Tag: Olin Veterans Association

This article was originally published in the 2017 Olin Business Magazine.

Thanks to a generous $1.25 million commitment from The Boeing Company, Olin will continue to provide scholarship support and extracurricular benefits to eligible US military veterans.

“Every day at Boeing, we see the positive impact of the veterans on our teams,” said Shelley Lavender (EMBA ’03), Boeing senior vice president of Strike, Surveillance, and Mobility. “One in seven Boeing employees has served our nation, and brings leadership, commitment, and a unique perspective to the workplace.”

“Our gift to Olin will help ensure today’s veterans have the opportunity to achieve their educational goals and prepare themselves to continue to make an impact in their communities.”

—Shelley Lavender (EMBA ’03), Olin National Council member

Since 2008, Olin has been a full participant in the Yellow Ribbon Program, covering the gap between government funding and Washington University tuition costs for eligible veterans. Boeing’s support of the Olin Veteran Scholarship Fund ensures that Olin can continue to proudly recruit deserving military veterans into its programs.

“The strong leadership qualities that our military veterans bring to the classroom are valued by all Olin students, staff, and faculty,” said Dean Mark Taylor. “The MBA program and qualification give veterans the skills to channel their experience into becoming great business leaders who will change our school, community, and country.”

In addition to veteran scholarships, Boeing will also support the activities of the student-led Olin Veterans Association (OVA), which exists to assist veteran students in their successful transition into the business world. The OVA welcomes veteran students—and their families—to Olin with a three-day “boot camp” that provides an overview of the MBA curriculum. Veteran students are then personally connected to the St. Louis business community through internships, mentor partnerships, employer site visits, and networking events.

On average, Olin enrolls 80 military veterans each year across its graduate degree programs. Olin offers its sincere appreciation to The Boeing Company and its support of military veterans.

Military to MBA student Jerrod Anderson

Photo, above: Jerrod Anderson, right, with Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon at Anderson’s base in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2014.

The personal decision to leave active duty service, and transition from the role of military to MBA student, was one of the most difficult and important decisions I had ever made. I decided to pursue a Master of Business Administration because I wanted to continue growing as a leader after the Marine Corps. However, having had little exposure to the business world, choosing the right program proved to be challenging.

After researching numerous MBA programs, I was contacted by a friend and fellow Marine who was an MBA student at Washington University in Saint Louis. He described the unique culture at Olin and the incredible support structure that the school provides to transitioning service members.

New students truly hit the ground running at Olin, and the pace of the program can be difficult for those coming from non-business backgrounds. To ensure that veteran MBA students are prepared for their first semester, the school partners with the Olin Veterans Association (OVA) to organize a robust two-day program—Boot Camp—which provides incoming veterans with a comprehensive overview of the MBA program and career opportunities. New veterans are immediately introduced to the OVA network of alumni and other individuals who will continue to support student veterans throughout their two years at Olin. The Boot Camp program was extremely well organized and enabled me to make a seamless transition from the Marine Corps to the classroom.

The OVA has not only provided a professional network, but also the sense of community and belonging that I valued while on active duty.

Veterans at AB InBev

Olin MBA Veterans visit tour AB InBev in late August.

The OVA is a close-knit organization where alumni are personally invested in the development and success of current MBA students. I could not have asked for a better way to transition into a career in business. If you are considering pursuing an MBA, I highly encourage you to consider Olin and explore everything that the institution has to offer.

Jerrod Anderson, Olin Veterans Association, is a 2018 MBA Candidate in the full-time MBA Program at Olin Business School. Learn more about Olin’s top-ranked full-time MBA program and resources for military veterans.

The Olin Veterans Association helps new MBA students transition from the military into civilian life.

What do an X-Ray technician, nuclear submarine captain, a PMP managing construction projects in Japan, and an attack helicopter pilot (who interns at Goldman Sachs for vacation) have in common? They are just a small cross section of the Olin Business School MBA Class of 2018. More specifically, they represent about half of this year’s 11 veterans in the full-time program. In fact, they are the most diverse group of veterans in every facet. A majority of these incoming veterans—from all branches of service—are transitioning out of the military and joining the “real world” civilian society.

The Olin Veterans Association helps new MBA students transition from the military into civilian life.

Boot Camp is a two-day concentrated program to help veterans assimilate into their new academic community here at Washington University in St. Louis.

This transition is tough and can seem daunting for those who spent their entire adult lives in the military. To assist in this transition, the Olin Veterans Association (OVA) held its 3rd annual Boot Camp on August 1st and 2nd. This Boot Camp is a two-day concentrated program to help veterans assimilate into their new academic community here at Washington University in St. Louis. Topics include resources available to graduate students and navigating the GI Bill and health insurance to getting a crash course on how to do a case study. At the end of the two days, these veterans have a grasp on the functional areas of business and how to pursue their interests at Olin through the platforms. The Weston Career Center was instrumental to the Boot Camp success, interweaving career preparation during the entire program.

Olin’s support to veterans doesn’t start with Boot Camp. Joe Fox, Associate Dean for MBA Programs at Washington University in St. Louis, has made a commitment to actively recruit Veterans. Joe stated, “Veterans bring an incredible amount of experience in leadership and they have unrelenting desire to succeed in a team environment.” As part of that commitment, Olin Business School takes a holistic sponsorship approach in attracting and preparing veterans for business school before they step foot into Boot Camp.

The Olin Veterans Association works with the Admissions office throughout the admissions and matriculation process, answering questions and assisting in the transition from the military and settling into the Saint Louis area. This year, the Olin Veterans Association hosted a BBQ picnic at Clayton’s Shaw Park with the incoming veterans and their families, building that sense of community that veterans have grown accustomed to while on active duty. Interim Dean Kurt Dirks hosted a reception in honor of the incoming veterans, introducing them to alumni and supporters of the Olin Business School at the Olin Veterans Association.

This level of commitment and action is why Olin Business School, a Yellow Ribbon School, is designated a 2016 Veteran Friendly School by MilitaryFriendly.com. “The OVA and Faculty at Olin have exceeded my expectations and the Boot Camp has set a strong foundation for my success in the program. It really opened up my eyes to the horizon,” said Jerrod Anderson, a former Marine Intelligence Officer and 2018 MBA Candidate at Olin.

We look forward to their leadership and contribution!

James Jacobs and Tony Nuber, Vice Presidents in the Olin Veterans Association, are 2017 MBA Candidates in the Fulltime MBA Program at Olin Business School.