April 24, 2014

How the Post 9/11 GI Bill can benefit you

Interested in pursuing a higher-level education? Going back to school is often an option considered by veterans about to start the civilian job search. Unfortunately, many are unaware of how to utilize the education benefits given to them by the military for themselves, or their family members. Understanding the jargon associated with the various GI bills may be confusing to follow. This article is the first of two in this series and serves to explain the Post 9/11 GI Bill in as simple terms as possible. Additionally, it is designed to provide you with the necessary resources to evaluate your qualifications and learn more about your available benefits. This post is not all inclusive, and it is important to cross-check your qualifications and eligibility for all benefits and programs. A Brief Summary: As outlined on My Army Benefits, the Post 9/11 GI Bill is “an education benefit program specifically for military members who served in active duty on, or after, September 11, 2001.” The program awards benefits based on an individual’s time spent with the military, and may include coverage of tuition and associated fees, a housing allowance, a stipend for books and supplies, Yellow Ribbon Payments, and transferability to either a spouse or children. The benefits are available to be used by the veteran up to 15 years after separation from the military. Reservists and National Guard Members are eligible for the same benefits as Active Duty members under the Post 9/11 GI Bill, a change from the past. […]
April 22, 2014

Girl Scouts deliver sweet surprise to Military Veterans Resource Center

On Friday, April 19, Product Program Operations Manager Melinda Prickett and Product Program Specialist Lynn Salyers from the Girl Scouts of Ohio’s Heartland Council visited Military Veterans Resource Center’s Headquarters–but they didn’t arrive empty-handed. They showed up in a van filled with 136 cases of girl scout cookies for MVRC’s veterans. After four large cartloads and the labor of Prickett, Salyers, and three MVRC staff members, all the cookies were transported safe and unbroken to MVRC’s foodbank. Made possible by the Council’s Operation Salute cookie program, MVRC is one of many organizations to receive a generous donation of cookies from the Girl Scouts. “We delivered to everybody from Operation Buckeye to the VA hospital in Columbus,” says Salyers. “We delivered to Portsmouth, Mansfield, and Chillicothe–we stretched from one side of the state to the other.” Last year, the Council started the Operation Salute program as a way for girl scouts to give back to Ohio’s service men and women. While they were out selling cookies, the girls could ask for a $4 donation (the price of one box) for Operation Salute, and the money would go towards providing cookies to organizations that help military members. Some boxes are even shipped to troops overseas. By the end of cookie season last year, Operation Salute delivered 6,000 boxes of cookies to Ohio’s military members. This year, that number more than tripled, and the girl scouts raised enough money to deliver 21, 600 boxes of cookies. “We plan on doing this again next […]
April 16, 2014

What the heck is LinkedIn and why should I care?–Part 2

Alright, I’ll make a profile–but how? Now that I’ve (hopefully) convinced you to join LinkedIn, it’s time to get started on your account. First things first. Go to www.linkedin.com and complete the registration process. Luckily, it’s simple. You’ll just need to input basic information like your name and email. (Click on each image for a close-up view.) Then, follow these steps to get the most out of your profile. 1) Add a photo Upload a professional picture of yourself to your profile. This is a must. LinkedIn Career Expert Nicole Williams was quoted in an article by Forbes contributor Libby Kane saying your profile is seven times more likely to be viewed if you have a photo. Need I say more. 2) Get creative with your title Your title appears directly beneath your name on your profile page. You can click on the blue pen next to the title space to edit it. Many people (myself included) simply name their current position, but you can get more creative with your title if you like. For example, if you are currently unemployed and you’re looking for a job as a social worker you could write “Passionate, experienced counselor seeking social work opportunity.” 3) Write a good summary The purpose of the summary is to sell yourself. You should use this section of your profile to convey your skills, qualifications, interests and beliefs to your network and your profile viewers. If you don’t have a summary, it will appear to the viewer […]
April 11, 2014

What the heck is LinkedIn and why should I care?–Part 1

This is for all the people who don’t have a LinkedIn account and couldn’t care less about getting one. I used to think like you too. I’ve never cared much about staying up-to-date with popular hi-tech trends (still don’t have a smartphone). But I do have a Facebook profile to help keep tabs on my friends and family. So why bother adding something else to check, update, “like,” and ultimately eat up more time in my already very busy day? Well, about a month ago I finally cracked and signed up. And it turns out I was wrong about everything. Here’s why: 1) LinkedIn is user-friendly. You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use it. 2) Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn is not for play. It’s a tool that has many uses for current and aspiring professionals. 3) People who are busier and more important than me use it all the time. I’m not sharing my discoveries to promote LinkedIn and bring more traffic to the website. Trust me, LinkedIn doesn’t need any help from me. Rather, LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool that can help you–whether you’re a job-seeker, an entry-level worker, or a CEO–build your professional presence and learn about new opportunities. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to learn from my mistakes and develop one. I’ll be spending this blog article and my next one explaining first, why you should get a LinkedIn profile, and then, second, how to use one to your best advantage. First […]
April 7, 2014

18-PiNK EXTREME wins bid to USAV National Championships

When she’s not coaching veterans on their job-hunting skills, Military Veterans Resource Center career specialist Kelley Koons spends her time coaching the AiR CiTY CHiCKS 18-Pink Extreme volleyball team. On March 23, the Dayton-area team scored a major victory by placing first in the Nike Mideast Qualifier. Now, they have a bid to the USA Volleyball Girls’ Junior National Championships in Minneapolis this June. “I had hopes we would place in the top three, but we didn’t expect to take first,” says Koons. At the Qualifier, 64 teams competed in the 18 year-old division–the most competitive age bracket–for one of three bids to USAV Nationals. Koons’s team beat every opponent in two sets. They never had to play a third set to break a tie. Their win marks the first invitation an AiR CiTY CHiCKS team has ever won to the USAV National Championships–the most elite tournament for club volleyball.”It’s a big deal for our club and for the girls,” says Koons, as hundreds of college coaches will attend to observe the players. After their win, Koons rewarded the team with a fun practice, but she already has Nationals on her mind. “The USAV Nationals’ entry fee is $900, on top of the expenses we’ll pay for traveling to Minneapolis,” explains Koons. To help the club and her players with the costs, Koons plans to organize a youth volleyball clinic for kids in grades one through six. The clinic will be a four-night series taught by her players, who will […]
April 4, 2014

I can’t get no satisfaction at work– or can you?

After serving 26 years in the U.S. Air Force, Mark Wolfenden retired from the military to begin his civilian career. He decided to explore an opportunity in the Human Resources field and has spent the past two years working in the HR division of a manufacturing company. Now he questions why he entered this career field in the first place. The problem? Wolfenden lacks what career counselors call “job satisfaction.” When you feel satisfied with your job, you have a positive attitude towards your work. However, six months into his new job, Wolfenden was not feeling satisfied. He was drawn to the HR field because he enjoys working with people, but he found his methods for assisting others were tied to many formalities and legalities. “I found myself working more on programs and problems than people,” says Wolfenden. Wolfenden is not the only one with a job satisfaction dilemma. A poll conducted by Gallup last year[1] showed that in 2013, only 30% of workers felt “engaged and inspired” by their jobs. Everyone else either felt no excitement for their job or felt “actively disengaged” at work. So what does the majority of the workforce population have to be unsatisfied about? In Wolfenden’s case, the new HR position did not meet his job expectations or match his interests. Yet, the list continues. Work-related factors also affect job satisfaction. Three researchers from the Netherlands surveyed a group of workers and concluded in their article, “Which factors determine job satisfaction?”[2], that task variety, […]