Welcoming Veterans into Business

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This is a time of year when many people take time to thank the men and women who serve and have served in the military. As I reflect on the gratitude we feel for the service of our veterans, I’d like to highlight the opportunities that we make available for military men and women and veterans who want to transition into a successful career in business.  

We take great pride in welcoming active-duty military and veterans into our graduate and undergraduate degree programs, so that they can add a world-class business education to their exceptional leadership experience. These students are excellent examples of our mission to develop leaders who make a positive difference in the world. Each of them brings a wealth of knowledge and impressive real-world experience to the classroom, which is one of the many reasons we value them as part of our academic community.

Michigan Ross is known as a military-friendly school for a several important reasons. The first is that we are a Yellow Ribbon school that offers in-state tuition to veterans and active-duty military students. We do not limit the number of participants and cover all admitted students who are eligible, meaning there is no cap to the number of students who can participate.  Additionally, Ross waives the application fee for veterans. These steps help to remove financial burdens to education for veterans.

Second, many of the key tenets of a Ross education – such as leadership development, action-based learning, teamwork, and collaboration – make the school the best business learning environment for current or former military members, many of whom have already begun to master these principles. Ross makes it possible for them to enhance those valuable skills as part of our curriculum and overall culture as participants in the Ross Leadership Initiative, team members on a Multidisciplinary Action Project (MAP), leaders in more than 70 student clubs, or section leaders within their class. At Ross, we not only encourage but embrace a willingness to learn by doing.

Veterans and military also appreciate Ross’ diverse and welcoming community and strong network of current students and alumni who are veterans. Groups such as the Ross Armed Forces Association are key to helping recruit prospective students with military ties to Ross and serve as a community within a community, hosting events, family dinners, and coordinating seminars with industry executives who are looking to hire Ross graduates.

Third, the flexibility we offer, especially for students interested in pursuing an MBA degree, is highly appealing for veterans who seek to attain a degree on their own schedule.  Whether working to earn an MBA as a full-time student or in the Evening or Weekend MBA programs, students in each format have access to the same renowned faculty, action-based learning, and leadership development programs that make them highly sought-after candidates in the job market upon graduation. We’ve also seen many former members of the military gravitate toward our Executive MBA Program. In fact, our most recent Executive MBA graduating class had students from each of the five branches of the military.

And finally, Ross’ resources for veterans are amplified by those of the University of Michigan, which has a strong tradition of serving students with ties to the armed forces. U-M’s Office of New Student Programs manages the Veterans and Military Services Program and hosts welcome dinners and programs of interest to veterans. It also maintains a website of resources for veterans. The university’s Student Veterans of America chapter actively engages the veteran community on campus.

All of these resources are meant to ensure that qualified veterans looking to transition into a career in business have the financial, academic, and community support to do so. When you combine the real-world experience they learned in the field with the rigorous academic curriculum from Ross, there is no limit to what they can achieve in their careers, and we are proud to play a role in their continued success.