Monday, February 23, 2015

Making the Transition from Military Service

Adam John, USMA '08, MBA '16
What did I do in the military?
After graduating from West Point, I served as an Infantry Officer and U.S. Army Ranger for about 6 years. During my service, I conducted five combat deployments to countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan. I am extremely proud to be an American and to have had the opportunity to serve our Nation.

After transition from the military to B-School—what did I learn?
Gaining perspective and experience prior to attending b-school is extremely beneficial. Whether that means transitioning from the military early to conduct a spring internship or spending a few weeks at a company shadowing executives, gaining corporate exposure is a must. After transitioning from the military, I spent 5 months in Washington D.C. working for an organization that allowed me access to several corporations, NGOs, and non-profits. In doing so, I expanded my network and gained valuable industry exposure. Several companies (e.g., Goldman Sachs, PwC, Google) have phenomenal programs for either pre-MBA veterans or recently transitioned veterans. I encourage all veterans to take advantage of these opportunities.

What are my initial lessons learned from B-school?
1.)  As in the military, teamwork is also essential in business school. From presentations to group case studies, working together as teams is vital for success in the classroom.
2.)   Several attributes from the military directly transfer to b-school. Leadership and hard work directly transfer, while planning, strategy development, and operations management are only semantically different.

What is the SVRC and what does it do?
The SVRC is a center within the Student Affairs Division that connects the 240+ student veterans who are enrolled at the University of Georgia with an array of resources. The center advocates existing programs within UGA (e.g., Career Center, Academic Enhancement) and several organizations outside the university (e.g., VA, VFW) to our student veterans to ensure their continued success. More on the SVRC: http://dos.uga.edu/svrc/

What do I do at the SVRC?
Currently, I am one of two graduate assistants who serve in the SVRC. I work directly for the SVRC Director and am responsible for managing several center initiatives. For instance, part of the SVRC’s mission is to posture student veterans for challenging internships and career opportunities. I lead these efforts through our Corporate Outreach program that provides veterans’ access to prospective companies that are interested in hiring them. Basically, I connect veterans who are searching for employment or internships with companies that have human capital requirements.   

For me, it's an awesome opportunity to continue to contribute and give back to fellow veterans.   

What are my future plans?
While at business school, I have dedicated my job search to a career in management consulting. I found that my passions—leading teams and solving complex problems—are directly applicable to consulting, and I believe that I would best use my skill set here. This summer I will be working as a Summer Associate with Cognizant Business Consulting.


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