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Why Join An MBA For Military Students? | Access Booz Allen Hamilton Careers & More

Military friendly MBA programs can help veterans leverage their specialist skills and embark on a new career path at top consulting firms such as Booz Allen Hamilton

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By  Shannon Cook

Thu Feb 23 2023

BusinessBecause
With experience in the military, you’ll already have a strong grounding in skills such as leadership, organization, and communication. What you may not already know is that these skills are exactly what you need to go far in the business world.

More and more military students are looking towards business school as a chance to build on their existing skills while gaining a holistic understanding of business. 

There are many military friendly MBA programs dotted around the world and these institutions provide a supportive space for veterans to delve into business and management.

Here are some top reasons to join an MBA for military students: 


An MBA for military students offers a new challenge

In search of a new challenge, students with military experience are often attracted to the bright lights of business school.

Military friendly MBA programs offer an opportunity for veterans to use their transferrable skills in a new setting and add another string to their bow.

This is exactly why Marine Corps veteran Joseph Corrigan was motivated to join an MBA program at the Old Dominion University’s (ODU) Strome College of Business. 

Joseph served in the Marine Corps for almost five years in an HR and business partner role where he was involved in areas such as supervising enlisted marines, conducting training, reviewing contracts between units, and supporting his unit to follow military regulations.

“It was a rewarding role that helped me gain a grounding in business areas such as consulting and working with others,” he says.

Towards the end of his time in the military, Joe met his wife—a serving Navy officer—and this is when he decided he wanted to find a more settled career and move into a consulting role.

Joining a flexible MBA program in the areas where his wife would be posted was important to him and so he settled on Norfolk, Virginia—the home of ODU.

“The fact that it was a highly rated program and offers asynchronous learning was a big plus for me,” he says.

The ODU MBA is one of the most military friendly MBA programs in the US, with a quarter of ODU students coming from military backgrounds.

“It worked out great that [at ODU] everyone has a similar background or exposure to that background,” he says.


Benefit from tuition fee waivers on an MBA for military students

Those who want to join MBA programs for veterans can often be eligible for tuition fee waivers that cover up to 100% of fees.

The Post-9/11 GI Bill is just one of these funding options, providing financial assistance to eligible veterans that covers all or part of the costs of education. 

There are also federal and state funding options, such as the Yellow Ribbon Program, and other private alternatives that can alleviate the financial burden of MBA programs.  

At ODU, there’s also the opportunity to join the Graduate Research Assistant scheme, which offers tuition-fee waivers to students in exchange for administration, research, or HR related work. 


Leverage military skills in a new business context

Formal business education can help veterans pinpoint their skills and attributes gained from military experience while getting to deep dive into unfamiliar subject matters.

From his time in the Marine Corps, Joseph had vast experience in management of military forces, yet he says this doesn’t always naturally translate to managing a civilian workforce.

“The culture in the private sector is different and how people respond is different, so I wanted to learn about how to be a manager outside the military,” he says.

On the ODU MBA, Joe took courses in core business areas such as finance, accounting, and statistics.

“Without a mathematical mindset, it’s hard to understand why certain business decisions are made,” he says.

His MBA courses in leadership and management also improved his soft skills and ability to manage in times of crisis and uncertainty.


Access Booz Allen Hamilton jobs and other top consulting roles

Veterans who graduate from business school are likely to have their pick of career opportunities.

After completing the ODU MBA, Joseph signed up to Hire Heroes USA—a program that works with military spouses and the military to support in the career search. Through the program’s connections, he was offered an interview at consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton in Pensacola, Florida.

It’s not just any consulting firm either—Booz Allen Hamilton work on projects with the military and federal agencies so it was a chance for Joseph to leverage his military expertise in a new line of work.

After an initial internship as a military spouse fellow, Joe has worked his way up to an associate project manager at the global consulting firm.

“The MBA courses have really helped me deliver value to clients,” he says, “I’ve got a strong sense of how to manage different priorities and the importance of diligence.”

His business school degree set him apart as the company has footprint in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia, where ODU is based, and regularly recruits MBA talent.

“Both ODU and my current company valued my military experience and understood the hurdles of transitioning to a civilian role—this kind of support gives you the confidence to go far,” he says.  

Student Reviews

Old Dominion University

Student

Verified

20/10/2023

Blended

Unlimited opportunities for growth

My view of ODU is nothing short of amazing. I started attending ODU at in 2020 at the beginning of COVID-19 so most of my journey has been virtual but despite being in a virtual environment the faculty and staff have made me feel at home. The campus has endless opportunities for growth and academic assistance as well as hiring events for students looking to connect with jobs in their field. The campus is bright and lively but still has academia at the center of it. Its not too much of a party campus but there are opportunities for safe wholesome fun. All of my professors and advisors have been ready and willing to help with every issue, question, or concern.

Student

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3/10/2023

On Campus

The perspective of ODU from a Freshman

Old Dominion University is a diverse university that has a variety of clubs, sports, Greek activities, and more on campus. They have plenty of food options ranging from Italian to Vegan. Everyone is welcoming and supportive on campus, and there is plenty of support for all Old Dominion University students. I personally dislike the placement of my dorm complex due to the not-so-friendly neighborhood nearby, but it is only a 10-minute walk to all my classes. If I could change one thing about Old Dominion University, then it would be to include a small dining hall for each dorm complex opened after hours of the main dining hall on Campus.

Student

Verified

6/12/2022

On Campus

Positivity Life changing

The diversity is key and this university demonstrates this. From the admissions, to the professors to the administration...it all shows a level of diverse rhythm and harmony that brings others together to learn in an environment that is enriching

Alicia

Verified

18/09/2023

Blended

A program with a lot of patience

I attended this university starting in 2014 and took many breaks in between for many reasons. I struggled with a lot personally on and off every semester, but I was still able to come back and finish with a decent GPA, which was fantastic. My biggest issue with the college I was a part of at ODU was that I had little to no help finding an internship, which was part of my reason for finishing later than I started. I also wish that they had made their health services more readily available to students no matter what year they were attending for.

Student

Verified

16/04/2022

On Campus

Professors

I like the relationship with my professors, they really made sure that I fully understood what was going on. I think the campus could have been a little bit safer, they seemed to be a little bit of security issues.

Student

Verified

4/06/2022

On Campus

ODU_ FreshmanYear

I really like how there are many options if it goes wrong or if you’re falling behind in your courses, there are many resources to help you. However, I don’t like how the professors don’t care too much to help you. College is really about being on your own and the transition from high school to college was definitely different yet effective.