If you are a veteran, active service member, or member of the Selected Reserve, have you considered an MBA degree with an international focus? Your unique experience, leadership skills, and ability to work as part of a team means you are a distinctive, stand-out candidate for a career in business management. However, most – if not, all – management positions require an MBA. In this global economy, obtaining a versatile degree will help you in doing business with other countries according to their culture and business practices as well as building upon the fundamentals of business. Having an MBA degree with an international focus opens you up to international companies thanks to your knowledge of global business dealings and ability to conduct business in different countries. Thanks to specific programs developed by the Department of Veterans Affairs, you may not have to handle an abundance of costs thanks to education benefits.
Paying for Your Education
If you are veteran, active service member or member of the selected reserve, you also have access to VA/GI Bill benefits which will help pay for your education. The Montgomery GI Bill assists active duty and Reservists with obtaining their higher education. The two main programs include the Montgomery GI Bill Active Duty (MGIB-AD) – for Veterans and Service Members who have at least two years of active duty – and the Montgomery GI Bill Selected Reserve (MGIB-SR) – for eligible members of the Selected Reserve. If eligible, these programs offer up to 36 months of education benefits that can be put towards your college education. So it’s important as you do your research to find military-friendly programs.
Before you begin your research consider your personal requirements for the program. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Does location matter? Does it need to be nearby your home or current workplace?
- Do you want an online component to the MBA program? Or offers a part-time option? This is an important factor to consider, especially if you need a program that can work with your existing career or family responsibilities.
- Are you seeking VA/GI eligible schools? Remember, active duty, Military Reserves and Army National Guard components, as well as veterans and their dependents are eligible for education benefits. Do research on the US Department of Veterans Affairs website to find out your eligibility.
When you have in mind exactly what you are looking for, then you can narrow down the right program for you. Here are a few important factors to consider when looking for a program – find out how the program lines up with your personal requirements, the ROI (return on investment) and research alumni testimonials. The ROI is important element as you will want to graduate knowing that your degree will be of value and will advance your career. This is why it’s essential to research the components of the MBA program and whether it lines up with your career goals.
To find out more of a personal account of the experience in the program, talk to alumni who have graduated from the program you are considering. Contact the school directly and find out if there is a student you can talk to who can share their experience with you. In addition, while visiting the campus may not seem like an essential aspect, but this will give you the in-person feeling of what to expect in the program. Also, this gives you the chance to meet with people in charge of the program as well as instructors and active students.
When you meet with an advisor in the MBA program, prepare a list of questions that will clarify any of your concerns and allow you to find out about opportunities available to students. Here are a few to ask (find more here):
What does the program specialize in?
What are the costs of tuition?
What percentage of graduates work in my industry? What type of career resources are there for students?
What are the teaching styles in the courses?
As you make the decision about your future MBA program, it’s essential you select a program that prepares you for a successful outcome. An MBA program with an international focus is essential to our global economy and will open you up for international opportunities. These skills in combination with your military background sets you apart from other candidates in your future career. So, make sure that you are researching programs that offer VA/GI benefits so you are not losing out on education benefits. The US Department of Veterans Affairs offers a search tool that will help you locate colleges, universities and other educational programs that offer VA benefits.