Military spouses gain knowledge during Career Prep Rally

4 Dec 2013 | Cpl. Charlie Clark

Military spouses attended the three-day Career Prep Rally at the Career Resources Training Center aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Dec. 2.

The Family Member Employment Assistance Program and the Military Spouse Foundation, a non-profit organization, education and entrepreneurial center, hosted the workshop.

The course was designed to fit into the busy schedule of military spouses. Instead of a seven or eight hour course, the workshop is split into three to four hour sessions.

Celeste Beaupré, a cofounder and director of operations of the foundation, taught the class and mentored the students.

“In the learning environment, if you have the chance to share your experience, it will help stimulate the ideas and opportunities of others,” Beaupré said. “Those who attend the workshop want to build their resumes and their confidence in either finding a job or starting their own business.”

During the class, Beaupré instructed the attendees about resume building, choosing their work related attributes and how to market their skills to potential employers or start their own business.

“Even though my husband and I have been here for a year, I’m still new to the job market in Jacksonville,” said Ashlee A. Whitmire, a military spouse. “I signed up for the class to network, learn how to enhance my resume and get myself out into the workforce.”

The workshop’s Transferable Skills class involves delving into the student’s past to find out the skill sets gained from their education, volunteer work and job experience to help build their master resumes.

“I learned how to build different types of resumes that bring out the different skills I’ve acquired in my life that will set me apart from others,” said Whitmire.

To find the right career for them, the students figure out what they can do, where they want to go and how to use what they already know to get there.

“Beaupré taught me how to find the skills  I didn’t know I had,” said Lucia M. Eisenhower, a military spouse. “I can take my skills and go into different career opportunities I’m interested in.”

For the entrepreneurial spouses, building a portfolio and learning how to start a business are key subjects taught during the course.

“We spend our time talking about the skills that are most important and influential about how you can be successful in the job market or developing a small business,” said Beaupré.

Beaupré gave each student a workbook designed to focus attention on their career development. She used a slide presentation to provide a step-by-step instruction of how to use the workbook.

The class also featured the Military Spouse Foundation’s website to research different subjects and gain knowledge about what employers look for.

The website is the portal into the foundation’s digital education center. The information provided and discussed during the class is accessible for free on the website.

“As we move from one place to another, it’s important to continue with your educational opportunities,” Beaupré said. “Military spouses are unique students and employees. They can’t always work a nine to five job because they have families to take care of. Often, they find themselves being able to study at 2 a.m. when the kids are asleep and their service members are deployed.”

There are mentors and instructors who can be contacted via the center online and will respond as quickly as they can.

The students are able to speak with outside sources as well as alumni of the foundation for advice specific to their job fields.

“Some students do better with online classes while others prefer more of a classroom setting,” said Beaupré. “With this workshop, we’re hoping to tap into both of those sides for the student’s benefits.”

For more information about upcoming Prep Rallies, visit or call 1-800-800-4594.

Information about career building events can be accessed at the MCCS website, or call the Family Member Employment Assistance Program at 451-1676.


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