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Notre Dame MBA named ‘Military Friendly’ for fourth year

by Carol Elliott

September 20, 2012

MBA Military


U.S. Army Major Sean McCaffery was commissioned as an officer in 2001, one month before the 9/11 terrorist attacks. McCaffery had been raised with the belief that he needed to give back to society in return for the many freedoms and privileges he enjoyed as an American. But when the Twin Towers fell, that belief solidified into a plan to serve in the military for a 20-year career.

Now, a decade later, the married father of two small sons has been deployed overseas multiple times, to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan and Mali, Africa. For all he gained in military experience, he also set a new goal for himself – getting his MBA.

“I started thinking about when I get out of the military nine years from now, what will I bring to the table when it comes to looking for a job?” says McCaffery, who has a bachelor’s degree in business from Kansas State University. “I also realized that there is a lot of overlap between the knowledge and skills needed for business and for military leadership. If I earned my MBA now, the degree would not only help me in the rest of my military career, it would also give me an additional edge when I transition to civilian life.”

In summer 2012, McCaffery started the one-year program offered by the University of Notre Dame MBA, joining a long tradition of veterans as well as active duty men and women seeking to expand their leadership skills through the degree program at the Mendoza College of Business.

Notre Dame MBA’s support of military students recently earned the program its fourth consecutive year as being named a Military Friendly School. The designation is given the top 15 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools offering programs to encourage and support the educational goals of America’s military service members and veterans.

The annual list is compiled by Victory Media, the premier media entity for military personnel transitioning into civilian life. The 1,739 colleges, universities and trade schools on this year’s list exhibit leading practices in the recruitment and retention of students with military experience. 

“Our appreciation for and continued service to current and prior military continues to be a focus for our program,” said Brian T. Lohr, director of Notre Dame MBA Admissions.  “With 10 percent of our incoming class being prior-military, our program is designed to supplement the extraordinary leadership they bring, as well as to foster their transition into civilian life or greater responsibilities within the military.” 

The Notre Dame MBA, which offers one- and two-year programs, provides several channels of support for military students, including Freedom Fellowships, which provide fellowship dollars from the University’s endowment exclusively for candidates with prior military service. It also participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program, a GI Bill program providing significant benefits to eligible U.S. military veterans with honorable discharges who served on active duty after Sept. 11, 2001, for at least 36 months.

The program also offers specialized advising to prospects through a military recruiting admissions office liaison, U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Stefan J. Castino. For more information, visit mba.nd.edu/military.

Now in its fourth year, the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools was compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools nationwide. The survey tabulation process, methodology and weightings were developed with the assistance of an Academic Advisory Board (AAB) consisting of educators from schools across the country, and were independently verified by Ernst and Young LLP.   Complete survey methodology is available at militaryfriendlyschools.com

“Inclusion on the 2013 list of Military Friendly Schools shows the commitment on the part of Notre Dame MBA to providing a supportive environment for military students,” said Sean Collins, director for G.I. Jobs and vice president at Victory Media.   “As interest in education grows, we’re thrilled to provide the military community with transparent, world-class resources to assist in their search for schools.”

A full story and detailed list of 2013 Military Friendly Schools will be highlighted in the annual G.I. Jobs Guide to Military Friendly Schools, distributed in print and digital format to hundreds of thousands of active and former military personnel in early October. 

Victory Media is a service-disabled, veteran-owned small business founded in 2001. Victory’s free, data-driven, Military Friendly® lists can be found at www.gijobs.com/2012Top100www.militaryfriendlyschools.com and www.militaryfranchising.com. Victory’s lists are also published in G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse, Vetrepreneur magazines, republished in national and local periodicals and are frequently cited on national and local TV stations.

The Notre Dame MBA at the Mendoza College of Business enrolls approximately 340 students annually in its one-year and two-year programs. The program is designed to sharpen students’ analytical and problem-solving skills, enhance their leadership ability and increase emphasis on ethical decision making. Students have the opportunity to study the complexities of global business through international immersions in Asia, Latin America and other locations.

The Notre Dame MBA is ranked 24th among U.S. business schools by Bloomberg Businessweek, and No. 4 in the Aspen Institute’s 2011-2012 Beyond Grey Pinstripes, a biennial survey and alternate ranking that indicates the school’s success in integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its program.