An opportunity arose in 2012 for Columbus Rotary, Ohio to mentor students at The Ohio State University.  The difference in this mentoring program is that all of the students are military veterans.

The project engages the University's Office of Military and Veteran Services to get the word out to their Veteran Students and arrange for an on-campus lunch.  Columbus Rotarians conduct two lunch sessions, one for 10 MBA students and one for 10 upper-class undergraduates.  Each lunch has one to three Rotarian presenters who give a ten to twenty minute presentation after the Rotarian and Students have met and dined together. Image

The real results come when the Veteran Students are able to network within their vocational area of interest by meeting successful Rotarians and non-Rotarians; oftentimes, resulting in internships, part-time jobs, permanent jobs and perhaps most important, learning how to adapt to the civilian work environment.

The experience can best be summed up in the words of one of the first students through the program.   “This was the first group of gentlemen who had no hidden agenda.  Their interests were pure and genuine.  I often feel like veterans are treated like wounded zoo animals, a display that is photographed for the local paper and website, or just a photo-op / check-in-the-box for an organization, but the Rotarians seemed to genuinely just want to befriend us and help us succeed.”