BTU #2 – Jay Border: How to use an Executive MBA to Gain Career Clarity

“A lot of us come out of the military and we’ve been reassured that our experience in the military is  highly valuable… and I believe that that’s true, but I also believe that the transition is not as easy as people want you to believe. It’s a lot of work and a full-time job to set yourself up to a successful transition.”

– Jay Border

This is a great interview for anyone on Active Duty who is considering going to grad school – Jay does a great job of walking through his decision process amongst grad school programs, and whether to do full-time or part-time, during active duty or after active duty.

Jay Border grew up in South Florida. He had always wanted to be involved in government service, and saw that institutions like the FBI always viewed military service as a plus. That, combined with his love of the water and desire for an academic challenge drew him to the US Naval Academy, where he studied International Relations and National Security. He was selected for Aviation, however was medically disqualified during his pilot training. This lead to a lateral transfer to the Intelligence Community, where he supported Special Operations. While on Active Duty, he completed his Executive MBA (EMBA) at UCLA’s Anderson School of Business, and is currently pursuing opportunities in the Private Equity space.

In this conversation, we cover a lot of topics, including:

  • His decision to leave the Navy
  • How an Executive MBA program allowed him to maintain an income and evaluate a career inside and outside of the military
  • Evaluating the financial difference between a private and public university with respect to the GI Bill
  • Advantages that veterans have that they don’t often realize as advantages
  • Considering the cost of grad school
  • How to use the GI Bill to make grad school more affordable
  • How to use advisors, mentors, and your network to help narrow your job search and get an edge
  • The value of “closing doors” on career possibilities early
  • How to manage the early stages of a career search as if it were a full time job
  • And much, much more…

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QUESTION OF THE DAY: How can I make these episodes more valuable to active duty military personnel considering transitioning to the civilian world? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…

Selected Links from the Episode

Show Notes

  • [1:28] – Personal background and decision to go to the Naval Academy
  • [2:30] – The Naval Academy, Aviation and the Naval Intelligence Community
  • [4:07] – Deciding to leave the Navy
  • [7:27] – Reasons for choosing to join the Reserves
  • [9:51] – Choosing business school over other graduate school programs
  • [15:25] – Choosing an Executive MBA program over a traditional full-time program
  • [22:45] – How the military got him ahead, and where he needed to catch up to his non-military peers
  • [28:02] – Deciding on UCLA over other MBA programs
  • [33:06] – Advice for how to manage a job search
  • [39:58] – Building an “Advisory Board” to help with your transition
  • [45:30] – Resources active duty military personnel should check out