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New Master in Business for Veterans Program at Emory Goizueta Business School

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Goizueta Business School at Emory University has launched an innovative new program designed for active-duty military, veterans, National Guard, and Reserve personnel. The Master in Business for Veterans is an 11-month degree program focused on improving and accelerating the transition from military service to a successful civilian business career. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States is home to approximately 18.4 million veterans as of 2022. Despite historically low unemployment rates, many veterans still view employment as a top challenge during their transition to civilian life. Recognizing this issue, Goizueta Business School aims to bridge this gap by offering tailored support and resources through the Master in Business for Veterans program. Currently, US military veterans already make up 7 percent of the Class of 2024 at Goizueta, showcasing the school’s commitment to fostering a vibrant veteran community.

Retired U.S. Army Lieutenant General and Associate Dean for Leadership Ken Keen, as well as Faculty Lead Professor JB Kuris, spearheaded the program’s development. “The transition from a military career to a civilian one isn’t always easy or straightforward. I think a business career is an ideal path for most Veterans, and as we have seen in many companies, Veterans can be a tremendous asset with great potential to lead at the highest levels of their organization,” says Keen. “One of the major challenges is discovering your passion and purpose after military service and adapting from a military to a civilian business culture. Transitioning out of the military can be hard for many as they leave behind an organization and service that is clear about its purpose. The service member volunteered for this purpose, poured sweat, and many times blood, into this purpose, and was surrounded by others in this pursuit. Thus, when a service member transitions out of the military, it is easy to feel out of place, a little lost and disheartened that purpose seems more elusive. I believe finding your passion and purpose is essential for a Veteran.”

The program offers a flexible schedule that allows students to attend courses on campus every other Friday and Saturday, enabling them to continue working while pursuing a graduate degree in under a year. In addition to the core business courses of the traditional MBA, the Master in Business for Veterans program provides a comprehensive Career Development Program. This program includes one-on-one career coaching, mentorship opportunities with successful veteran professionals in the business world, and invaluable guidance on navigating the civilian job market.

The military provides people with countless technical and leadership skills and opportunities to grow their abilities during their career.  Specifically, skills and special qualifications that Veterans possess that can make a positive impact on businesses are leadership, discipline, trustworthiness, resiliency, the ability to remain in control in chaos, build strong teams, adapt to changing environments, operate in cross-cultural environments and diverse work settings,” explains Keen. “Veterans can be depended upon to show up ready to do what is necessary to learn and apply their skills to make their new team and organization successful. They will be prepared to work harder and longer than others, confident in their own abilities, but humble enough to ask for help or admit what they do not know. Veterans are ideal team players.”

Veterans entering the program can gain a better understanding of their own strengths and how to prioritize, with an emphasis on how they can continue to serve and what they want to get out of a civilian career. They will be able to grow a professional network across industries, discover new career paths, and see how their values mesh with corporate culture. 

The program gives students hands-on learning opportunities in leadership, finance, marketing, data analytics, and strategic operations, where they can put their expertise to work. All students also participate in Goizueta IMPACT for Veterans, the school’s signature approach to experiential learning, adapted for veterans’ specific skills and needs. Students go beyond the classroom with various organizations — including Fortune 100 companies, nonprofits, and startups — where they can address strategic issues and real-world scenarios. 

Eligible students can combine G.I. Bill and Yellow Ribbon benefits (pending VA approval) to cover the entire cost of tuition for the degree. The application for the Master in Business for Veterans program opens on August 1, 2023. The first cohort of veterans is scheduled to begin classes in May 2024. Prospective veterans can look forward to a transformative educational experience that equips them with the skills, network, and support needed to excel in their civilian business careers.

By combining the formal business knowledge of the Master in Business for Veterans program with a transition and career development program, the Veteran students will discover the transferability of their military experience and skill sets, learn what it takes to launch and sustain a business and leave with a career plan in hand,” says Keen.

Christina Griffith
Christina Griffith is a writer and editor based in Philadelphia. She specializes in covering education, science, and history, and has experience in research and interviews, magazine content, and web content writing.