A Business Education For Veterans
If you’re in the military and looking to transition into the business world, you may want to check out this program at the University of Southern California.
USC’s Master of Business for Veterans (MBV) program is a specialized executive MBA program that’s designed to help transition students from the military to professional life.
Emotional Support And Career Opportunities
The program has helped many veterans find their way after service.
Ty Smith, a graduate of the program and retired SEAL, tells Business Insider that the program turned his life around.
“It forced me to look at myself in the mirror and make some decisions, because I wasn’t happy with the person that I had become, and I wasn’t happy with who I saw myself becoming five years from that point in time,” Smith tells Business Insider.
Smith met with the program’s faculty director Robert Turrill, who over the course of several weeks, met with Smith and supported him through his transition.
Smith tells Business Insider that USC’s MBV program “is not just a traditional academic program — the transition side of it is very important, as well.”
A Program For Veterans, By Veterans
The MBV program is headed by James Bogle, a U.S. Army veteran with a background in international relations.
Bogle says the program is especially supportive in helping veterans transition to civilian life.
“There are three things that folks who leave the military universally find lacking in their lives,” Bogle tells Business Insider. They’re “one, serving a higher mission, two, camaraderie, and, three, a distinctive identity.”
Through the program, veterans spend one year towards a graduate degree that is “designed to leverage the management and leadership experience already gained during military service,” according to USC. “The MBV provides formal business knowledge and develops critical thinking skills. Participants will discover the transferability of their military experience and skill sets to the business environment, as well as the ability to launch, manage, and grow a new business.”
Overall tuition costs around $55,000, but participating veterans can pay for the costs through scholarships and the GI Bill.
A Real Network
One of the selling points of the MBV program is the extensive network that veterans will gain through the program. And while almost all MBA programs highlight this benefit, at USC’s MBV program, it’s especially important.
“The military transition programs, while solid and having the best intentions, tend to lead you towards civilian jobs that mirror your service history,” Scott Giles, a lead program integrator in the Air Force and a current MBV student, tells Business Insider. “The MBV program focuses less on what you have done, and acknowledges that this group of people will be successful in any environment, and helps you decide what you want to do.”
According to Bogle, the MBV program has strong connections with a number of companies, including Bank of America, the Big Four accounting firms, and Disney to name a few.
Courtney Foster, a 2017 MBV grad, says veterans in the program already have an advantage when it comes to business. With many veterans already having leadership or managerial experience, Foster says, they just need to hit the ground running.
“We have all the experience we need,” she tells Business Insider. “We just have to learn to couch it in the correct terms.”