Veteran Recruiting

By Guest Blogger Benjamin Stubblefield

As a veteran coming to Booth I was very excited and overwhelmed by the abundance of employment opportunities that were available to students. I had spent 11+ years in the Navy with little to no business understanding, excel wizardry, or finance knowledge; it was hard to know what to recruit for during my first quarter. I chose to take a delayed approach to recruiting, rather than jump in to one of the paths that I had little understanding of I wanted to use my first year in school to explore what was out there.

During my first quarter I decided to dive deeper into numerous paths by joining the Management Consulting Group, Private Equity (PE) Group, and Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition Group amongst a few other social and professional clubs to learn as much as possible. I decided I wanted to explore PE, ETA, and general management a little more as they seemed to be a good match with my leadership experience from the Navy. I took an in-semester internship with an Entrepreneur in Residence in the ETA community and attended the Private Equity Lab during my Winter Quarter. Then I chose to take a summer internship at a private company in Miami that is focusing on rolling-up home improvement companies, a good mix of exposure between valuation, growth metrics, general management, and M&A. Ultimately, I am still not 100% certain where I will land post-graduation, however, I feel much more knowledgeable to make that decision with my diverse exposure thus far.

As I reflect on where I am at in my recruiting journey there are two main points of advice I would give incoming veterans. First, take some time to reflect on your background and skills gained from your time in service and determine what you enjoyed and want to continue developing. For me, leading small teams has always been something I have enjoyed and want to continue doing. Second piece of advice I would give is to really take some time to learn about what is out there, possibly the summer before matriculating or during your first quarter. There are many paths a Boothie can take, and I think it’s valuable to take some time to learn about all of them.