One of the things that I quickly realized during my MBA journey is the value of contacting other veterans who have already successfully made the transition. The first piece of candid advice I have received from students across multiple schools is that being a veteran in itself is not unique. Frankly, we are competing with each other, and in some cases, Army competing against Army for a few spots.
Therefore, your acceptance or rejection isn’t indicative of your admissibility, there is such a roll of the dice element to it which is why I advocate veterans to apply to as many schools they can visit and research. I was lucky to be a consultant so I just visited schools as I traveled for work. My general experience was that veterans clubs are always out to help, but not every program has helpful.
I want to mention that this is only my own personal experiences and perhaps I caught some students during finals or some other unforeseen circumstances. I didn’t feel like I had terribly good support from Columbia or Yale, but that doesn’t mean their veteran clubs aren’t helpful, I’m sure they are. I didn’t want to uniformly proclaim that all veteran clubs are helpful because I don’t want you to step in with unrealistic expectations. Veteran clubs can help review your resumes and essays.
|Club||Unique Characteristics||My Impressions|
|Berkeley (Haas)||Haas Veterans Club||N/A – Did not apply|
|Booth AFG has an applicant mentorship program that provides a mentor that guides you through the whole process.||I didn’t utilize the applicant mentorship program until I already applied. This would definitely be a game changer had I known about it earlier in the process. I received great support from Booth vets.|
|Columbia||Columbia University Military in Business Association||Being a native New Yorker, I was a little disappointed with the level of support from Columbia vets.|
|Cornell (Johnson)||Johnson Association of Veterans||The level of support I received from Johnson vets was insane. They frequently bothered the admissions committee on my behalf and I still keep in touch with one vet even though I didn’t get in.|
|Dartmouth (Tuck)||Tuck Armed Forces Alumni Association||TAFAA had a webcast specifically for veterans. During the Q&A session, the admissions staff logged off and the veterans provided very candid advice to all the attendees. I think this is the only veteran club to provide a veteran-specific webcast.||Tuck is the smallest MBA program and the people there are very friendly and supportive. I had frequent discussions with veterans and one person provided really good advice for my essays|
|Duke (Fuqua)||Duke Armed Forces Association||I have nothing but good things to say about my experiences with Fuqua vets. I kept in touch with a student who met with me even 8 months after my interview.|
|Harvard Business School||HBS Armed Forces Alumni Association||Great response time. Had a 30-45 minute phone call with a current student and he spent a few hours reading my essays and providing valuable suggestions.|
|Michigan (Ross)||Ross Armed Forces Association||Good experience overall, had a 30-45 minute phone call a current student and he encouraged me to visit Ross|
|MIT (Sloan)||Sloan Veterans Association||Sloan is one of two schools (other being Johnson) with a domain registered specifically for its veterans club. Pretty cool and full of info.||I went out for drinks with a first year veteran student. He provided a lot of tips and encouragement. Very positive experience with the Sloan Veterans Association.|
|New York (Stern)||Stern Military Veterans Club||Stern has a dedicated page with information for veterans, I think this is one of the best out of the top 16||I’ve been interacting with Stern’s MVC for over a year now, especially since I’ve been in NYC. I went to a Veterans Day Beer Call and it was a blast. Stern’s MVC definitely takes pride in taking care of other vets.|
|Northwestern (Kellogg)||Kellogg Veterans Association||Good experience overall, had a 30-45 minute phone call a current student. I didn’t schedule a meeting while I made a class visit, which I should have done.|
|Stanford GSB||Stanford Veterans Club||I couldn’t really find the link to the veterans club, the link to the left is to the list of all the clubs||N/A – I didn’t contact them for some reason. One of my first applications, newbie mistake.|
|UCLA (Anderson)||Anderson Military Club||N/A – Did not apply|
|UPenn (Wharton)||Wharton Veterans Club||I had a very well-coordinated visit at Wharton and veterans led me through the whole day, including lunch and a class visit. I thought I wouldn’t get this level of support as Wharton is a big program, but I received top notch support from the Veterans Club.|
|Virginia (Darden)||Darden Military Association||Darden probably had the first veteran page of all MBA programs, I recall seeing this page back in 2009/2010.||Darden loves vets. I think Darden has been loving vets more than any other MBA program. It is also a public school so your tuition is taken care of completely. If you are an out-of-state student, the Yellow Ribbon Program will cover the rest.|
|Yale School of Mgt.||Yale Veterans Club||I got a pretty cold reception but then again, could have been just my own personal experience|
My next post is going to be around GI Bill analysis. I used to rely on the analysis provided by www.militarymba.net, but now that I’ve done my own calculations, I have realized that they are wrong.