USC hosts week to appreciate military

Military Appreciation Week featured events including the Veteran and Military Families Recruiting Night, where about 45 employers came to recruit military and veterans to work for them. Photo courtesy of Josh Byun.

The Veterans Resource Center at USC hosted its annual Military Appreciation Week on campus this week, which featured events from professional development to community service.

“We really wanted to emphasize the military community, because it definitely takes an entire family to support their person that’s serving or has served,” VRC Coordinator Jennifer Perdomo said. “We appreciate them for their service and their time and their commitment, as well as show them all the supportive offices and departments that are on campus.”

The week kicked off with a “Salute to Veterans” event on Monday, which honored USC’s veterans and military members over lunch, followed by a professional development workshop sponsored by the Veterans Association at USC. It featured a brief informational presentation and allowed veterans to practice one-on-one interview skills and elevator pitches.

Perdomo said the largest and most anticipated event of the week was Wednesday’s Veteran and Military Families Recruiting Night, a University-wide collaboration among several organizations, including the Provost’s office.

Around 45 employers attended the event, and 465 registered veterans and military family members came from as far as San Diego to participate, Perdomo said.

Joshua Lynch, a senior majoring in business administration who helped coordinate recruiting night and was also the lead presenter for professional development workshops, said that career development is important for student veterans.

“At this school, with the kind of opportunities you have, it’s not about what you know, but who you know,” Lynch said. “That applies everywhere, but it’s not always apparent to student vets, especially when networking isn’t a common or apparent strategy for navigating your career within the military, at least at lower levels of your career.”

In addition to professional development events, free exercise classes were also offered to Military Appreciation Week participants through USC Recreational Sports.

The week ended with a community service opportunity for veterans and military members to build homes through a partnership with Habitat for Humanity, as well as a free ticket to Friday’s basketball game against Cal State Fullerton and an invitation to a Trojan football watch party with the Veterans Alumni Network.

Overall, Lynch said that this year’s Military Appreciation Week was a success.

“There were plenty of opportunities to get involved — maybe too many,” Lynch said. “I think we covered most, if not all interests from the University interests and the interests of the student-vets.”