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Carroll School of Management Graduate Programs

Catherine Gillen, MBA '15, Seeks to Advance Her Career in the Military

Catherine Gillen, US Coast Guard and MBA '15


Catherine Gillen, MBA ’15, is pursuing her MBA at Boston College to advance her career in the United States Coast Guard. She will prepare herself for a role in the Coast Guard's financial management field and bring the business knowledge and management experience she acquires at the Carroll School back to the operational fleet in two years.

Catherine chose to enlist in the Coast Guard after high school because of the many opportunities it presented, and the decision to pursue an MBA was made easy by her environment, “The Coast Guard encourages its members to have dual career paths. I have chosen my initial career path of going to sea and I wanted to continue my education in an area that I can use both in the Coast Guard and afterwards.”

While serving, Catherine gained valuable experience managing people, overseeing training activities and managing budgets, all of which helped prepare her to be a successful MBA candidate. And in her search for an MBA program, the Core Values of the Carroll School of Management and its emphasis on community stood out. “When I actually started talking to the faculty and staff at Boston College, I realized that they truly did live by the values that they speak about. It is such an inviting environment!

"I am looking forward to meeting and networking with my classmates. I have been a part of the Coast Guard for 8 years now, so it will be nice to see the different perspectives that the civilian industry offers."

Catherine grew up in Philadelphia, PA, and went to high school in The Woodlands, TX. She attended the US Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, earning a Bachelor of Science in Management in 2009, while rowing crew. Catherine served as Deck Watch Officer/Division Officer on the CGC Harriet Lane in Portsmouth, VA, and as the Executive Officer of the CGC William Flores in Miami, FL. She will return to the Coast Guard when she graduates in 2015.