Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

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theraven
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Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby theraven » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:38 pm

I'm leaving the military after nearly a decade (aviation officer) and am interested in doing either a law or MBA program. That being said, I'd appreciate input/advice on the importance of my military service for law school admissions vs. MBA admissions. I've heard that top MBA programs are specifically attracted to military personnel; however, I don't know if the same is true of law schools (i.e. it's merely considered a form of work experience).

Some controls/constraints for the discussion:
1. I understand that I should pursue the degree that best suits me personally. Nonetheless, I'm curious on this matter and would appreciate some insight.
2. I am considering the option of a joint degree; however, I'd like to remove this option from the discussion.

Thanks in advance for any advice!

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JCFindley
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby JCFindley » Mon Apr 23, 2012 7:34 pm

theraven wrote:I'm leaving the military after nearly a decade (aviation officer) and am interested in doing either a law or MBA program. That being said, I'd appreciate input/advice on the importance of my military service for law school admissions vs. MBA admissions. I've heard that top MBA programs are specifically attracted to military personnel; however, I don't know if the same is true of law schools (i.e. it's merely considered a form of work experience).

Some controls/constraints for the discussion:
1. I understand that I should pursue the degree that best suits me personally. Nonetheless, I'm curious on this matter and would appreciate some insight.
2. I am considering the option of a joint degree; however, I'd like to remove this option from the discussion.

Thanks in advance for any advice!


In theory, being military is a great soft, ie stuff beyond the numbers.....

In reality, at least in "my" cycle I got in where my numbers said I would, and didn't where they said they wouldn't. (I am still waiting on Fordham and if I get in there it WILL be because of my background but am not holding my breath....)

FWIW Rutgers will evaluate a candidate on their background instead of the numbers and it fits my goals but most folks would look higher and I had the numbers for Rutgers anyway.

So, as much as I would love to say it was a huge help, in my case it has made no difference so far.

My background;

20 years USAF/ANG pilot flying B1Bs, and an IP at Pilot Training and Pilot Instructor Training, IP Advanced Instrument School, multiple "Chief of" positions, training, tactics, yada yada. Aviation writer for multiple publications and contributing editor at one of them.... Airline pilot with ALPA's Superior Airmanship Award. (Same thing they gave Sully)

Anyway, I still didn't do any better than the LSAT and GPA..... Though, I didn't apply at Northwestern or some of the other schools that are big on WE....

Just my experience of course, YMMV

JC

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Aeroneous
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby Aeroneous » Mon Apr 23, 2012 9:52 pm

If you haven't already, make sure to read through this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=170257

I'm Active Duty and I'll be finishing my MBA next summer. When it comes to military experience, the bigger boost will likely be in the MBA department. Many people have alluded to the fact that with Law School military experience is a great soft, but it's still just a soft. It could be the deciding factor between two otherwise equal candidates, but it probably won't give you a tremendous advantage. Some business schools value work experience pretty heavily, so your military record could be very helpful in that environment.

Whichever route you decide to take, make sure you study like crazy and smoke the GMAT/LSAT. That's probably going to be your biggest boost/weakness.

rijed
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby rijed » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:02 pm

I was an E6, 11B with a Ranger tab, and 27 months (combined time) in Iraq. In my personal statement I wrote about my experience in leadership positions in combat (serving on sniper and recon teams) and stuff like that, and I think it REALLY helped. I had a rather low LSAT (156), and I was held at Northwestern, got into MN with a 15,000 dollar a year scholarship, and accepted at my top choice Indiana University (as well as some other top 30 schools). Therefore, in my experience, being in the military was a huge boost. When I did my interview for Northwestern and W&L they asked me mostly about my military experience.

If I can help anymore than that, please let me know.

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icecold3000
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby icecold3000 » Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:39 pm

To me is seemed like it was all about numbers. I would not count on your military experience opening any doors that your numbers cannot.

atlas1886
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby atlas1886 » Thu Apr 26, 2012 11:58 pm

I'd just like to extend a kudos to you for having the military background - I think it's the most underrated thing to have on your resume in most fields, and being an officer is even better. Leadership? Check.

