Our Stories

Getting Equipped for Civilian Success

Supportive community helps Army logistics officer make transition

Chase Wilson
Global Marketing Intern, Respiratory Interventions, Medtronic

Vanderbilt MBA 2019

Transitioning from the U.S. Army, where he served as a logistics officer for four years, into an MBA classroom, was a real challenge at first for Chase Wilson. That’s one reason he is grateful that Vanderbilt is a tight-knit, supportive and military-friendly business school.

As he planned his next steps beyond his Army career, Chase sought to develop quantitative skill sets that he believes will be important for leaders in today’s business world. He was drawn to Vanderbilt for its rankings and reputation; its small size, which he believed would give him more chances to get involved, and because Nashville is a fun city where his younger sister happens to live.

But he found that returning to the classroom after a significant absence wasn’t easy. “I can’t say enough about the tutoring help available during Mods I and II,” he says. “They kept me up to speed so I didn’t get too far behind in classes. It was a great opportunity for me to ask questions in a smaller, slower paced setting.”

It also helped that Chase found himself in a community with a number of fellow veterans. “The support for veterans here at Owen is out of this world,” he says. “We have a tight-knit group that is here to support one another. Come with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard, and you will succeed. 

Following his own advice, Chase attended as many on-campus information sessions by recruiters as possible and stayed open to new career paths he had not initially considered. He also took advantage of the Leadership Development, which he credits with giving him a safe space to examine setbacks and weaknesses as well as strengths and making improvements.

The effort paid off at the end of Chase’s first year with a product marketing internship with Medtronic in San Diego. Owen, he says, “has given me the confidence in my own abilities that I now have the necessary knowledge and skillset to make an immediate impact as a leader in the business community.

Fun Fact: Chase played Division I golf in college and has competed in several USGA tournaments.

“The support for veterans here at Owen is out of this world.”