Veteran Voices: Former Special Forces Officer

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Transitioning from the military into the business world may seem daunting, and we expect you have unique questions and concerns as you consider enrolling in an MBA program. And who better to hear from than our Evening MBA and Weekend MBA alumni who have made this transition themselves?

We asked a series of questions to four of our Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Program alumni veterans, and we hope their experiences, insights, and advice will help as you explore your next educational and professional steps.

Breg Hughes, ’16, Evening MBA Program
Military branch and position: Army, Special Forces officer (18A)
Years served: 10 (2004 - 2014)
Current, post-MBA position: Financial advisor, Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Why was an MBA an important step in your post-military career?
The program provided an opportunity to interact with professionals across several industries while working. It also closed information gaps for me personally.

What attracted you to Booth’s Evening MBA Program?
I was drawn to the emphasis Booth placed on academic rigor and freethinking. I sought a career in finance, and Booth is one of the top programs for this in the country. I felt I needed the training and prestige associated with attending a top school in order to get a good job in finance.

Tell us about the transition from military to private sector and how your MBA helped prepare you.
The MBA program helped prepare me in several ways. I learned more about corporate language as well as the expectations and importance of networking. The academic training also helped bridge knowledge gaps I had, particularly those in finance and economics.

Any advice for active duty service members or veterans considering an MBA?
Veterans considering attending an MBA program should focus on either the area of the country they plan to be in, or a top school in terms of their area of interest. The geographic area can be important because local networking in the program will strengthen and improve employment opportunities. For instance, attending Booth carries a lot of weight in Chicago.

Anything else you think a prospective student with a military background should know about Booth’s Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs?
The Evening MBA and Weekend MBA Programs have a slightly more experienced student body, which is important in terms of job experience. Students in these programs continue working, and I felt they had more relevant work experience than students who’ve left their job to attend a full-time program. In this way, I was able to learn about different industries (how they work, progression, etc.)

We thank Breg and our Evening MBA and Weekend MBA community of more than 260 veteran and active duty alumni and current students. If you are considering making the transition from the military to business school, please contact our Admissions staff to find out how a Chicago Booth Evening MBA or Weekend MBA can fit into your future plans.