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Brandon Drew Shields

UW-Madison Presented with Veterans Education and Transition to Success (VETS) Certification

by Brandon Shields Wednesday, November 30, 2016

On November 10, 2016, the University of Wisconsin-Madison was presented with the Veterans Education and Transition to Success (VETS) certification at the Board of Regents meeting.  This certification represents actions taken by the UW-Madison to show their support to student veterans by providing a myriad of important services including counseling, a strong student veteran community, impactful student organizations, and financial resources. University of Wisconsin System President Ray Cross, who served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, anticipates all UW schools will ultimately be certified. He states, “VETS certification is designed to recognize campuses that go above and beyond in helping student veterans succeed.” Recipients of this award include UW-Green Bay, UW-Madison, UW-Milwaukee, UW-Stevens Point, UW Superior, and UW-Whitewater.

The Wisconsin School of Business MBA Program is dedicated to ensuring that veterans have all the resources that they need to be successful. Staff partner with the Veteran Services and Military Assistance Center  to provide student support both in the business school and campus wide. As the Co-President of the MBA Veteran Student Organization and the Military Student Liaison for the admissions team, I work closely with this office to ensure our student veterans are aware of all the benefits and services available to them from career fairs to crisis loans.  We also work together to ensure that incoming students fully understand and get the most out of the educational benefits that they’ve earned while serving.

The MBA Program works to pair military veteran applicants with current students to discuss what life is actually like in business school. If veterans decide to visit campus during the application process they will have the opportunity to have lunch, coffee, tour or attend class with a current student veteran. It’s easy to see the strong sense of comradery within the student veteran population, and I personally enjoy every opportunity that I have to interact, learn from and share stories with my fellow veterans.

As a veteran transitioning to civilian life, I can attest to how important it is to have a community that is committed to fostering your development. I realized that veterans bring a unique set of skills, but my lack of a business background made me nervous.  When I arrived on campus and began my fall semester it became apparent that my professors were readily available to help me with tough concepts, and my classmates were also always willing to share their knowledge and experience.

In my role as Military Student Liaison for the Wisconsin MBA Admissions Team, I’ve had the opportunity to see an increase in active duty applicants who will return to active duty after graduation.  This is further validation that the skills veterans learn at the Wisconsin School of Business can be just as beneficial on the battlefield as they are in the board room.

From the highest level at the Board of Regents to right here at the Wisconsin School of Business, UW-Madison is an ideal place for veterans to pursue an education.  With dedicated staff to help you make the most of your hard earned benefits you will enter an environment where you are set up for success from day one.

Are you a veteran and looking to discuss the Wisconsin MBA Program? Let’s talk. Email me at