By Charles Altman
U.S. Navy Veteran
The Military Veterans Initiative at the Carlson School of Management is led by Charles Altman, a retired U.S. Navy commander who dedicated nearly three decades to military service. Altman knows too well the difficulty of transitioning from active duty to civilian life.
With nearly 300,000 Veterans transitioning from active military service to civilian life in the United States each year, there is vast potential for strong leaders to enter the workforce. However, I have personally seen many service members and Veterans struggle to obtain a position equal to their experience and education, while others can’t find a job at all. When you walk out of one professional life and into another, it’s cold. The Carlson School wants to extend a warm welcome for these Veterans, and ease the transition to a new career.
The Carlson School of Management empowers these tried and tested leaders to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) that positions them in the top of the talent pool for the private sector. The school’s Military Veterans Initiative provides financial support for tuition and fees and a cost of living stipend, access to career coaching, and preferred placement in internships for qualified Veteran applicants. The benefits begin immediately upon acceptance to our school’s nationally-ranked MBA program.
This fall, 16 vets will join the school’s full-time MBA class. The students hail from all branches of military service: Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines. One Veteran student I’d like to mention is our recipient of the Military Veterans Initiative scholarship, Lieutenant Ernie Lietzan, will soon begin his second year of the program.
Lietzan has been leading, managing, and aviating for a decade as a pilot for the U.S. Navy. He applied his leadership skills and academic aptitude to excel in the Navy. Throughout his military career, he led teams in Iraq, the Persian Gulf, and Bahrain. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physics from the U.S. Naval Academy, then piloted the E2C Hawkeye and performed operational tests on a new model of aircraft.
Following 10 years of military service, Lietzan made the transition to civilian life and sought a career in the private sector. But despite his impressive resume, he also experienced difficulty communicating his experience in a meaningful way.
"I didn't have a grasp of how my skills would be useful in the business world, I didn't speak that language," said Lietzan. "I didn't know what I didn't know. I wanted to find a top institution to help me find those experiential gaps and fill them with the requisite knowledge to go out and succeed."
The Carlson School MBA offers experiential learning opportunities that make the program a top choice for vets. Carlson was recently ranked in the top 15 percent of business schools for Veterans nationwide by Military Friendly Schools and GIJobs.com, and is fully Yellow Ribbon accredited.
Although the Initiative provides assistance exclusively to vets enrolled in the full-time MBA program, the Carlson School welcomes Veterans to all three of its MBA programs this fall: 16 vets will begin the Full-Time MBA program, 10 will begin working toward their Part-Time MBA, and eight start an Executive MBA in September.