Michigan Tech Recruiting for Defense Department Jobs

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Michigan Technological University is unique in the nation for collaborating with the US Department of Defense (DoD) to secure jobs for students.

The world’s largest employer has hired a Michigan Tech business student, Jenna Hase, of Wausau, Wisconsin, for the second year of a program to get the word out about its many civilian job opportunities.

The agency, which has more than 750,000 civilian employees, estimates that more than half of those positions will open over the next few years as baby boomers retire.

That need dovetailed with Michigan Tech’s perpetual search for career opportunities for students.

The result was the Student Training and Academic Recruitment (STAR) program, which alerts Michigan Tech students to job opportunities at the federal agency. Michigan Tech is the first and only university stateside in the partnership, which began in early 2007.

“It’s an outstanding program,” says Karen Hannah, a human resource specialist charged with recruitment at the DoD.
The essence of the program, Hannah explains, is simply to “change the perception that the DoD is out of realm or reach.”

To do that, Hannah hired Hase, the second Michigan Tech student to be the campus marketer for the agency. Hase, 20, a junior in business management, will begin her internship duties in January after a week of training in Washington, DC, where she will learn about the DoD’s many jobs, benefits and scholarship opportunities.

“We’re very excited to have her on board,” Hannah says of Hase. “She’s intelligent and outgoing and has some good ideas of how to work the program.”

On campus, Hase will work at the Career Center twenty hours a week, meeting one-on-one with students, visiting classrooms and student organizations, and distributing promotional literature.

She replaces Rob Frankovich of Calumet, Mich., the first DoD intern. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in December and worked on the jobs initiative for a year.

Hannah says Frankovich was “a standout.” He was the first student ever to address the DoD’s annual meeting of human resource directors in 2007, when he briefed the group about his work at Michigan Tech.

Hannah says the collaboration with Michigan Tech has been successful. Frankovich and three other Michigan Tech graduates are joining a master’s program sponsored by the Army Materiel Command at Texas A&M University.

It is a five-year executive management program for which the DoD pays tuition and a salary, providing on-the-job training. “I found my career path,” says Frankovich. “It’s an amazing program. I love it.”

An additional eight Michigan Tech students are participating in other scholarship programs and internships in the Navy and Army.

On campus, the program is spearheaded by Jim Turnquist, director of the Career Center, who was instrumental in setting it up.

“It was an honor to be chosen as the first STAR school," Turnquist said. "This shows the DoD's strong desire to hire Michigan Tech graduates."

Hannah says the success of the Michigan Tech program will be a model for expanding the effort to other colleges and universities.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.