United States Army
Inspired by her brother, an Army MSG (E-8) stationed at Fort Bragg, NC, Bethany was commissioned into the U.S. Army at graduation from West Point in 2004. After she and her husband, another military vet, made the decision to leave active-duty service in 2012, they applied to the Full-Time MBA Program at Boston College. Her goal is to pursue a career in healthcare and she is serving post-MBA as an administrative fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital.
What made you decide to pursue an MBA?
I knew I needed to “relearn” some traditional and fundamental hard business skills that would help me succeed in the civilian workplace. I believed an MBA would help in building those hard skills and perhaps most importantly, expose me to different curricula that would help shape my career focus as I moved forward. I also knew that the career services offered through MBA programs would be beneficial to me as I started to navigate the waters of post-MBA employment.
How was the application process for you?
Having been long out of undergrad (eight years!), the most difficult part for me was certainly the GRE/GMAT entrance exams. But after taking some prep courses and conquering the test, the process was pretty straightforward. I appreciated schools, like Boston College, that supported veterans by waiving the application fees.
Do you feel that your military background prepared you for the MBA track?
Absolutely! It prepared me well. My time management skills served me the best. I’m able to manage multiple projects and task with ease. Additionally, my military experience gave me exposure to unique problem sets that helped me see business cases differently.
Did you have any hesitations when you first started? Were you surprised by anything?
There was some hesitation, as I'm somewhat older than the typical population. I was worried about the amount of time between my undergraduate education and this program. Surprisingly, however, I was able to quickly assimilate back into school culture (studying, presenting, etc.)!
Are you happy you chose Boston College?
So incredibly happy! This was the perfect place for me. The small classroom sizes afforded me the chance to engage with my professors and classmates on a more intimate level. Moreover, I value our class composition; the class is full of incredibly talented individuals representing so many diverse industries. Financially, Boston College did its best to support both my husband and I, as we both went through school, by offering competitive financial aid packages.
What’s your advice for other veterans or active-duty members considering an MBA?
Look for schools that fit your personality, value your military experience, and support you in your long-term career goals. Also try to identify programs that have strong alumni networks, like Boston College, which can help you get your foot in the door with companies and industries.