Management Major?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by magtalas192, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. magtalas192

    magtalas192 Member

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    I'm trying to decide on a major, i'm looking for something that I will enjoy, as well as use later on in life outside the military. Later on in life I want to work as some corporate owner. I was wondering if I:

    Should I get a undergraduate degree in management while I am at the Academy?
    Should I just major in something else that I am interested and obtain a MBA later on during my career?
    What jobs are offered outside the military to one who has one?

    Thanks!
     
  2. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I master's degree is the new bachelor's.

    I've read an MBA is often accepted as one of the most useful master's degrees as well (although I'm at the tail end of my MPS program). The nice thing about an MBA, as I have been told, is it leave many doors open. Traders, bankers, CPA, business owners.... know economics and business.

    Once you have a master's degree an employers couldn't really care less about your undergrad education. For certain positions your expected to have, at a minimum, a master's degree.

    Again, because I don't have an MBA, I can't speak to exactly what is available once you're done serving, but I can say a few things, from my experience....based on what I've been told and what I've seen.

    The private sector loves ex-military, you'll get a job in no time.

    I haven't experience that love for veterans. In fact, I would even suggest there is a great deal of misunderstanding from the private sector. I wouldn't say doors have closed for me, but it certainly didn't achieve the warm and fuzzies those still serving say it will. Sorry. On top of that, many things you do in the military won't translate. Then there's the public sector (govt). I know Obama is cramming it down your throat that government jobs are just WAITING for vets. They aren't. There will be a major influx of 10 point veterans (and if you don't have 30% disability, you'll just be another 5-pointer).

    I appreciated the HBO show Veep, and the line "You gotta network to get work." It's true. USA Jobs is a general black hole for applications. Contacting someone or knowing someone in the office you're applying for gives you a flashlight.

    You have a security clearance? They'll pick you up in a second.

    If you don't have TS-SCI.... I don't see this happeneing. I've had TS for...a while, it might get you a second look, but you know what? MANY people have secret, and a good number have top secret.

    Government contractors love ex-military.

    That's probably true. After I left the Coast Guard I spent 6 months looking for jobs. The first couple of months I looked in the private sector; things like nonprofits and corporations. At some point I applied to Booz Allen Hamilton. The next morning, I got a call to set up an interview. Booz Allen has a "speed dating" kind of interview process, which I actually liked (and after a number of interviews at other places that didn't go anywhere, I think I was a little more "myself" for this interview). I interviewed on a Wednesday, got a call on a Friday which sounded suspiciously like an offer, but it went no where.

    Eventually... 6 months down the road, Booz Allen did give me an offer, but I had already started at a small PR firm and felt like I should stick it out with the firm (despite a better paycheck from Booz).

    I'm guessing contractors do like military, and they would generally put you on a contract with an area you're somewhat familiar with. It's hit or miss. You client may be great, or may be a train wreck.

    Also, contractors feel the budget squeeze too.

    (Side note: while the process with Booz is horrible, I've heard people generally like working there, and the benefits are good.)





    Your undergrad program is important with respect to.... does it limit your graduate program options.

    I was a government major at CGA. That choice did not limit my application and acceptance to the strategic public relations master's program at GW. I have a feeling if I was applying to an advanced civil engineering master's program, I would be limited.

    Choosing management will not limit you from an MBA. Just make sure you do well, because your undergrad GPA can come back to bite you (how mine didn't I will never know).

    The sky is the limit though. Sometimes you'll have 15 interviews and no news. You'll feel down and sad/angry... and then things happen and you're "back on top". I left the Coast Guard in 2011. I spent 6 months looking for a job. I took one at a small PR firm. A month into the job I got an offer from Booz Allen. Five months into the job (on a miserable DHS contract), I decided to look elsewhere. Somehow, as I really figured out how unhappy I was, two other PR firms reached out to me, I contacted Booz Allen again and finally a professor I had recruited me for a position at a financial regulatory body in DC (which I took) and I've been very happy since.
     
  3. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    This is so true. It is not what you know, but who you know. Bullet before he retired had 2 job offers in hand, including salary and start date. They than advertised the job after offering it to him. They did this for 2 reasons, 1 because they had to legally, 2 in case Bullet took the other job. However, the point is many of those jobs have by name request applicants, the higher salary jobs already have the person, it really isn't available to the point you may think.

    I also agree it is the Master's that will matter and your career field. As you go further into your career than the emphasis will be more on your career, because now you have a very unique specialty that they can't find with most applicants. If you plan to do 5 and dive, than the Master's will matter because as LITS said it is now the new undergrad. Actually has been for yrs.

