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To return or not return to school?


Allan W Austin, TX

I am a Veteran with an undergraduate and graduate degrees in public service. I retired nearly three years ago after spending over 20 years in the food service and supply chain management fields.

I have worked outside of the supply chain management field since retiring, however, considering a return to my old career roots and a return to school to enhance my skills.

I am hoping to find a mentor (with or without military experience) in the fields of supply chain management, contracting and procurement that can help point me in the right direction(s).

17 January 2022 5 replies Mentoring



Allan W Austin, TX

Hello Mary B,

I am not certain if at this point in life more education will help me achieve my career/professional (or other) goals. I have entertained the idea of expounding on what I can already bring to the table with my food service management and overall military experiences. I just have to figure out how and where to start from. Thank you for the invite to speak with me. I will ensure to reach out to you just as soon as I have formulated an initial plan of how to approach this challenge.


James Vickery Ogden, UT

Hello Allan,

Thank you for your service to our country. As a fellow veteran I can attest to the challenges of translating our military service and skills into easy to understand language for the civilian or corporate environments. Your education and experience are potentially enough to get into the GSC and contracting industries. I can speak to a few transition and potential employment opportunities if you would like to discuss.



Mary M. Burns Denver, CO

Good morning Allan,
Thank you for your important question and for you many years of service.

One way to make the school decision is to pause and answer a different question: does more education help you to achieve your career/professional (or other) goals? If so, then a thoughtful review of programs that will build on your military career and work in foodservice would be a start. Coaching many Executive MBAs at the Kellogg School of Management, I found most who invest in education later in their careers are clear an intentional about "why" they want the degree and where they might want to take it.

I would be glad to have a conversation one day to discuss further if it would help. Please reach me at
Stay well,
-Mary B.


Allan W Austin, TX

Hello Jerry,
Thank you for your prompt response and spot on recommendations. I will certainly ensure to review the quick read and reach out to Patrick Burbridge.



Jerry Welsh Middleville, MI

Start conducting some Informational Interviews in the supply chain industry. I might suggest reach out to Patrick Burbridge he also had three of four degrees going into logistics and ran up against the wall as over qualified. By conducting and creating a network in the private sector logistics field you will begin to understand the requirements and the qualifications. Education without the private sector experience is not a solution in today's competitive market. Keep in mind there are 95 private sector logistics candidate for every military veteran candidate. Here a couple of quick reads on preparing for the job search.
Thanks for your service and God Bless.

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