FAQs

COVID-19 Update

Are you still offering in-person classes?

To ensure the health and safety of all involved in response to COVID-19, we transitioned all of our in-person programming to a virtual learning environment beginning in March of 2020. All classes are currently taking place virtually until further notice. We will resume with in-person programming on a case-by-case basis when it is safe to do so, in accordance with all local, city, and state guidelines.

If classes aren’t meeting in person, how am I going to network?

Representatives from our participating companies still join our classes virtually each week to engage with and establish relationships with our students! We conduct all class sessions through Zoom, using breakout rooms and/or other online tools to facilitate effective virtual networking. Participants are also encouraged to follow up with company representatives to engage outside of the virtual environment.

What if COVID restrictions are lifted in my area during the course of a semester?

Students who are enrolled in any of our location-based cohorts should be prepared to resume with in-person class sessions once COVID restrictions are lifted or relaxed in your city and it is safe to meet face-to-face.

If the virtual environment isn’t working for me, can I defer or reapply when COVID restrictions are relaxed?

While we encourage all students to embrace the virtual environment and commit to the program once your cohort has begun, we understand that it may not work for everyone. If the virtual environment isn’t working for you, you can defer your acceptance to the following semester or reapply when COVID restrictions in your location have been lifted.

If all classes are currently operating virtually due to COVID-19, what is the difference between your location-based cohorts and the all-virtual, regional cohorts?

Our location-based cohorts are designed for participants who live in or near that particular city. The virtual nature of our location-based cohorts is temporary -- our location-based programs will resume with in-person engagements as soon as it is safe to do so. All of the companies that we work with for our location-based programs have an office or a presence in that city.

The all-virtual cohorts are best suited for individuals in more remote and/or rural locations, those currently stationed overseas, or who live anywhere that FourBlock does not currently have a presence.

The vast majority of companies that partner with FourBlock have a national (or international) presence, so though you may virtually network with an employee who lives far from you, there may be opportunities to get connected with employees at that company where you live. In part due to the pandemic, many companies have also begun to offer more remote positions and flexible opportunities - including leadership roles.

After you complete the program and become an alumnus, you will also have access to engage with any of our partners through our closed online networking and community-building platform, FourBlock Connect.

Career Readiness Program

The FourBlock Career Readiness Program is our flagship program that brings veterans together and connects them with employers from top companies at both the local and national level to build relationships and help them successfully transition to meaningful new careers.

Logistics

How much does the program cost?

Thanks to corporate sponsors and individual donors, there is no financial cost for participants. We simply ask that you “pay it forward” and refer transitioning service members to FourBlock to help more veterans make a successful transition.

How do I apply for the program?

Fill out the online application. Once your application is submitted, you will receive an automatic email from the regional director associated with your selected location where you will be provided with a link to schedule a screening call.

I am having trouble submitting the online application. Is there another way to apply for the program?

Our first recommendation is to try a different Internet browser or clear your cookies. This usually solves any application errors. However, if that doesn’t work, please download this file, complete the information requested, and send it as an attachment to admissions@fourblock.org.

When will I know if I’m admitted into the cohort?

Our admissions team meets weekly and acceptance emails are generally sent within two weeks of applying.

Do I need to do anything before the program begins?

Once you have been accepted into the program you will receive a pre-assessment questionnaire. This pre-assessment is mandatory, as we take data collection and measuring impact very seriously. The pre-assessment gives us a baseline of your current level of comfort and confidence in your transition. Additional questions relevant to our current grant reporting requirements are also included.

What is the best time for me to take this program?

We recommend taking the program about 12 months before your transition, whether you are leaving active duty or graduating from school. Of course, this timing will vary based on your particular circumstance. For example, if you are two years out from graduation but have identified the industry or role you plan to pursue, it would be appropriate for you to take the program because you will have the opportunity to make connections to secure an internship. If you are graduating in 6 months, you will be able to make connections that could help you secure a new role after graduation.

What’s the weekly time commitment?

In addition to attending a 2 hour in-person meeting each week, cohort participants should be prepared to spend up to 3 additional hours of independent and online learning each week. Coursework is available and assignments are submitted on FourBlock Connect, our networking and community-building platform.

That sounds like a lot of work. Can I re-apply when I have more time to commit to the program?

Yes! We recommend you take the course only when you are able to commit to the weekly in-person meetings and independent learning. If you have already been admitted for a specific term but would like to delay your participation, please contact your regional director.

What if I get a job in the middle of the program?

Every transition is unique and we want what’s best for you. Most of our students who transition to a new job during the course choose to complete the program. This effort helps them continue to build their professional network and also gain admittance into our alumni network. However, we also understand that might not be feasible and you can certainly withdraw from the program. If you choose to withdraw, we encourage you to stay in touch with us—who knows, you might be able to host a cohort at your new company in the future.

Where can I find more information about each specific city’s program?

To learn more about course dates, instructors, and host companies, visit the Locations page and select your city.

Prerequisites

Do I need to have a college degree to participate?

Applicants are required to either have a bachelor’s degree or be actively working toward a bachelor’s degree.

I don’t have a LinkedIn profile or resume. Do I need one before the course begins?

While it is not required, we highly recommend creating both (even if it’s a basic outline) before starting the course so you are not starting from scratch. Our curriculum includes lessons for enhancing your LinkedIn profile, developing a master resume, and creating a targeted resume.

What if I don’t have a suit? Does FourBlock provide suit services?

Our dress code varies by city and corporate sponsor. Some cohorts require Business Professional for attendance (something you would wear to an interview), while others are more along the lines of Business Casual. Contact your regional director for more information on your specific city.

