MBA student veterans bond over shared service, goals

Georgia MBA Veterans Club launched by a record number of MBA veterans

Merritt Melancon | Nov. 05, 2021

Members of the Georgia MBA Veterans Club members including, from left in the back row, Jake Lay, Mason Strain, Nathan Schoffer, Jason Hedrick, Nick Trevena and, from left in the front row, Kayla Vickers and Ania Gardner.
Members of the Georgia MBA Veterans Club members including, from left in the back row, Jake Lay, Mason Strain, Nathan Schoffer, Jason Hedrick, Nick Trevena and, from left in the front row, Kayla Vickers and Ania Gardner.

During Jason Hedrick’s first year in Terry’s Full-time MBA program, the former U.S. Army Aviation Officer discovered two surprises.

The first was finding so many veterans in his classes, and second, that there was no social organization in place to help them get to know one other.

“We have around 20 people in just my MBA class who are veterans or are still on active duty,” Hedrick said. “It was immediately apparent there were a lot of us. As a program, we were behind the curve in terms of having a veterans’ association.”

So Hedrick and his fellow veterans did what MBA students learned when confronting a problem — they came up with a solution: the Georgia MBA Veterans Club.

Hedrick, fellow MBA students and Army officers Ania Gardner and Jackson Perry and former U.S. Marine Captain J.T. Carroll serve as club officers. The club boasts nearly two dozen members, composed of student vets from the Full-Time MBA in Athens and Terry’s Executive MBA and Professional MBA programs in Atlanta.

The club helps MBA student veterans build professional networks and share time with people with similar experiences. About one in four Georgia MBA students is a veteran or active-duty service member.

"Much of my apprehension in returning to school included transitioning to the 'civilian world,'" said Major Kayla Vickers, an active-duty officer returning to the Army after graduation to work in administration for the Military Health System. "Being around fellow veterans who understand that transition and the military lifestyle offers a break from having to think about the difference."


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