SEU Grad Helps Veterans

Well before they got married, Susannah Wesley-Ahlschwede and her husband, Andrew Ahlschwede (SEU class of 2007), had worked together to research veteran unemployment rates and dig deeper into their gap in preparation for transitioning to civilian work.

The idea for Battlefield to Boardroom, which is now a national nonprofit organization, transpired from an encounter Susannah had with a childhood friend who was a decorated veteran. Her friend had served two tours of duty, but he wasn’t sure how to communicate his military service and accomplishments in resume form in order to apply for civilian employment. She helped him translate his experience to paper, which helped him get a job. This got her thinking — do other veterans need the same type of help?

“Veteran unemployment rates are high and our research showed that veterans —though highly qualified — were often overlooked when they sought private-sector employment following their military service,” said Andrew. “We saw a need to help our heroes get the jobs they deserve, so we started Battlefield to Boardroom to provide free career coaching and resume development for veterans.”

Veterans often face the challenge of translating their skills, experience and leadership into civilian-friendly language for the purpose of seeking private-sector employment. The career coaches from Battlefield to Boardroom help veterans across the United States build their resumes, prepare for interviews, and develop personalized networking plans.

Andrew was appointed executive director of the nonprofit in early 2016. He works with the board of directors to manage all aspects of the organization, such as relationship management, research, fundraising, coordination with military bases, and pairing veterans with career coaches. He also follows up with the veterans they have helped to ensure that their transition is going well through their first year of civilian work.

Andrew’s passion for helping others developed as a direct result of his time at Southeastern. “Southeastern connected me with lifelong friends and gave me an incredible support system,” he explained. “Launching a business or new nonprofit can be scary — it takes a great network. I was amazed and humbled by the support Battlefield to Boardroom received from the friends I made during my time at SEU.”

Know a veteran who could benefit from these services? Visit their website for more information.