4 reasons you should attend Vets2STEM at Mines
By Natalie Gross, Special to Mines Newsroom
Are you a military veteran interested in top-secret work with good pay in the location of your choice?
Then you’ll want to be sure to attend the upcoming Vets2STEM: Careers in Energy and Defense event at Colorado School of Mines on Nov. 8, where you’ll get the chance to meet representatives from nine national laboratories across the United States that want to hire you. Hosted by Mines in conjunction with the University of Colorado Boulder and Colorado State University, the free, first-of-its-kind event will feature panels and exhibits of modern defense technology, as well as ample opportunities to learn more about available careers.
Vets2STEM is open to all Colorado veterans, active-duty service members and military spouses. So, whether you’re ready to enter the workforce or simply want to see what types of jobs are out there before you finish school or transition out of the military, here are four reasons you should attend.
1. There are thousands of open jobs to choose from.
The national laboratories perform scientific research for the federal government and have thousands of available jobs, including more than 10,000 in engineering alone, said Beth McCormick, director of strategic workforce development for the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which helps maintain the nation’s nuclear stockpile from northern California. Technologist positions that often require only a two-year degree are also plentiful.
The nine labs participating in the Vets2STEM event are located in California, Colorado, Idaho, Maryland, New Mexico and South Carolina. They offer jobs in a wide variety of STEM-related fields that come with good pay and benefits, as well as job security, McCormick said.
“There’s no other situation where [attendees] could meet somebody from Idaho or New Mexico or California and choose—possibly choose—where they want to live and where they want to work,” she said.
2. You can interview on the spot.
The labs will conduct interviews for internships and full-time positions at the event, so be sure to bring your resume and come ready to discuss what you’re looking for, said Sridhar Seetharaman, a professor and associate vice president of research at Mines.
It’s also a good idea to do your research ahead of time by looking up the labs and their locations. Then, hone in on one or two you might be interested in, he added.
3. It’s a good opportunity to network with other veterans.
Seetharaman said most people coming from the labs are veterans themselves, who will be able to talk about their career paths and what makes their work fun.
So, even if you’re still in school and aren’t in the market for a job right now, you can get a good sense of the types of jobs available for people with the degree you’re pursuing—and meet recruiters with whom you may want to reconnect in a few years.
4. The labs want to hire you.
Your military-learned leadership and problem-solving skills—not to mention your security clearance—make you very attractive candidates to the labs.
“Those skills are absolutely key,” and not so easy to come by on the average college campus, McCormick said. “You could umbrella all of that into critical thinking, and that’s what veterans have when they come in.”
For more information about Vets2STEM or to register for the free Nov. 8 event, visit mines.edu/vets2stem.