An Internship with Impact: Coaching Veterans on LinkedIn Profiles

July 26, 2013

Pain is running up and down my hands from typing, my eyes ache, and my mind is exhausted. Ironically, I have not felt this good in two years. The last several hours of my Friday were dedicated to reviewing LinkedIn profiles for veterans as a part of InDay at LinkedIn. During LinkedIn’s monthly InDays, employees are encouraged to pursue interests and activities outside of their day-to-day duties, from helping with special projects to volunteering with nonprofits.

Ben Faw Office Army

My name is Ben Faw, and I am a summer MBA intern at LinkedIn developing marketing strategy for the Marketing Solutions team. I am also a military veteran who previously served in the Army.

My InDay Mission

The theme for July InDay was LinkedIn for Good, and employees around the world had the opportunity to contribute to a cause using their skills and talents. A fellow military veteran and MBA intern at LinkedIn, Tom Pae, decided it would be the perfect opportunity to help fellow veterans refine their LinkedIn profiles. When he asked if I would help, I immediately said “Yes.”

LinkedIn has been an incredibly powerful change agent in helping to solve veteran unemployment issues. We know that making the right connections, keeping in touch with various colleagues and managing your professional brand can transform a veteran’s career.

Deploying the Troops

After spreading the word about our offer to give veterans free LinkedIn profile reviews, we soon had over 100 veterans from across the globe sign up. Nine hours and several dozen profile reviews later, I had drained myself in the effort to offer the best guidance to veterans regarding their presence on LinkedIn. From changing their profile picture, to drafting a clearer summary and headline, our team offered constructive actionable feedback.

As tired as I was as the day came to a close, inside I was thrilled. I reminisced back to my time in the Army. I thought of the Soldiers I served with, helping them during challenging times, service overseas where we dedicated so much time and energy towards trying to help others in need. While everyone needs something, I needed this today. I needed the chance to serve others directly - a chance to make a real and direct impact in the life of another person.

Next Play

While I know my actions during InDay are not world changing by themselves, I do feel confident that they are making an impact. I feel good knowing that the company I work for has such a powerful vision, "To create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce." That is something I can get excited about, and something worth waking up for even when it is cold and foggy outside in San Francisco.

Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of blog posts by LinkedIn’s rockstar summer interns. Today, we hear from Benjamin Faw, an MBA student at Harvard pursuing his Master's in Business. Ben is also a veteran of the US Army.