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Aeroneous
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby Aeroneous » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:12 am

atlas1886 wrote:and being an officer is even better. Leadership? Check.


I understand the common perception that military officers are "leaders," but my experience has taught me otherwise. Granted there are plenty of military officers who are true leaders, but they seem to be the exception. I have met, worked for, and been in charge of FAR more NCOs who understood the true meaning of leadership than I have officers. Your average Sergeant is a much better leader than your average LT/CAPT. Again, this has just been my experience. Other branches, locations, assignments, etc., may have produced different results for different people.

daisuki
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby daisuki » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:57 am

Negligible effect (I'm a vet also) unless you get the medal of honor or something. IME will not get you into a school that your #'s wouldn't (or even worse, they would waitlist you with no real chance of admittance), might get you some more scholarship $ at a school you'd be in at anyway - they might even short your scholly a bit because they know you'll get the GI bill

atlas1886
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby atlas1886 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:11 am

Interesting comments...this clears up some things for me because I've come close to joining the service a number of times (getting too old now).

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icecold3000
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby icecold3000 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 10:39 am

Aeroneous wrote:
atlas1886 wrote:and being an officer is even better. Leadership? Check.


I understand the common perception that military officers are "leaders," but my experience has taught me otherwise. Granted there are plenty of military officers who are true leaders, but they seem to be the exception. I have met, worked for, and been in charge of FAR more NCOs who understood the true meaning of leadership than I have officers. Your average Sergeant is a much better leader than your average LT/CAPT. Again, this has just been my experience. Other branches, locations, assignments, etc., may have produced different results for different people.


Agreed, this was my experience as well, especially for LTs. In my eyes, they were overpaid privates.

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JCFindley
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby JCFindley » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:23 am

icecold3000 wrote:
Aeroneous wrote:
atlas1886 wrote:and being an officer is even better. Leadership? Check.


I understand the common perception that military officers are "leaders," but my experience has taught me otherwise. Granted there are plenty of military officers who are true leaders, but they seem to be the exception. I have met, worked for, and been in charge of FAR more NCOs who understood the true meaning of leadership than I have officers. Your average Sergeant is a much better leader than your average LT/CAPT. Again, this has just been my experience. Other branches, locations, assignments, etc., may have produced different results for different people.


Agreed, this was my experience as well, especially for LTs. In my eyes, they were overpaid privates.


Hey, I'm a retired O and won't argue. Well, a slightly different version maybe. IMO rank has NO bearing on leadership ability; it simply affects your paycheck. I have seen great leaders that were Os and great leaders that were Es. I have seen CRAP leadership in both as well....

It can affect perception though, and LS is all about perception.... (Good or bad.)

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elterrible78
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby elterrible78 » Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:33 am

Hey, I'm a retired O and won't argue. Well, a slightly different version maybe. IMO rank has NO bearing on leadership ability; it simply affects your paycheck. I have seen great leaders that were Os and great leaders that were Es. I have seen CRAP leadership in both as well....


Agreed here. You can see examples of good and bad leadership on both the O and E side, all the way up and down the ranks. It depends far more on the individual than on his/her rank insignia. And speaking of rank insignia, the absolute worst leaders I have met are invariably the ones who point to the patch on their chests and say, "This is why you have to respect me." Little do they know that the gulf between "do what I say" and "respect me" is enormous.

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Aeroneous
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby Aeroneous » Fri Apr 27, 2012 12:42 pm

JCFindley wrote:IMO rank has NO bearing on leadership ability; it simply affects your paycheck.


Well said, and I agree.

MBASchools212
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Re: Military service and admissions (JD vs. MBA)

Postby MBASchools212 » Fri May 04, 2012 11:06 am

The leadership skills you have learned in the military are going to help you no matter which field you decide to go into. I have great respect for those who have served in the military, and I know there are many more out there who feel the same. Whichever you decide, I know you will excel quickly. If you decide to get your MBA,(spammy link removed by modsGood luck!




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