DVC partners with Sentinels of Freedom for small business boot camp


Photo by Ethan Anderson

An attendee asks one final question before the meeting breaks for small groups.

Max Miller, Staff member

There are roughly 600 veterans currently enrolled at Diablo Valley College. Just two years ago DVC opened up the Student Veteran Center at the Pleasant Hill campus.  On Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 DVC and the Sentinels of Freedom will be holding the first, and hopefully annual small business boot camp in the Diablo Room.

John Anderson, a business administration professor, was a big motivator for this event, saying, “I might be the biggest drum beater.”  At DVC, 32-40% of veterans are involved with business in some way. From a small family business to big corporations, veterans at DVC are heavily involved.  Veterans are also very prominent in the social sciences department according to Anderson.

“Veterans are a very special group,” said Anderson.

The event will be split into two sections.  The first section of the boot camp will hold three different breakout sessions about different topics within business.  Some of the topics include setting up business ideas, basic breakeven analysis, and even a discussion forum about female veterans in business.

Attendees will also be listening to the boot camp’s keynote speaker, HT Tran.  Tran is a veteran entrepreneur that will be sharing his story of how he got involved with business from when he first returned from active service. When explaining the decision of using Tran as a keynote speaker Anderson said, “it is good to have some training in business.

 The goal of this part of the event is to be able to have the veterans get their questions answered as well as get their names out there to create new opportunities for themselves.  Business professionals, such as small business owners, successful entrepreneurs, and prospective companies looking for employees, will be present during this section providing knowledge for all veterans that stayed for this section.  The goal of this section is that veterans will be able to use the knowledge they gained from before lunch and start applying it in real life situations.

Although Anderson is not a veteran himself he feels that much of his prosperity in life is due to the fact that his family was a recipient of the G.I. Bill in 1944.  That bill gave Anderson and his family some financial flexibility, thus giving him the ability to go to school. Anderson’s motivation for being so involved with the creation and planning of this event is because he said, “I want to give back.”  This was the first time the event was held with the hopes of the boot camp becoming an annual event.