I don’t live near a FourBlock city/location. How can I participate in the FourBlock program?

We recently launched three virtual cohorts specifically for veterans and service members who do not live near one of our in-person locations. Learn more about the virtual cohorts here.

We also encourage you to take our online transition course, Find Your Calling, which features career guidance grounded on the latest career development research and delivered by industry experts to equip service members for their military transition journey.

What if I’m far from a FourBlock city/location, but still want to commit to in-person classes?

If you are able to commit to traveling and doing the work, we’d love to have you! Many alumni before you have driven 4+ hours each week just to participate. Attendance at the weekly in-person classes is required, so make sure you understand your time and travel commitment before registering. We’re confident your commitment will pay off, as you will make invaluable connections with professionals working at the area’s top companies.

The Cohort Experience

What does a typical cohort look like?

Each and every FourBlock cohort is a little different. Our cohorts are made up of approximately 20-35 veterans who are completing a college degree, active duty service members who plan to separate within 6 months, and even veterans who feel underemployed or are looking for their next career. Within our cohorts we have former E-4s who are finishing up a bachelor’s degree working alongside an O-6 who is retiring after 20 years of service. The balance in some cities leans toward one group, but there is always a wide variety of backgrounds and interests. Our alumni have consistently affirmed that this experience actually enhances the cohort experience, as well as prepares them for the realities of the workforce.

What’s the in-person meeting structure?

Every week of the program, cohorts visit a different company. Curriculum topics and transition concepts are discussed and practiced with executives and employee volunteers (both military and non-military connected). Time to network is always baked into the agenda, since building relationships is the core of the FourBlock program.

How long do the in-person classes run?

The vast majority of our in-person sessions are scheduled for two hours. However, many participants stay longer in order to continue networking with the host company—it can be difficult to prematurely end a great conversation!

What topics are covered in the program?

We cover a variety of career readiness topics, such as networking, resume writing, and negotiating job offers. We also go into deeper subjects such as identifying a career starting point, conducting a job market assessment, and career mapping.

For how many weeks do cohorts meet? How many companies will I visit? Which companies are they?

Cohorts run for 8-11 weeks (depending on location) and visit a different company each week. While our hosts generally operate in the fields of consulting, finance, and technology, the host lineup will vary depending on your location. And if you don’t get to visit a particular company during your term, FourBlock alumni are always welcome to future events. Our instructor teams are also some of the most connected veterans in your city; they can also support you with any particulars. Visit the Locations page for more information on your specific city.

As a side note, it is important to recognize that just because you might not be interested in finance, for example, the finance industry has opportunities that align with almost every possible career interest (even non-profit). In addition, the overall goal of the FourBlock program is to help you broaden your network and be better prepared to access the people and opportunities that are right for you.

Who will be teaching the class?

In addition to our city-based Career Readiness Instructors and regional directors, staff members from the host companies generally help review weekly topics and go a little more in-depth. This provides a way for the cohort to get valuable insight into each company and gain a better understanding of corporate culture.

Can we meet with FourBlock instructors outside of class?

Absolutely! Contact your regional director or associate instructor(s) if you want to obtain additional help with resumes, networking, introductions, LinkedIn, or any other topics related to your career development.

Is weekly attendance mandatory?

Yes, we require participants to attend our in-person meetings each week, which are held at different companies within the greater metropolitan area of each city. Each time you miss a week, you miss that opportunity to connect with an employer, as we generally only visit each company once during each term.

However, we do have a “life happens” policy; there are situations that arise, such as a sick child or unexpected work trip, that may keep you from class for a week. If this occurs, our instructors and regional directors will work with participants on a case-by-case basis. An 80% attendance rate is required to achieve alumni status.

Are the assignments mandatory?

Yes. Students are both required to attend the in-person sessions and complete all assignments. The program focuses on six key deliverables that are reviewed by instructors, volunteer coaches and regional directors. This combination is what sets our program apart and has consistently resulted in a successful student experience. When the cohort begins, be sure to set aside about 3 hours each week to complete the independent research and reflection necessary to complete the assignments.

Outcomes

Can I receive college credit for completing the program?

Currently, Fordham University and the University of Washington offer one college credit for students enrolled in the FourBlock program.

Does FourBlock offer job placement after the program?

No. FourBlock is not a placement firm nor is it a recruiting agency. Our program focuses on helping you build your own professional portfolio while connecting you to the best companies in the area. When you reach alumni status, we will continue to support you while you action on your own personal career goals.

So... I’m not guaranteed a job when I complete the program?

While many of our participants end up making the right connections that ultimately lead to hiring and career advancement, we do not promise a job at the end of our program. Our focus is on improving your professional development and networks. As a FourBlock alumni you will continue to have access to FourBlock Connect and have the opportunity to attend additional classes to connect to our corporate partners.

How is FourBlock funded?

FourBlock is able to offer our program at no cost thanks to individual donors, corporate sponsorships, and philanthropic grants.

Military Spouse Career Transition Pilot Program

In September of 2020, FourBlock piloted a military spouse career transition pilot program in partnership with Prepare to Launch U (PLTU). This program is a comprehensive, instructional career development program for active-duty military spouses looking to return to work or pivot into new careers.

The FourBlock-PTLU Military Spouse Career Transition Program pilot features live video coaching, flexible online learning modules, and all of the instruction, tools, and inspiration a military spouse will need to navigate her or his way to a meaningful career.

How much does the program cost?

Thanks to corporate sponsors and individual donors, there is no financial cost for military spouses. We simply ask that you “pay it forward” by referring other spouses to our program and helping other military spouses make a successful transition in the future.

How do I learn more about the program?

You can sign up to receive updates here.

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