On a Mission to Transition: Military at Smith
If you’re ready to transition into business leadership,
the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business is ready for you.
Getting your Master of Business Administration (MBA) or Master of Science in
Business (MS) degree from a top-ranked school is an excellent way to jump-start
your civilian career or qualify for new responsibilities in your military career.
From understanding veterans’ benefits to dealing with unexpected deployments, you
need a program with a proven track record of outstanding service to military members.
“I wanted an accelerated
transition to a civilian career”
United States Marine Corps (Ret.)
Smith Executive MBA
READ MORE ABOUT BART
After he made the big decision to retire after 20 years as a Marine Corps
aviator, choosing the Smith Executive MBA program was easy for Bart Ludlow. “I
started looking for a graduate business program that could provide an
accelerated transition to a civilian career” he says. He considered other
schools in the area but the Smith Executive MBA (EMBA) turned out to be the
Learning intensely from a small group of seasoned professionals, weekend
classes of the Smith EMBA, and the business school’s College Park location were
the key motivators for him. “I was able to commute to D.C. from Southern
Maryland for class, work full-time and still be home for my family,” Ludlow
Currently a program manager at Avian Engineering in Lexington, Md., the
Minnesota native explained that military members are uniquely qualified for
business management, but making the right career and education decisions after
military service is different for every person. “My main purpose of going to
business school was to understand how business works, to understand what it
takes to succeed in business.”
Ludlow plans to remain in the air defense industry after MBA graduation and
make the D.C. region his home, along with his wife and three young children.
It’s a region ripe with opportunity and one he’s looked down on from the sky—as
a former pilot of the world’s most famous helicopter, Marine One.
“You want a military-friendly school”
United States Army Reserve
READ MORE ABOUT KRISTI
Say you’re scheduled to graduate with an MBA degree in June and start your
new job at Booz Allen Hamilton. Suddenly duty calls. You’re being deployed to
Afghanistan in March — in the middle of your final semester. The timing couldn’t
“If that happens to you,” says Staff Sergeant Kristi Zobel, “you want to be
in a military-friendly school.” Fortunately for Zobel, she was. “The Smith MBA
program staff went above and beyond the call,” she said. “I was immediately put
on an improvised fast track to graduation,” she says. To complete the required
number of courses for graduation, Smith MBA program staff provided her with the
flexibility to take more classes in several locations. “Smith helped me graduate early, which meant that Booz
Allen could sign me and I’d have a job to come back to.” She’s currently an
associate in the Army Decision Analytics Decision Department at Booz Allen.
“As a military person, I knew Smith was a top-ranked program, but I found out
the people there will bend over backward to make it work for current military
people. It’s an excellent program with a huge network.”
“If you want to go to school in the D.C. area,” she explains, “the University
of Maryland’s Smith School has by far the best value. It’s a top-ranked,
high-quality institution with a huge selection of courses and an outstanding
“My tuition and fees were completely covered”
Captain, United States Marine Corps, Reserve
READ MORE ABOUT ROBERT
Unlike most of his classmates, when he graduated from the University of
Maryland in May of 2005, Rob Bloomer knew exactly what he wanted to do next —
join the Marine Corps. By December, he was commissioned second lieutenant, USMC
and was shipped out to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, Calif.,
where he supervised satellite, radio network and multiplex communications for
the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. A native of Rockville, Md., Bloomer, 28, was then
deployed in Bahrain and Afghanistan during his five-year tour of active duty.
He’s currently in the Marine Corps Reserve, stationed at the Air and Naval
Gunfire Liaison Company (ANGLICO) in Palm Beach, Fla.
Bloomer saw the Smith MBA as the logical next step in transitioning to a
civilian career. “Military men and women are ideal MBA candidates,” Bloomer
says. In choosing a school, Bloomer says he had two criteria: “Is it in the D.C.
area and is it top ranked?” Located about eight miles from the White House in
College Park, Md., the Smith School’s MBA program is ranked No. 28 in the U.S.
by the Financial Times.
Bloomer liked the Smith MBA for another reason. “About 80 percent of Smith MBA
projects are team oriented,” he says, “and teamwork is drilled into us as
Marines.” A Maryland native, Bloomer’s tuition and fees are completely covered
by the Post 911 GI Bill. He also receives a livings expenses stipend from the GI
“A great place to be and a great place to be from”
United States Coast Guard
READ MORE ABOUT PAUL
One of the defining moments of Paul Rodriguez’s career did not come while he
was diving under 12-foot-thick polar ice caps in Antarctica. Rather, the Coast
Guard lieutenant commander was seated at a conference table. “It was during a
negotiation with a team of shipyard executives,” he recalled, “I suddenly
realized my abilities and my interests met in the world of finance. I was
looking for that intersection for a long time. It led me to think about what I’d
like to do, and what I’m good at. I decided to get my MBA at that conference
With finance and management as his coordinates, Rodriguez set a course that
brought him to the full-time Smith MBA program. He says he chose the Smith
School because of its strong regional reputation and top rankings. Just as
important was the Smith School’s close proximity to Washington, D.C. “If I was
going to be a financial manager, I needed to go where financial decisions were
being made, and that is D.C.,” he says. “What led me to Smith was the regional
reputation it had, as well as going to the campus and working with the staff.
It’s a great place to be and a great place to be from. The experience you will
have there and the networks you will establish are simply the best.” The Smith
School also turned out to be the place where he met a certain MBA classmate,
Shawn Rantas, his future wife.
The Smith School offers qualified candidates:
Find out more about the Smith School’s Graduate Programs: