The University of Tennessee’s Haslam College of Business has seen a growing number of veterans choosing its graduate, executive and professional programs to advance their professional careers. In fall 2020, 7.3 percent of all master’s students enrolled in Haslam self-identified as veterans, up from 5.8 percent the previous year. Many of these men and woman are using their military educational benefits.
"Because of the experience and skills they've already garnered from their time in the military, veterans are welcome additions to our graduate programs," Bruce Behn, Haslam’s associate dean for graduate and executive education, says. "As a group, they are accustomed to making timely decisions, balancing scarce resources and working toward achieving individual and group goals, qualities which are highly desired in the projects our students undertake."
Haslam strives to present a full-service model for working professionals pursuing their education, offering a full array of services to help veterans identify resources that may assist with funding and educational success. For instance, program coordinators and the university’s Veterans Resource Center are available to help veterans clarify the status of their G.I. Bill or VA benefits. A full list of veterans’ resources may be accessed at Haslam’s MBA Veterans Services website.
Program staff assist in other ways as well, as First Lieutenant Michael Shalosky, who served as a commander, executive officer and operations officer in the U.S. Army, learned early in the program. A 2020 supply chain management MBA candidate, Shalosky says the program staff assisted him at every turn.
“When I applied near the program's deadline, the admissions team expedited me through the admissions process,” he says. “When I wondered how I would pay for the program, the admissions team assisted with scholarships. When I was looking for an internship, the career team set me up for success. I can't say enough great things about the staff and the professors in the MBA program. I highly recommend it for other veterans.”
The appeal of Haslam’s graduate programs for veterans extends beyond its support infrastructure. The in-classroom preparation is a draw as well. Lieutenant Junior Grade Ellie Gunn, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard for five years and is completing her work on an MBA in entrepreneurship and innovation, acquired valuable training on the latest computer programming.
“I will be applying those skills in my career from day one and even having them on my resume has helped me secure several interviews,” she says.
Gunn found other aspects of the program helpful, as well.
“As a military officer, I gained a lot of leadership experience,” she says. “The MBA gave me the skills I needed to bring that leadership knowledge to the civilian world.”
Tom Bates, director of admissions for Haslam's full-time MBA program, says that as Veterans Day approaches, it is important to recognize veterans' contributions during their military service and afterward, too. Student veterans, he says, are uniquely equipped to succeed academically because in the military they learned the work ethic and discipline that spurs achievement; characteristics that can both inspire and guide other students.
"We want our student veterans to know that we appreciate all that they have done for our country," Bates said. "We also want them to know that we are glad to have them in our program, contributing their leadership and distinct perspective to all of our students' educational experiences. Your presence in our programs boosts everyone’s potential for success."
"We are proud of our students' service and dedication to our country," Ben Skipper, executive director of Aerospace & Defense Executive Programs, says. "Across all of our MBA programs, we hope to add to their skill sets and experiences as they continue their military career or prepare for the next step of their journey."
About the Haslam College of Business’ Graduate and Executive Education Programs
At the master’s level, Haslam offers the following programs: the Haslam (full-time) MBA, Aerospace & Defense MBA, Professional MBA, Executive MBA (Global Supply Chain, Healthcare Leadership, Strategic Leadership), Physician Executive MBA, Master of Accountancy, Master of Science in Management and Human Resources, Master of Science in Business Analytics, Master of Science in Statistics, Master of Science in Supply Chain Management Tri-Continent, and Master of Science in Supply Chain Management Online. PhD program areas include: Accounting, Business Analytics & Statistics, Economics, Finance, Marketing, Strategy, Entrepreneurship and Organizations and Supply Chain Management.
Please visit Haslam’s graduate and executive education programs website to learn more about degree programs, executive short-course offerings, consulting and more.
Scott McNutt, business writer/publicist, email@example.com