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A summit for student veterans

Northeastern University student veteran Adam Beatty, a Marine who has completed two tours of duty in Iraq, recently received a valuable piece of career advice from a former Navy SEAL and current senior policy adviser for Google.

“He told me that my military experience has already differentiated me from other job candidates,” Beatty recalled, “but he said I need to do one more thing to show that I can make it in a discipline outside of the military.”

Beatty received these words of wisdom at the Student Veterans of America’s Inaugural Leadership Institute, a three-day summit featuring workshops on designing and developing thriving local chapters of the organization.

Beatty, the vice president of Northeastern’s chapter of Student Veterans of America, was one of approximately four dozen student veterans who attended the summit, which took place last month on Google’s Mountain View, Calif., campus.

Discussing best practices with his peers convinced Beatty of the need to develop a social media strategy for boosting the visibility of Northeastern’s community of student veterans.

Beatty noted that the senior policy adviser encouraged him to create a blog about financial aid for student veterans, a topic with which the junior business major is abundantly familiar. The goal of the blog, he said, would be to “help veterans deal with financial issues and show potential employers that I can translate my military experience into the civilian work force.”

Beatty, for his part, regularly updates the Facebook page for the university’s Student Veterans Organization, which currently has 84 “likes.”  But, he said, “We want to use Facebook more aggressively and widen the spectrum by inviting family and friends of student veterans who are interested in supporting us.”

Northeastern’s Career Services office, which has received best-in-the-nation acco­lades from The Princeton Review, helps student vet­erans ease the tran­si­tion from mil­i­tary to col­le­giate life.

Michael Trudeau, the president of Northeastern’s chapter of the SVA, attended last spring’s career services workshop for student veterans. In the future, the Northeastern workshop will likely take place at least once per semester.

At the workshop, Trudeau received expert advice on fine-tuning his resume, which, he said, helped him land a job as a research assistant for Northeastern’s George J. Kostas Research Insti­tute for Home­land Secu­rity.

“It was a huge help and I hope we can continue our relationship in the future,” said Trudeau, a political science major who has con­ducted deep-sea dives as a sonar officer with the U.S. Navy. “The Northeastern student veteran,” he added, “is a formidable addition to any workplace environment.”

Northeastern student veterans may soon double in number. The federal government’s Yellow Ribbon Pro­gram, which oper­ates in con­junc­tion with the Depart­ment of Vet­erans Affairs, cur­rently pro­vides free tuition to roughly 120 Northeastern student vet­erans who have served in the post-9/11 era. A change in the program’s funding struc­ture will enable North­eastern to enroll up to 252 stu­dent vet­erans begin­ning this fall.