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Operation MBA: Military Personnel and Management Education

The service branches present unique opportunities for men and women to take on responsibilities comparable to those of business executives. Military personnel bring to the classroom a different perspective, and they take away the knowledge to apply their skills in the civilian world.

“That’s what I did,” said Mel Stith, Dean of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University. Stith, a former U.S. Army captain and Vietnam veteran, earned his MBA and PhD at Syracuse. Whitman, he said, has specifically recruited military personnel for more than 20 years.

“At first, [the Army] wanted officers to have advanced training,” Stith said. “Now, the military is interested in producing a quality group of men and women who really understand finances.” Although the Whitman programs primarily focus on training career military personnel—the school is close to Ft. Drum in Watertown, NY—Stith said this is an ideal time to make the MBA more available to the men and women leaving the armed services.

The Council’s Operation MBA initiative seeks to elevate the visibility of the MBA for these talented men and women and encourage them to compound their knowledge with a graduate management degree. In 2005, we created an MBA Planner for Military Personnel to present the value of the MBA when combined with the analytical training and specific military skill sets. We have built a list of “military-friendly” schools, and we’re developing online resources for schools and for potential military applicants.

The MBA Planner and list of military-friendly schools are available at www.mba.com/military. Stay tuned this summer for in-depth profiles of MBA students and graduates with military experience! For more information on how you can target this talented pool of potential candidates, please write to us at operationmba@gmac.com.

 

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