Shift Fellowship FAQ

What is the Shift Military Fellows Program?

Shift is a mission-driven talent development company helping veterans find jobs they love. We use technology to match great people to organizations through immersive fellowship programs leading to high-contrast career shifts.

The Military Fellowship is an immersive professional experience that allows service members to develop valuable commercial skills and expose them to amazing opportunities while still serving on active duty.

The fellowship complies with DoDI 1322.29, (Job Training, Employment Skills Training, Apprenticeships and Internships).

How do I apply and get approved?

First, apply with Shift!

We’ll review your application for program eligibility (see below) and then walk you through the chain of command approval process. Here are the checklists for each service:

Am I eligible for a DoD SkillBridge/Career Skills Program?

In order to be eligible, you must have completed at least 180 continuous days on active duty in the armed forces and will be discharged or released from active duty within 180 days of starting the fellowship. You must also obtain approval from your chain of command, which varies by branch:

  • For Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force* applicants, you must get approval from the first field grade commander (*commander on G-Series orders).
  • For Army applicants, you must get approval from the first O5 commander.

In all cases, your approver must be in your chain of command (sorry can’t delegate) and be authorized to impose non-judicial punishment. They also need to establish a way to maintain accountability for you while you’re participating in a fellowship.

Lastly, you must have completed TAPS/TRS/T-GPS prior to participation.

What opportunities does Shift provide?

Our goal is to align candidate and company interests and cultural values to find a perfect match. We’re continuously adding new partner companies, but have a look at our current ones here.

How does Shift work with me?

Talent Development is at the core of what we do to help people change careers. We do this by removing the guesswork from writing a resume, interviewing for a job, and translating military skills to the civilian workforce. You’ll have access to Shift’s world-class Talent Development team throughout the fellowship who will help coach you through the process.

We also host professional and social events to help expand your network and make your fellowship fun :)

Where do the fellowships take place?

We run fellowships with partners that are great places for veterans to grow their post-military careers. These partners are typically located in large cities with many years of job growth including San Francisco, Washington DC, New York, and Dallas.

We're constantly adding new partners to expand geographically and if you have any recommendations on where we should offer fellowships, email applicants@shift.org.

When does the fellowship start?

You can submit an application for the fellowship up to a year from your military separation date.

Ideally you’ll have obtained chain of command approval to participate at least five months from separation to allow for about two months of application processing, talent development, matching and interviews before the three month fellowship begins. We’re working hard to speed up the process!

When seeking chain of command approval, you should consider your separation leave balance before you choose the fellowship start and end date.

Here’s how to select your fellowship end date:

Option 1 - Two weeks prior to the actual ETS/EAS date* (last day of your last paycheck from the government)

Option 2 - Two weeks prior to the start of your separation leave.

Whenever you decide for end date, back up three months from that date and that’s the fellowship start date.

*: Time to allow you to clear installation and receive your DD-214

Can I participate during my separation leave?

Yes! If you’ve got 60+ days of leave on the books, you may not need chain of command approval. Email applicants@shift.org for questions concerning fellowships on separation leave.

You can also begin your fellowship while on active duty and finish it on separation leave. You must inform Shift and your host company before you start if you plan to return to your home station to separate during fellowship. Failure to disclose this may result in fellowship ineligibility.

Is there a deadline for applying?

In order to fully participate in a fellowship, we recommend that you begin your application and the approval process as soon as possible. We realize sometimes your unit simply can’t afford to let you go, but if you don’t have approval five months from separation, we unfortunately can’t guarantee you’ll be able to participate while on active duty. Don’t worry! You can still participate during your separation leave and we’ve got an option for veterans in the works ;)

Does Shift provide lodging and transportation?

Shift fellows whose Skillbridge fellowships require relocation away from their assigned duty stations may be eligible for reimbursement of a portion of their monthly lodging expenses in the fellowship location. The reimbursement is based on the average cost of single occupancy living in the area the fellowship is taking place.

The servicemember will be responsible for arranging their own lodging for the fellowship period.

Shift will provide a list of inexpensive options for the servicemember based on the fellowship location.

The servicemember will be responsible for travel arrangements to and from the fellowship.

Any travel required during the fellowship in execution of duties of the fellowship will be covered by the host company.

Do I get paid for the fellowship? What about benefits and BAH?

Per DoDI 1322.29 you’re not eligible to receive wages, training stipends, or any other form of financial compensation for the duration of your fellowship. This does not include reimbursements to offset cost of living expenses if your fellowship requires relocation.

You will continue to receive all benefits and BAH if you are currently receiving BAH. The rate will stay the same (ie it won't change to the location of your fellowship) and you're not eligible for an early termination of your lease through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.

Is there a restriction to taking time off while participating in the program?

Your fellowship is meant to be an immersive on-the-job experience. We understand that things come up, but you should plan to be working at your host company for the entirety of the fellowship. Ultimately it’s up to you to communicate if something happens and you need to take time off during your fellowship.

Our partner companies understand that you’ve got stuff to take care of when you leave the military. You need to communicate the fellowship start and end dates, separation check out dates and terminal leave dates to Shift and your host company before you begin the fellowship.

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