to attend either in person or virtually,” Thiel said. “Once the students are in the program, they find that there are things they can learn about being better prepared for their career switch or search.”