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How Military Experience Offers a Definitive MBA Advantage at Northwestern Kellogg

military experience

Leading up to this past Veteran’s Day, two exceptional Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management students gave a first-person perspective of how their unique military experience are sharping their path in business education.

Bri Teneza, Colonel, Medical Corps, U.S. Army (EMBA 2019) and Anna Moorman, Lieutenant, U.S. Coast Guard (E&W 2020) shared their advice on how the two seemingly distant concepts can lead to a successful future in Inside Kellogg.

Teneza writes, “The year 2006 was a challenge for my family and me. This was the year that I deployed and served as supervisory medical officer for detainee healthcare at the largest detention camp in Iraq. This was the first time I acknowledged my own mortality, starting with estate planning with my husband before I departed and throughout the deployment. In addition, I emotionally matured and mentally toughened throughout the year. Most importantly, this journey reinforced in me the importance of a strong family support and the value of teamwork. It also reaffirmed what I have come to know—the selfless service and dedication that our Service members give to their teammates, to their missions, and to our nation.”

Bri Teneza, right, with sister Nimfa Teneza-Mora.

From her experience, she found two important lessons:

Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks.”

“In the military, there were specific job opportunities that took me out of my comfort zone as a junior clinician. Yet I knew that these jobs would broaden my experience and help advance my career from middle to upper management. I embraced the challenge and sought out these assignments. In the process, I experienced tremendous personal growth.”

Always Develop and Grow.”

“As I took on leadership positions, I soon realized that I had gaps in my knowledge base: areas that were not taught in medical school such as human resources, finance, budget, contracts, etc. How did I manage? Lots of on the job training and self-directed learning. I read voraciously, sought help from experts, and completed a master’s degree in public health and the Kellogg Executive MBA program.”

Moorman spoke specifically about the transition from military life to business education, saying:

“At Kellogg, I still use my unique leadership style developed while onboard the USCGC DECISIVE. This style not only helps me bring a unique leadership perspective to the classroom but also use it at my current job. The difference now is that I am learning how to communicate using business frameworks and making decisions that create and capture value. With only 100 days remaining on active duty, I reflect on my experiences and am thankful for the opportunity to further grow at Kellogg. The school has helped me further develop my unique leadership style and improve my business acumen which gives me greater confidence as I transition into civilian life.”

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About the Author

Matthew Korman
Matthew Korman

Matthew Korman is the Managing Editor of MetroMBA. Since graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism and political science, Matthew has worked as a music industry writer and promoter, a data analyst, and with numerous academic institutions. His works have appeared in publications such as NPR and Sports Illustrated.

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