Our Stories

Making the Biggest Jump of All

Army paratrooper prepares to leap into business at Owen

Jim Henshaw
MBA and Supply Chain Management Intern, Eaton

Vanderbilt MBA 2019

During his time in the U.S. Army, Jim Henshaw made 35 parachute jumps, including some from as low as 800 feet. (He once broke his ankle in three places on a night jump landing in 2013).

When he decided to make another big jump — from the military to the civilian sector — he knew that he would need to pursue a “formal retraining,” as he terms it, of his skill sets.

Coming from an organization that is built on teamwork, it was important to Jim to be part of an MBA program with a similar atmosphere. That’s what he found at Vanderbilt, where he serves as Vice President of Owen’s Armed Forces Club. “At Owen,” he says, “you’re more than just a number. The small classroom environment gives you a chance to learn from both your professors and fellow classmates. People here actually care about me and my future.” 

Jim credits Christie St. John in the admissions office; “her personal touch on every veteran applicant,” he says, “really shapes our experience from day one.” Amanda Fend on the career management team, he says, worked with him on narrowing his internship search and tapping into Owen’s alumni network. Reflecting the school’s supportive culture, even a visiting professor, Jim says, was willing to meet with him and offer advice that helped him shape his course selections.

For Jim, one memory that for him exemplified the Owen experience was getting to play a round of golf with Professor Steve Hoeffler (who also has served as “a sounding board,” Jim says, “when I am at a crossroads academically or professionally”) at the course where Hoeffler is a member. “Not many MBA students can match that experience with a faculty member.” But at Owen, he points out, it’s par for the course. Here, he says, “you can really get to know your professors on a personal level.”

Fun Fact: In addition to his MBA studies, Jim works part-time as a lacrosse referee for middle school and high school games in Nashville.

“Here, you can really get to know your professors on a personal level.”