Term 1 in Shanghai was full of introductions. We practiced our elevator speech at least 156 times during those first few days. Name, industry, hometown, and don’t forget to say how happy you are to get your Duke degree to pursue X dream. That first week I remember forming a broad idea of the demographics in our class and being impressed by how many current or former military service men and women are in our class. Since then we’ve had the privilege of getting to know each of them a little bit better.
For those who have left the service many are looking at the MBA as a way to advance in their new civilian career. For those still serving, they’re looking at the MBA as a way to position them for a transition. I have heard several currently serving members say that all this business stuff is brand new and foreign to them.
Well, that may be true. Talking in terms of cultural dimensions or learning the Excel formula of the week is enough to keep even the most seasoned business professional on their toes. Throw in a Schipper final exam and Statistics Online Test #4 and you have yourself a field day in MBA lingo.
But really, everyone in our class is very gifted and has something to bring to the boardroom. Duke recognized that and it won’t be very long before the business world does as well.
So in addition to thanking each of the service men and women in our program for their bravery and sacrifice, I am launching this series to show how military leadership is changing the business world. Along with the research I’ll share, several of our emerging leaders have answered a few questions to share about their own experience and the leadership skills they’ve learned through their service.