Columbia University School of General Studies and Moody's Partnership Offer Financial Support and Drive Positive Outcomes for Student Veterans
The Moody’s Veteran Program is an initiative spearheaded by Moody’s Corporation, a credit rating, research, and risk analysis firm, and the Moody’s Foundation. Their dedication to improving opportunities for veterans and easing their transition into the workforce is exemplified by the development of this innovative program that combines the financial support of a scholarship with hands-on, practical career-related support and mentoring for student veterans.
The Moody’s Veteran Program goes beyond scholarship. When you combine financial support with mentoring, internship opportunities, and experience in the workforce, you create positive outcomes after graduation, something we strive for with all of our students.
Through the School’s partnership, each year, qualified veteran scholars at the School are awarded institutional scholarships by Columbia University that are funded through a grant from the Moody’s Foundation. These grants are used to fund the School’s Yellow Ribbon Program grants given to veteran students, which are matched by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition to financial support, Moody’s provides professional experiences and guidance, which they believe is critical to aiding veteran students as they transition into successful careers upon graduation.
Scholars are invited to participate in events hosted by Moody’s including job shadowing, a mentorship program, and an annual luncheon with senior leaders and executives called the “Learn @ Lunch” program. They are also encouraged to apply for the Moody’s Summer Internship Program. These exclusive opportunities expose Moody's scholars to an array of potential career paths in finance, and may lead to an employment offer from Moody’s.
“The Moody’s Veteran Program goes beyond scholarship. When you combine financial support with mentoring, internship opportunities, and experience in the workforce, you create positive outcomes in the classroom but also after graduation, something we strive for with all of our students,” said Curtis Rodgers, Vice Dean of the School of General Studies.
Scholarship recipients are selected from diverse backgrounds of military service and have included veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces—the Marine Corps, Army, Coast Guard, Air Force, and Navy—and have followed unique paths to service, as well as subsequent enrollment in higher education. They all had a transformative experience in the military, have excelled in academia, and demonstrate the potential to make an impact in their future professions and serve as leaders in the financial industry.
It is a testament to the Moody’s team that the support and experience they have provided led our graduates to join the Moody’s team.
Moody’s Veteran Program Scholars have excelled in their studies and have gone on to careers in a wide array of fields in financial services and other industries. While the Program is not designed specifically for employment at Moody’s, a number of scholars have chosen to begin their careers at Moody’s.
James M. Benbrook enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 2010 at just 19 years old. While serving, he enforced maritime law and specialized in heavy weather and surf search and rescue operations at Station Merrimack River in Massachusetts, and later sailed the North American Atlantic Coast as a permanent crew member. After four years, he was honorably discharged and moved to San Francisco where he enrolled at the City College of San Francisco. After earning his associate degree with a stellar academic record, Benbrook was accepted to the School of General Studies, where he was awarded a Service Award for his dedication to service and leadership. He graduated from Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in economics and now works as an associate analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.
We see success as empowering our students with options.
Gabrielle Bernard moved to New York after high school to pursue a passion for innovative technologies, enrolling at Fordham to study engineering. She struggled financially, and ultimately chose to leave college and pursue a job opportunity at Apple. In an effort to jump-start her life, she later joined the U.S. Army Reserves as a Military Police Officer and returned home after four years with valuable experience in creative strategy, and working with others. Bernard enrolled at the School of General Studies to pursue an interest in technology with particular interest in human-computer interaction, cyber security, and project management. She is studying computer and information sciences at Columbia, and currently works as an associate product manager at Moody’s Analytics.
“The fact that a number of students have started careers at Moody’s is a bonus, really. We see success as empowering our students with options. Options for productive and engaged careers in finance, technology, or any number of industries. It is a testament to Moody’s that the support and experience they have provided led our graduates to join the Moody’s team. Our partnership with Moody’s is incredibly important to us and our students, and we hope to build upon that partnership in the future,” said Vice Dean Rodgers.
2019-2020 Moody’s Veterans Program Scholarship recipients, as well as Moody’s Corporation, will be recognized and celebrated among other scholarship recipients and benefactors at the School of General Studies Scholarship Celebration on November 19. The event honors the commitments of donors and friends of the School who, through their generosity, make an Ivy League education possible for our students and scholars who have shown great commitment to their education and bring unique perspectives to both the GS and wider Columbia communities.