Philip Schweinsberg served as an infantry officer for eight years, stationed in Washington, North Carolina, Georgia, and Colorado throughout his time in the service. Because he was passionate about finding “work worth doing,” a military career made sense. But when he decided to transition out of the U.S. Army, he wasn’t sure if work like that could be done without a uniform.
After almost a decade of military experience in logistics, staff work, and leading platoons, Philip felt confident he had accomplished what he set out to do and was ready to take that next step.
“I decided I had culminated in my army journey,” he said. “But I didn’t know what I wanted to do in the business world. Instead of committing to a full-time, two-year MBA, I looked for a program with mentorship and experience, and I found the Invited MBA.”
MBAs and business school are common paths for veterans transitioning to civilian life. Because many service men and women have the leadership and teamwork skills that made them successful in the military, the same strengths often lead to success in business.
“I highly value leadership and transferable skills. I wanted to find a role in the business world that was not only interesting, but was work worth doing,” Philip said. “I also wanted to get into an area where I could grow as a leader and impart experiences on other people. But I had a very myopic view of the business world through military operations. I didn’t know what that looked like in the real world.”
The Invited MBA offers tuition credits for veterans, and Philip was excited to join the Spring 2021 cohort before applying to business fellowships and internships.
“I wanted to be able to speak the business language in interviews and translate my resume from military speak. The Invited MBA was a no-brainer because I could manage it with my workload and prepare for my future,” he said.
From PhDs to career transitioners, senior managers, and rising leaders new in their career, Philip was encouraged by the diversity of his cohort. No stranger to building relationships and collaborating with others, he took advantage of the Invited MBA community to learn more about people management, finance, and marketing.
“The simulations were difficult to win, but so easy to understand,” he said about the hands-on simulations of the Invited MBA. “Everyone could pick up the goal and techniques, but the challenge of doing was so impactful and real. The lessons I learned while practicing in the simulations are easy to implement in the real world.”
Philip tapped into his military experiences to help frame the financial and business simulations and succeed throughout the program, often volunteering as the leader in group projects. But one unexpected challenge was transitioning from army lingo to business verbiage, both during presentations and in casual conversation.
He said, “Breaking that habit was tough at times. I knew how to lead with influence and buy-in, I just didn’t have the language. Gaining leadership without rank while transitioning amongst civilians is difficult and eye-opening for veterans. But the cohort-based nature of the program really helped me transition both professionally and personally.”
Throughout the mini-MBA program and after talking with members of his cohort, Philip discovered a growing interest in marketing and business consulting.
“I interviewed for a fellowship while I was in the Invited MBA,” he said. “By that point, I had the business conversancy to comfortably interview and clearly articulate my goals and skills. I really hoped to be placed in a sales or marketing role.”
Philip was accepted into a fellowship program with Hiring Our Heroes, an organization that helps transitioning service members find employment across a variety of companies based on interests and skill level. After the interview, he received a fellowship role in sales at Kin + Carta, a global digital transformation consultancy.
Now over a year after completing the Invited MBA, Philip works full-time at Kin + Carta and is fulfilling his career goal of finding work worth doing, aligning with the company’s commitment to “building a world that works better for everyone.
Philip believes business has many parallels to the military. From the dynamics of relationships and rank to problem-solving, veterans already have a strong foundation of skills. Learning how to communicate those skills is the next step in the transitional journey for many veterans. In fact, Philip defined and created a new Go-to-Market Manager role at Kin + Carta and recently moved into this new role in September 2022.
“Conversancy is credibility, whether you’re in the military communicating with someone or interviewing in the business world. It shows you have worked hard to understand the problems you’re facing, and people trust and reward you for that,” Philip said. “The Invited MBA allowed me to put my best foot forward as a veteran. Without the Invited MBA, I may not have got the fellowship I wanted or the career path I desired.”