Military personnel transitioning to civilian life have a great deal to offer the corporate world. Military training imbues these individuals with a sense of commitment and responsibility, as well as a genuine respect for authority. These qualities are invaluable in the naturally hierarchical and fast-paced corporate world. Further, serving in the military provides strong leadership skills and a unique tenacity that aligns well with the ever-changing demands on today’s business executives.
Despite possessing these qualities, veterans may have a difficult time accessing opportunities in the business community. Many do not have the fundamental business knowledge and corporate training that could amplify these skills and values in a civilian workplace. One way to build upon these valuable military skills, prepare for the civilian workforce and break into the corporate world is by earning an executive MBA degree.
1. An Executive MBA Can Build on Practical Knowledge
One of many reasons that individuals decide to earn an Executive MBA is to develop the knowledge and skills they need to grow as leaders in the workplace. Those with military backgrounds are particularly well-suited to this process due to their commitment to teamwork and unique problem solving abilities.
What the executive MBA degree can add to these practical skills is the business foundation that is needed to succeed in the corporate world. For most students, pursuing this degree to gain an executive edge means building on real world business experience with new exposure to effective leadership and business strategies that can propel their careers. For military members in particular, pursuing this degree to gain an executive edge can mean something slightly different: building a strong business-minded foundation to support existing strengths and values, so that both can be leveraged as keys to entry and success in the corporate world.
2. An Executive MBA Can Build Strong Networking Relationships
Networking is a key to success and advancement within the corporate world. For job hopefuls, mingling with key leaders can help them gain an edge in the application process, while employees who network can impress stakeholders who determine their promotions in their current jobs. In both scenarios, networking is the key to moving from where you are to where you want to be. Unfortunately, it is also a skill that may not be explicitly emphasized or practiced in active military service conditions.
Efficient networking is a skill that is equal parts learned and innate. The executive MBA curriculum focuses on building upon existing strengths that can grow students into effective networkers and leaders. Specifically, the degree can help veterans harness their skills and abilities espoused in military service, like preparedness and staying calm under pressure, for networking success.
One good way to develop networking skills is to practice as often as possible. Washington State University’s online Executive MBA degree program offers a number of opportunities to network, which can help you hone the tools you need to be successful at any event and open the door to alumni university connections in the business world.
3. An Executive MBA Can Build Entrepreneurial Skill
Persistence and determination, other qualities rewarded in the military, also happen to be qualities that make for successful entrepreneurs. The executive MBA curriculum is geared toward driving success both in corporate environments and in entrepreneurial ones. For instance, learning the value of creating and following a well-thought-out business plan is fundamental to success as a new business owner. The executive MBA program at WSU offers a capstone course in which students are tasked with creating business plans. With the guidance of their professor, this plan is then polished and completed, fulfilling the students’ final graduation requirement. Throughout this process, entrepreneurs have the unique opportunity to share their business ideas with diverse classmates, receive feedback, and craft a comprehensive plan that they can then use to build their businesses.
Pursuing an advanced degree also offers aspiring entrepreneurs the ability to establish connections with professors, local businesspeople and alumni who can provide guidance on everything from business creation to the capital raising process.
These are just a few of the ways that an Executive MBA can help those with military experience acclimate to civilian life and build careers after military service. Learn more about the value of this degree for motivated individuals from a diverse set of backgrounds by visiting WSU’s executive MBA online website.