Veterans studying at the Haslam College of Business have gained an additional avenue of support with the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s new Veterans Resource Center. Located directly across the street from the college in Hodges Library, the center aims to ensure success for student veterans.
“Most people associate the G.I. Bill with veterans returning to college to earn a bachelor’s degree,” said Jayetta Rogers, director of the Veteran’s Resource Center. “We support lots of those students, but it’s an honor to support folks returning for graduate degrees, too.”
Jim Wansley, director of the Haslam Aerospace & Defense MBA, explained the college’s graduate offerings are increasingly popular with National Guard and reserve service members, as well as veterans from across the southeast who have earned G.I. Bill or VA education benefits. Often, service members and veterans employed in the private sector use their educational benefits while off duty or after work.
“If employers can give their people some time away from work, they can learn business skills that benefit their military organizations, as well as any employers they work for Monday through Friday,” Wansley said.
According to Wansley, employers benefit in particular through the organizational action projects that all Haslam Executive MBA students execute under the mentorship of an expert advisor. The projects, which focus on clearly defined issues of organizational importance, deliver results—that mangers help define—in real time during the degree.
“Our organizational action projects help students develop their business skills and understanding, and provide great return on investment to the organizations in the form of increased revenues, reduced costs and efficiencies,” Wansley said.
Major Eric Swanson attended the program while serving as a pilot in the Tennessee Air National Guard’s 134th Air Refueling Wing.
“It was a thrill to be in such an outstanding program and learn not only from UT’s top professors, but also from my classmates who were business leaders from all across the country,” Swanson said. “I learned a lot about business and strengthened my leadership skills. The G.I. Bill helped opened the door to a program I could not have afforded otherwise.”
Colonel Bobby Sprouse, director of military support with the Tennessee Army National Guard, had a similar experience.
“In my civilian job Monday through Friday, I was working for the FAA, and on weekends I put on my uniform for the Army National Guard,” Sprouse said. “This program was perfect for both of my professional roles.”
Learn more about Haslam’s Aerospace & Defense MBA at https://haslam.utk.edu/aerospace-defense-mba or contact recruiting and admissions coordinator Janice Reid at (865) 438-8644.