Editor’s note: This story has been updated throughout.
Texas A&M University’s military heritage, combined with its world-class business school, makes it the ideal place for today’s veterans to prepare for a career beyond the armed forces. To that end, Mays Business School’s Center for Executive Development is launching the Veteran Accelerated Management Program (VAMP) in partnership with the VETTED Foundation to help high-performance U.S. military veterans transition to the business world.
This program enhances Texas A&M’s well-established reputation as one of the Best Colleges for Veterans. “Our armed forces have displayed their commitment to our country through their many years of service,” said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp. “This program is one way that Texas A&M can salute their service and help these proven leaders successfully enter civilian life so they can continue to be a productive part of society.”
Texas A&M President Michael K. Young said the university “is honored to partner with the VETTED Foundation on this important program with Mays Business School.”
“This is another example of our 140-year, ongoing commitment to the military,” Young said. “We look forward to welcoming participants to this program and to following what we know will be very successful careers in the years to come.”
Many military veterans have difficulty getting their bearings after leaving military life. “Seventy percent of career military veterans struggle to find work in the private sector,” said Michael Sarraille, the founder of the VETTED Foundation, which works in partnership with Mays on the VAMP program. “They struggle with reintegration and finding meaningful work reflective of their talent.”
Yet that same military experience can greatly benefit organizations. A recent study by Korn/Ferry International found that S&P 500 companies that are led by CEOs with a military background are more likely to deliver higher average returns. These leaders also remain on the job longer than CEOs without military experience.
VAMP, which is specifically designed for senior military officers and senior noncommissioned officers, provides a rigorous business curriculum to equip the veteran with marketable skills for employment in the private sector. “We are proud to be a national leader for excellence in service to military veterans and their families,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “VAMP reflects the importance of military service, as well as our ongoing commitment to providing veterans with access to high-quality, cost-effective business programs.”
VAMP combines five months of distance learning through Wharton’s Business Foundations Specialization series, followed by two months of comprehensive residential graduate-level business instruction at Texas A&M, in Mays Business School’s Center for Executive Development. Participants will engage in an intensive eight-week residential program covering graduate-level concepts in business operations, strategy, commercialization, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Case studies, presentations, simulations, performance assessments, and guest speakers ensure that veterans are actively engaged.
The program also includes a capstone project that embeds participants in a partnering corporation. This hands-on experience helps veterans integrate and apply their knowledge in a real-world situation throughout the program, thus giving them the confidence to thrive in the business world.
Because subject matter isn’t the only aspect of a successful transition, participants also receive world-class career services, including resume development, mock interviews, networking techniques and career placement. “We know that opportunities to network are critical to the end goal of finding a new career. Given A&M’s strong military roots, our outstanding alumni support and our ability to partner with other organizations on campus like the Veteran Resource & Support Center, Texas A&M’s Center for Executive Development is uniquely positioned to provide a world-class networking experience for our VAMP participants and we intend to do just that.” Brandi Plunkett, director of the Center for Executive Development.
VAMP, which launches at Texas A&M in February 2018, continues Texas A&M’s commitment to the armed forces and demonstrates Mays’ customized approach to meeting the educational development needs of executives of all types. “The core values and unique culture of Texas A&M University is rooted in our military heritage,” said Ben Welch, Mays assistant dean of executive education. “It is the DNA of our belief system. Therefore, it is our sacred duty to serve those who have valiantly stood to defend our country through military service.”
VETTED, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is the optimal veteran transition platform to transform proven military leaders into tomorrow’s industry leaders and entrepreneurs. VETTED identifies military talent for transition preparation and planning, business executive education, career services, and industry placement in the private sector. VETTED is creating the first State Model, the Texas Model, to serve as the launch pad for successful veteran transitions before moving nationally. Learn more at www.vetted.org.
This story originally appeared in Mays Impacts.