The Best Business Schools for Philadelphia Veterans

Philadelphia Veterans

Veterans are no strangers to challenge–particularly those who have decided to pursue their MBAs in today’s highly competitive job market. Vets, many of whom face the difficulties of making the transition back into civilian society after their military service, are fortunate to have the support of highly specialized programs in some of the country’s top business schools.

The Philadelphia metro has some exemplary programs for former service men and women. Here is a closer look at several of them.

Lehigh University, a member of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Yellow Ribbon Program, is a leader in offering assistance to former service members wishing to enhance and share their experience through an MBA degree. Through the Post 9/11 GI Bill, the VA offers vets tuition and fees in private institutions such as Lehigh. Those who served a total of three years in the military after Sep. 10, 2001 and those who have been honorably discharged are eligible for the benefit. There is also a transference option for dependents of veterans.

Professor of Economics Frank R. Gunter is the head of Lehigh’s Veterans Association. A retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel, Gunter is the author of The Political Economy of Iraq: Restoring Balance in a Post-Conflict Society. This Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2016, Professor Gunter will moderate an event at the SteelStacks Campus in Bethlehem, PA. The discussion, entitled ‘The Greatest Generation: Untold Stories of World War II’ will honor the academic and career achievements of veterans past and present.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business also provides a wealth of opportunity for those who have proudly served our country. The Wharton Veterans Club’s members states as its mission a belief that “the best way to continue serving is through giving back to others.” Sponsored by a variety of companies such as Bain & Company, Amazon, Accenture, Credit Suisse and Goldman Sachs, the Veterans Club boasts members from all branches of the armed forces.

Among the class of ’17 is Kyle Brengel, who served as an Army infantryman in the Special Forces. He hopes to pursue consulting, and has majored in operations and engineering while pursuing his degree. Sophie Hilaire, another Wharton Veterans Club student, was an Army logistics specialist who attended West Point for undergrad school, and who is now pursuing her studies in social impact.

Holding true to its philosophy of continued service of its members, the club engages in social outreach initiatives both for other vets and for the wider community as well. One recent event was a successful fundraiser for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation, which offers help to those wounded while on special ops missions.

Rutgers University also can attest to a proud history of offering assistance to veterans. “Rutgers students and faculty, along with alumni and staff, have served in the U.S. military since the American Revolution …” their website notes.  “Rutgers welcomes National Guard and Reserve members and veterans returning from service from around the world. You, and those who will come home in the years ahead, have earned our respect, admiration and support as you begin a new phase of your lives.”

Rutgers’ Mini-MBA™: Business Management for Military and Veterans lends students the opportunity to form strategies for adapting to the atmosphere of the business world, while building upon the multitude of skills earned during their service careers. Captain Scott Daniels, who served in the U.S. Army, says of the program, “The Military Mini-MBA program is a phenomenal way to start transferring your soft skills while translating those same skills onto your resume and online brand.”

The curriculum embodies such topics as navigating law and ethics in the workplace that may differ from those in the military, the differing nature of management skills while in service and at work and how to apply skills gathered in service to one’s civilian career.

The opportunities are numerous at these schools for veterans wishing to pursue an MBA, and those of us who have never served can gain valuable career insights from colleagues who have.


About the Author

Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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