Program: MBA in Global Impact Management, MIIS Veteran
Undergrad: West Virginia University
Fun Fact: Already in my first semester, I have joined the Radio Club on campus and have actively participated in the Student Veterans Organization.
My Journey to MIIS
I grew up outside of Washington D.C. in northern Virginia and attended West Virginia University where I majored in International Affairs with a focus on National Security Studies. I spent half of my junior year studying abroad in Barcelona, Spain, honing my Spanish language skills. My work experience includes several years in the public, private, and military sectors as a consultant, analyst, and project manager. I have had a few distinct life experiences that I believe differentiate me from other graduate students at MIIS, so I would like to believe I bring a unique perspective into the classroom.
I chose to attend graduate school and pursue my MBA because I wanted to acquire broad business skills that could be applied to multiple work roles and responsibilities. I felt pigeon-holed in my former line of work, and I felt an MBA was the perfect degree to give me skills to operate in any environment. However, I also wanted a program that encompassed an international angle. I soon discovered the MBA program at MIIS!
The MBA program at MIIS is unique and different than standard MBA programs. I choose the MBA at MIIS because I wanted the option to pursue public service, learn entrepreneurial skills to start my own business, improve my language abilities, learn about international policy from a business and economic outlook, and attend a small school with a big presence in the working world!
In an increasingly globalized world, you must be able to interact with people from different cultures and in different languages, and this is something MIIS emphasisizes. Just remember that the Institute is not Harvard's or Stanford's business school. However, depending on the field you decide to go into, the Institute MBA carries weight. I've met a few people in the U.S. Department of State and within the federal government who have an MBA from MIIS. The MBA is different from the other graduate degrees at MIIS (A LOT OF MATH), but I believe it gives you tools that can be applied to any job in a global context. The same cannot be said for other MBA programs, in my opinion.
My Language of Study: Spanish
I first studied Spanish seven years ago and didn't utilize my language very much in the professional world. One of my reasons for coming to MIIS was the intensive language program, and believe me it is intense! I highly recommend the Summer Intensive Language Program for anyone who needs to brush up on their language of study.
The way language is taught at MIIS is great. The courses will be content based, and my class focuses on Latin America economic issues. We do not spend class going over vocabulary or grammar; instead we talk about world events and history. This has improved my language skills substantially in a short amount of time.
My Favorite Class
So far, my favorite class is International Organizational Behavior. Hopefully, you will have Professor Kent Glenzer, who has a lot of experience in the field working in third world countries. In this class, you will analyze organizational culture, hierarchy, motivation, structure, ethics, and much more. The readings and discussions are very stimulating, and they make you reflect on how to be a better leader.
Student Life for Veterans at MIIS
The veterans presence on campus is growing. In my Spanish class, there are three veterans out of ten total students. There are meet-ups for the Student Veterans Organization about once a month. The majority of veterans are in the Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program, and I am the only first-year MBA student veteran.
The student body at MIIS is small, around 800 students, but very active. Already in my first semester, I have joined the Radio club and attended campus events with high-level speakers every week as well as employer information sessions.
The campus here at the Institute is also small; however, it is a microcosm of the world. You will walk down the street and hear five or six languages, and there are people from all over the world living in Monterey. Monterey also has a large military presence at Defense Language Institute (DLI) and the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS). I use the gym at NPTS, so I do not feel too out of the loop with the military. All I can say is that I'm really happy that I came to MIIS.