More than 400 area veterans looking for work had the opportunity to meet with employers and attend career workshops thanks to a group of students enrolled in the MBA program at UCF.

The students coordinated the entire Veterans Job Fair which raised more than $16,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project, a nonprofit organization which helps injured service men and women.

The students recruited vendors to participate and marketed the event to attract veterans. Employers were required to donate to the Wounded Warriors Project as part of their registration fee. The students benefitted from the experience, and the veteran’s benefitted from their hard work.

“The workshops were designed to provide relevant job search information that was tailored to veterans. It was a pleasure to observe job seekers learn from the workshops as well as engage in dialogue with a panel of professionals in transition services, psychology, and non-profit organizations,” said Nicole Baker, a graduate student who managed the event’s three job-seeker workshops.

MBA student Stuart Knight who led the event-day operations agreed and added “This was a fantastic event. I was happy to help the people who served our country.”

“I am so proud of the students who volunteered to work on this project. They received neither payment, nor course credit for their work,” said Lonny Butcher, director of Career Connections in the College of Business Administration. “We definitely plan to make this an annual student-run event.”

More than 50 employers participated and were impressed with how the UCF students coordinated such a successful event. Many of the vendors, such as Hilton Grand Vacations, specifically targets veterans and were grateful for this type of job fair.

“We understand the challenge of finding a position when transitioning from service to civilian employment,” said Laura Schmidt, senior director, Global Talent Acquisition for Hilton Grand Vacations.

“We are looking to connect veterans with opportunities that showcase their experiences, specialized skills, work ethic, dedication and leadership values. Hilton Grand Vacations currently has 280 positions available in the Orlando market. We are committed to giving back to those former service men and women who have given so much to us.”