I'm still struggling to determine what kind of career I want to pursue after recently transitioning out of the military. Would you recommend internships, or a masters like an MBA to help with this?
I agree - the answers are great and spot on. BUT, being a vocational counselor, I have a slightly different take on the subject and ask: HAVE YOU STEPPED BACK AND ASKED / IDENTIFIED YOUR TALENTS? My question is all about what is behind this adage:
"People will do what you want them to do when what they do is what they want to do."
My concern is that your posted question MIGHT be a good second question, the first being for you to really know your talents. Do you? Let me know if you want a link to a free assessment website that will help with this subject . . . . . Dr. Hank
Scott has given you great advise, combine both. He also mentioned try and to pick an intership that offers exposure to a wide variety of other companies the internship company works with. Take a look at Military Friendly Companies, there is a list of the 100. Pretty tough standards to make the list and stay there, not some media fluff. They might have programs already set up for JMO's. I.E. Alticor/Amway in Grand Rapids, MI has a good JMO program. GE is also another military friendly company. Most of your railroads have been on the list for years, and know the value of military experience.
I would highly recommend some career research, not reading books etc. but create a Google news search tailored to a career, then every day read new articles on that career field. Continue until you find a career field that really catches your interest. There is always personal networking, you never know within your social network who knows who and if you are interested in working and going to school, some companies may make it worth your while. Our son in law interned at John Deere, with a joint venture degree at Western Michigan University-degree in engineering and supply chain-they gave him two years tenure which kept locked him the older pension program, after 17 years and an International MBA from Duke, they parted on good terms. Needless to say the retirement will be there when he wishes.
Look back at your military career and all of your projects you voluntold, some people end up finding a career on what was a short term assignment, but in retrospect they loved the career. Focus on a university that will and who has an excellent reputation for internships. My concern a lot of universities see big $$ when they see a veteran-they are like any purchase, do your research. The harder it is to get in, the greater chance it is a good school. Thanks for your service and God Bless.
Thank you for your service.
An MBA would be the best first step, but finding the right MBA program is going to be the factor in finding the right career path for you. MBAs are now the lowest expected level of education employers are looking for prospective employees to have.
There are many MBA programs that have active internship partners. When looking for an MBA program, one of the most important questions you should be asking is if they have internship placement during the pursuit of your MBA. In the financial services industry, in which I am familiar, seeking an MBA program that will allow you to explore the many areas of that industry would be very valuable in narrowing your focus.
Also, just as important, interning with a company that provides diverse services in the financial vertical will be just as important. What I mean is, if you are able to intern with a bank, make sure it is a bank that has many divisions, commercial, retail, financial, lending, insurance, etc. Being able to intern with a company that can expose you to as many of the areas within that vertical can provide you with a wealth of information pertaining to the inner workings of those disciplines. Like eating at a buffet instead of a pizza place. You can look around and pick and choose what you want to eat instead of just being forced to pick from a set menu.
In the end, helping you choose what you want to do by arming you with information and experience. Seeing it first hand and being able to determine quickly if it interests you or not can be just as valuable as the experience itself.
I hope this has helped.
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