    One thing to understand is if you plan to get your Master's using TA, your commitment will run concurrent with the original, but it is usually hard to get a Master's done within your 1st two yrs of AD. That means you will owe time past your original commitment.

    I.E. let's say you finish it at your 3 yr marker, now you owe 3 more yrs. At the 4 1/2 yr marker they PCS you to Ramstein for 3 yrs. Hard to interview from Germany. You PCS back to Eglin, now you have 3 yrs more you owe. That puts you at 10 yr marker and your married, have a house and a baby. Do you leave or do you accept the O4 promotion, keeping you in until 14 yr marker. Now you have 14 yrs in, do you leave or do 1 more tour, and set yourself up the last tour for your retirement, taking an assignment at 17 yrs where you will stay for the rest of your life and get 50% of base pay? Those 6 yrs are hard to say no to when you are talking retirement pay.

    I just took you from 6 yrs to 20 with a blink of an eye.

    As LITS stated he was out for 6 months before he got a job. It is incredibly hard to walk away from a guaranteed pay check. Not many people would have enough money put aside to survive off of for 6-9 months after 5 yrs AD. at the same level.
     
  4. Blackbird

    Blackbird Parent

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    I disagree. If someone has an undergrad and grad degree in the same field then sure the undergrad becomes a non-issue. Or if the undergrad is in a liberal arts field then the masters is maybe all that employers care about. But if the undergrad is technical and then you get an MBA, both degrees can be just as important. I work in pharmaceutical engineering and a BS in engineering is a requirement even though I also have an MBA. For many technical professionals, the MBA opens up additional opportunities but the technical degree is required for entry into the filed.
     
  5. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    You illustrate a good point (also the reason I thought about adding a "many" or "most" to that sentence, but opted not to.)

    Technical industries tend to be different, and you've also illustrated how broad an MBA can be used. My wife just got a job with the FDA, which not only needed a CV, but also proof of her pharm.d.

    As I applied to grad school, my experience was a factor in my acceptance. As I applied for jobs, while education was touched on, experience had far more weight.

    As Pima said, many jobs, even in the federal government are already "claimed".
     
  6. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    I ate through a LOT of savings/money market funds. I also had a friend who let me take up an entire room in his apartment for $450 a month (when ever I could pay). That friend also purchase NHL Center Ice for me to watch while he was overseas for an extended time. You know who your friends really are when you're down. He was in my wedding party too. :thumb:
     
  7. sprog

    sprog Member

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    It can even matter with a JD. If you want to sit for the Patent Bar (Registration Examination) with USPTO, you have to have an undergraduate degree in a technical field (or have enough credits in science/tech classes).

    I'm an attorney, but as I have a liberal arts UG background, that isn't open to me.
     
  8. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    Then, there's always English. From Prairie Home Companion, circa 2005

    *************************************************
    ..after a word from the Partnership Of English Majors.

    Sue Scott: If you're an English major, you have many advantages in this world and you ought to use them. The ability to express yourself readily, gracefully, sensitively, for example. An enormous advantage. When you go online in hopes of meeting your soulmate, for example. Sure, in the real world you're not much to look at, but online you're beautiful.

    Garrison Keillor: (TYPING) As I sit here ensconced at my laptop and think of you, my precious one, adrift out there in this tedious drab uncaring world, I hope you hear the earnest palpitations of my voluminous heart.

    SS: English majors have all the qualities women look for - intelligence, curiosity, a sense of adventure, and excellent punctuation.

    GK: (TYPING) Would you deign to join me for a glass of wine, semicolon, if not, comma, perhaps, dash weather permitting dash, share an evening perambulation through the frost hyphen covered meadows, ellipsis.

    SS: The man of my dreams! He knows how to use an ellipsis! I met a chemical engineer online yesterday and — there was nothing.

    Tim Russell: (TYPING) Hey, wassup? wanna meet? IM me. Yo.

    SS: I corresponded with a lawyer—

    Tom Keith: Results may vary depending on attitude. Not responsible for disappointment. Prolonged exposure may produce severe irritation.

    SS: I corresponded with a doctor—

    TR: Meet you at noon—please arrive fifteen minutes early so you can complete the necessary paperwork.

    SS: But my English major friend — Winthrop — what a peach. The use of ellipsis.....Words like "peripatetic" and "euphonious" — and nothing makes a girl's heart go pitter-pat quite like parallel sentence structure--

    GK: (TYPING) I enjoy gazing up at the heavens, writing limpid prose and looking forward to the day when you and I sit in the dark and watch "A Room with a View" at that little movie house that sells the espresso and organic scones. The thought of that rendezvous — c'est la journee, mon cher.

