“Pursuing academic and professional success after the Defence Force”

Co-Founder and CEO of military start-up Australian Student Veterans Association (ASVA) Matthew Sharp overcame his challenging transition from the ADF into industry to launch his own not-for-profit organisation. Now a WYWM mentor, Matthew hopes that he can help others currently transitioning understand their worth and realise how valuable and transferrable their military experience is in the civilian world.

Matthew served as a Rifleman and Infantry Section Commander for 6 years in the ADF before leaving in 2013 to study law at university. Matthew admits that his transition was quite challenging, stating “being older than most university students, I often found it difficult to relate to others on campus”. Additionally, he had to refine and develop his academic skills, as he hadn’t studied for more than eight years.

As the CEO of ASVA, Matthew helps support ADF personnel who are undertaking higher education throughout Australia. His ability to overcome the challenges of transitioning from the ADF has motivated him to support others through ASVA and as a WYWM mentor.

Matthew believes that his military skills and experience have been highly transferrable to his current career. He encourages “other ex-service personnel to draw upon their military training and experience to pursue their academic and professional goals post-service”. Matthew also stresses that service personnel should understand that their military experience has made them stronger people and to not “down play the skills and experience they have obtained from their time in the ADF”.

Those looking to take the next step in their careers and transition from the ADF into industry should register as a mentee here.

If you want to share your experience and guidance with our mentees who are looking to transition into your industry, please register as a mentor here. It only takes an hour a month!