THE TWO-YEAR PROGRAM: STEWART’S EXPERIENCE

From Stewart Winslow, Marine Veteran, Two-Year MBA 2016:

What began two years ago is now about to conclude in less than one semester.  That journey which started with the miserable balancing act of managing responsibilities at 1st Marine Division Headquarters while studying for the GMAT/GRE, while researching multiple MBA programs, while standing overnight posts is actually about to end.  It has flown by.  Similar to the stresses of military schools, training programs and deployments, the Emory full-time MBA program has been a series of stressful deadlines, crunch times, and “times to prove yourself”.  What a lot of people do not realize when they apply to an MBA program is that it is truly a two-year marathon, not a short sprint to get an internship or job.

The story of veterans entering a business program is one that repeats itself with every class of entering MBAs.  We write our entrance essays to the best of our ability about one thing we think we want to do “when we grow up”.  But, around day 2 in the program, we realize there is a whole world of opportunity and we can literally go try to explore every single one.  If you can manage to know, write about, and stick with the same career path for the whole two years, you are blessed…but for most of us, we certainly cannot.

The internship hunt is step one towards feeling like the MBA program is getting you to where you ultimately want to go.  What started out for me as a “shotgun” approach to internships really became fine-tuned as I made my way through 12+ first round interviews and “x” number of second round interviews.  A Marketing Analytics Consultancy taught by a phenomenal teacher-Manish Tripathi during my spring semester was really the inspiration for where I decided I wanted to drive my career towards. Yep…mid-“interview season” was when I really discovered where I wanted to focus the job hunt.  At the end of interview season, the veterans group of 2016 was fairly stacked with offers- the tenacious support of the career management center along with our backgrounds in operations, supply chain, logistics etc. really enabled us to overcome a lot of challenges commonly faced by veterans when transitioning to the civilian world.

stewart3

Pictured: Stewart (facing camera) at Veteran Networking Event.

My story led me to intern at UPS, headquartered here in Atlanta, in a Marketing Strategy role.  Remembering way back to Officer Candidate School, I always wondered how people knew they were ready for that experience…and truly, the only time I realized I was ready for the experience was at the end of it.  The internship is similar from the perspective of a military guy-you are being put in an environment you have never been in, being asked to tackle a problem you have never even thought of before and ultimately, the only time at which you realize “Goizueta did actually prepare me for all that”, is at the end of the internship when you are successfully delivering a massive slide deck and presentation filled with never before thought of insights and recommendations to senior leaders at the company…and then of course being asked to return for a full-time job.

This experience was exactly what I was hoping for when I considering leaving the Marine Corps.  I knew I wanted and needed more personal attention and support from a school.  I knew I wanted to pick a school  with a great reputation located in a big city with a HUGE number of companies (i.e. job opportunities).  Goizueta crushed it.  Of course, not without a lot of hard work, stresssful nights and perseverance on our part…but in the end, Goizueta enabled me to have a transformative experience which opened my eyes and opened doors to the civilian business world.

Leave a Reply