Notre Dame’s ties to the armed forces can be traced back to the University’s earliest days—including Fr. Corby’s blessing of the Irish Brigade before the Battle of Gettysburg—and extend to the current campus community, which continues to support returning veterans.
Look no further than Notre Dame’s MBA student body for evidence of a thriving veteran community: the 2017-2018 MBA student body includes 38 veterans who have amassed more than 55 years of deployment, 56 Commendation Awards and 22 Bronze Stars, while serving in 50 countries. As a group, Notre Dame’s Veteran MBA students have earned a 100 percent job placement rate every year since 2010.
For Tom Jones, an MBA student and veteran with nine years of military experience, Notre Dame was the perfect fit. “Especially being exposed to the military and countries where there’s a lot of conflict, the emphasis on ethics, values and service was really important to me,” Jones says. “Notre Dame seemed to embody those more than any other school.”
Jones did have one concern upon leaving the military: he wanted to continue to develop as a leader. “I left the army as a senior captain, so I already had company command,” Jones remembers. “You learn a lot about yourself and your leadership potential when you’re in that position and you have that kind of responsibility. It was a little nerve-wracking to think that I might not be able to further develop as a leader if I left the military and started over at a lower level in the business community.”
Jones’ first experience in the MBA program—the Integral Leadership Development course—put those fears to rest immediately. “I would tell any veteran who is thinking about this program that this is a place where you will get better, and where you will be enabled to develop further,” Jones says. “In the transition away from the military, this is one of the better places you could be.”