    SS: "Rendezvous! Journeé!" — what a guy. I came on the information superhighway... and I found the road to love. With an English major.

    GK: A message from the Partnership of English Majors.
     
  9. Pima

    Pima Parent

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    That was my point. Theory and reality might not meet, unless you have a great support system or planned out many yrs ahead financially that this might occur when you place 5 and dive into the equation. If the OP doesn't want to do 5 and dive, and make the AF his career, than the perspective changes a little on what they should major in and how quickly he should get his Masters especially if he wants to fly.

    There were a lot of our friends that wanted to bolt, but because life and bills got in the way, they stayed.

    If I am correct the OP is at the AFA, their undergrad will pull weight, they should get a Masters, but don't jump to the assumption that Lockheed is going to be pounding down your door. They start pounding on that door when your career field is an asset to their company. That is why not only the SA's are great for your future, but the military too.

    I.E. let's assume you go Maintenance get your MBA on AD. You will have more working knowledge on the airframe system than the candidate that went to undergrad for engineering and also had an MBA too, but the only time they got near an airframe was at an Air Show.

    Additionally, as LITS and I both stated by name in the beltway world is very common. SA's have a great networking system. Doors open if you know where to knock on.
     
  10. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    This bit is more oriented to jobs.

    *********************************************************

    (ORGAN)

    GK: You graduate in June and you go to a job interview and the guy in the blue suit says.....

    TR: So ---- Emily----- why do you want this job?

    LN: Truthfully?

    TR: Sure.

    LN: Because I'm desperate and I have a severe undiagnosed mood disorder that's triggered by bright lights, so I wanna get health insurance so I can get some legal barbiturates and also save up to buy an assault rifle.

    TR: Thanks for coming in.

    (BRIDGE)

    GK: Employers aren't interested in the truth. They don't care about your personal journey.

    LN: No?

    GK: No. They just want you to hit key words. For example, you're not there because you're desperate.

    LN: Yes I am.

    GK: No you're not. You're there because you're a detail-oriented self-starter and a team player who can leverage your core competencies across diverse platforms.

    LN: Gosh.

    GK: You're a game-changer who provides positive momentum for a customer-centric wow factor.

    LN: Wow. I never knew.

    GK: But now you do. And you're ready for that interview.

    LN: I am?

    GK: You are.

    LN: Okay.

    GK: Good luck.

    FN: So---- Emily----- What's your greatest strength?

    LN: My market-focused synergistic interactivity.

    FN: Good. And what's your greatest weakness?

    LN: Sometimes I'm too proactive and I work round the clock for weeks on end, until I fall down from sheer exhaustion. And I love it.

    FN: So where do you see yourself in five years?

    LN: As a detail-oriented self-starter providing integrative solutions in real-time modules. I'd like to move the needle on the consumer experience, creating an above-the-fold paradigm shift, and catalyzing the burn rate of creative cross-pollination.

    FN: You're hired. As an intern. A $1.50 an hour to start and your own cubicle.

    (VICTORY CHORD)

    GK: English. It's how you get ahead. If you're an MBA and you can't seem to land a job, for your next interview don't say MBA... say B.A. in English.

    A message from the Professional Organization of English Majors.
     
  11. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    For someone wanting to do an MBA and run a business later, I would suggest math heavy majors such as Math (obviously), Operations Research, System Engineering, or Computer Science. While I'm doing my PhD in Policy Analysis in OR methods, I would consider doing an MBA to bolster the finances component to round out my personal education goals.
     
  12. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Please tell me you aren't getting a bachelors, masters and doctorate!
     
  13. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I'll have my PhD in about a year. The Masters is awarded along the way (more for people that don't finish but want something to show for the schooling).

    I want more education in financial planning. Don't necessarily need a degree, but I do better in a structured program.
     
  14. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    Wowzaaaa... can't wait to see the ROI on all this education! :wink:
     
  15. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    I'm quite happy. Not having to pay a dime for my education through a PhD. Nice to go through all that school debt-free!
     
  16. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    How many years does that add to your commitment?
     
  17. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Tricky response. Officially, it adds 4 years. However, I have pilot training right after and the standard commitment is 10 years after pinning on my wings. Since I delayed three years to do this, I add three more years than I would have otherwise due to training. Inevitably, I will be hitting my 15 year mark at a minimum by the time my commitment is up - might as well finish out to 20!
     
  18. Christcorp

    Christcorp Member

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    Sounds familiar. Deja Vu. LOL!!! :biggrin:
     
  19. hornetguy

    hornetguy USAFA Cadet

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    Yup, your son is having fun out here, too.
     

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