The Veteran's Perspective
Monday, December 16, 2019
Leaving the workforce to pursue an MBA is a difficult choice for most. It was the summer of 2019 when I left the military to pursue an MBA. From talking with Veterans in other MBA programs, I wanted to be where Veterans were supported not only by the administration but also by our peers. Carlson has more than checked those boxes.
Shortly after starting my application, I spoke with a Carlson Student Veteran and after our conversation, I knew Carlson was different. What happened next is a true Carlson differentiator; I got a call from Chip Altman, director of Carlson MBA Programs. Chip, a retired Navy Commander, helped me and many of my classmates with our applications, moving to Minneapolis, and continues to support us with the overall transition from the military to student life. On top of all of that, Chip advocates for all Carlson Veterans and works to get us scholarships and living stipends from generous donors (on top of the G.I. Bill). In November, we had a celebratory dinner to thank our donors for their generosity and let them know the impacts of their gifts.
Compared to other schools I visited, none had a full-time employee dedicated to supporting Veterans in our transitions to the civilian world. So far it has been incredibly helpful for all of us.
Since starting my MBA journey in August, my decision to attend Carlson has only been solidified. We have a strong, active Veterans Club working hard to support each other, but also to educate our classmates on our military backgrounds. We started the semester giving a military 101 brief where Veterans from all five branches gave a brief on what each service does and a little background on their perspectives. We then had a very productive Q&A where our classmates could get questions answered.
Later in the semester, the Veterans Club hosted a workout for our classmates to get a glimpse of military physical training. We got some logs and ammo cans and ran our classmates through a mini-workout. The attendance was great, and everyone seemed to have a blast, even if they were a little sore for a few days!
In the spring we have a Dining-In planned to celebrate military traditions with the Carlson community, providing a time to kick back and have a fun evening away from books.
Moreover, the Carlson Veterans Network is a strong one. We have had numerous coffee chats and networking events with our MBA Veteran Alumni to talk about their transitions and success for internships and full-time jobs, truly showcasing the strength of the community. Our network has Veteran Alumni all over the Twin Cities working at 3M, Medtronic, the Minnesota Twins, and Deloitte, among others.
From professors who are Veterans, to the administration assisting us with VA paperwork, employment, and generous support from donors, the Carlson support for Veterans is unmatched by any other MBA program, and I am so thankful to be a part of the community.