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Honoring Broad MBA veterans

By William Horton-Anderson
Thursday, November 10, 2022

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice between the Allied Nations and Germany went into effect that was regarded as the end of World War I. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson declared this Armistice Day, or as it was later renamed, Veterans Day.

We are fortunate to have service members from various branches in the U.S. military, as well as veterans from other countries, in the Broad College’s Full-Time MBA program and share their experiences with our community.

Corrine Kavanagh (she/her/hers)

Corrine Kavanagh headshot

Corrine Kavanagh (MBA Human Resources and Strategic Management ’23)

Hometown/Country: Avoca, Michigan

Rank or Title and Military Branch: Master sergeant, United States Air Force; now Individual Military Augmentee Reserves, United States Air Force

Postgraduate Career Interest: Nonprofit, general manager. I want to make a positive impact on the employees of companies that change the world for the better.

Broad News: How has your life in the military prepared you for civilian corporate life?

Kavanagh: I learned to be flexible and to communicate with people from all different walks of life. It taught me teamwork and the value and power of a common goal. Much of what I learned in the military translates to the corporate civilian world. 

Broad News: What was the reason you joined the armed forces?

Kavanagh: Part civil rivalry, part because I wanted structure (with a challenge) and a path that I knew was certain to make myself and my family proud. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life after high school, but I knew I wanted my life to have meaning. I grew up with four sisters and wanted to be a role model to them. 

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive and understanding of your experiences as a veteran?

Kavanagh: I haven’t had much personal experience with the business community as a veteran other than college, so I am not well prepared to respond to this question. However, from my small amount of personal experience and of those [veterans] I have interacted with, I would say that just like with all stereotypes, please do not put us in a box. Just as you would not want your whole personality to be judged based off of a previous job or organization, neither do we. 

Alexander Platschorre (he/him/his)

Alexander Platschorre headshot

Alexander Platschorre (MBA Human Resources and Strategic Management ’23)

Hometown/Country: Union City, Michigan

Rank or Title and Military Branch: Staff sergeant, United States Army

Postgraduate Career Interest: Career Army officer (Medical Services branch: medical logistics or human resources manager)

Broad News: How has your life in the military prepared you for civilian corporate life?

Platschorre: It gave me a lifetime of leadership experience and helped me learn how to manage stress and expectations.

Broad News: What was the reason you joined the armed forces?

Platschorre: I lost a bet (just kidding). I was just tired of going to interview after interview upon graduating college to work on wind turbines and be told I was too young and needed work experience. So, I walked into the office of somewhere I knew didn’t care about age, and a week later I was on a plane.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive and understanding of your experiences as a veteran?

Platschorre: Most of our experiences as veterans are filled with things too hard to talk about or explain, and we gained leadership experience in the midst of that. So, I guess just know the experiences some of us share are heavily filtered, so you may have to think outside the box for it to be applicable to the subject matter.

Priyank Kumawat (he/him/his)

Priyank Kumawat

Priyank Kumawat (MBA Supply Chain Management and Finance ’23)

Hometown/Country: Jaipur (Rajasthan), India

Rank or Title and Military Branch: Lieutenant commander, Indian Navy

Postgraduate Career Interest: Operations management

Broad News: How has your life in the military prepared you for civilian corporate life?

Kumawat: The most important thing that the military taught me is the fact that I cannot make good decisions as a leader until I thoroughly understand my team members and the underlying operations and processes in an integrated manner. I feel these skills are universal and, hence, have helped me smoothly transition to the civilian corporate life.

Broad News: What was the reason you joined the armed forces?

Kumawat: Despite having multiple job offers after my graduation in 2011, I decided to join the armed forces because I believed that the biggest asset of an armed force is its soldiers. As a result, the armed forces have a keen desire in developing them into true leaders. Looking back now, I can see the tremendous positive changes that military has brought in me, something that would not have been possible in any other job.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive and understanding of your experiences as a veteran?

Kumawat: I think the business community has already been very inclusive and understanding of my experiences as a veteran and I am humbled by it.

Matthew Brady (he/him/his)

Matthew Brady headshot

Matthew Brady (MBA Supply Chain Management/Business Analytics ’24)

Hometown/Country: Metamora, Michigan

Rank or Title and Military Branch: Second lieutenant, United States Army

Postgraduate Career Interest: Aerospace and defense industry or consulting

Broad News: How has your life in the military prepared you for civilian corporate life?

Brady: It gave me a profound understanding of what it really means to be a good team member and provided me with outstanding leadership experiences and examples.

Broad News: What was the reason you joined the armed forces?

Brady: Adventure, patriotism and college money.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive and understanding of your experiences as a veteran?

Brady: Address their military experience, provide them with structure, emphasize teamwork, don’t stereotype veterans and be mindful of mental health challenges.

Christopher Millen (he/him/his)

Christopher Millen headshot

Christopher Millen (MBA Supply Chain Management/Business Analytics ’24)

Hometown/Country: Chelsea, Michigan

Rank or Title and Military Branch: Petty officer first class, United States Navy

Postgraduate Career Interest: Business consulting and procurement

Broad News: How has your life in the military prepared you for civilian corporate life?

Millen: I was thrown into a no-nonsense work environment with high stakes, and one with more diversity of backgrounds and experiences than I had ever previously been a part of. I have developed the grit and perseverance to get through the hardest days on little to no sleep and get it done right.

In my previous life, missing deadlines or performing subpar work could lead to anything from diplomatic incidents to injury and death. I have a profound appreciation for the fact that it’s not always possible to get a full explanation for why you need to do what you’ve been tasked with, and sometimes you just need to accept that fact and charge forward. We live in a dynamic and rapidly changing world, and businesses need to be able to move quickly to keep up.

Broad News: What was the reason you joined the armed forces?

Millen: I joined the Navy to seek new opportunities. My family faced some financial hardship, and military service was another option I had to gain valuable skills and experience while serving my country without incurring debt. I selected a highly technical profession operating a submarine nuclear power plant with the expectation that I would gain experience in a plethora of skills. I struggled for a long time wondering whether or not I had made the right call by joining, and while it was a long and bumpy road, I fondly look back on my service knowing that I have some incredible memories shared with some incredible people.

Broad News: How can the business community be more inclusive and understanding of your experiences as a veteran?

Millen: Veterans are not a monolith; we come from all walks of life and serve for all manner of reasons. My experiences in the Navy are vastly different from those of many of my crewmates, so consider how different my experiences as a sailor are from those of a marine or of an airman. We are loyal and dedicated, but we expect that to be a two-way street as we trusted each other with our lives.

The most important thing we can do to include veterans is to listen. Please be supportive and understanding when someone appears to be struggling because our experiences left many of us with a lot of baggage. We have elevated risk of mental health issues that often go unaddressed, and veterans are more than twice as likely to die by suicide than the general population. Everyone has a breaking point, and while vets might have learned to live with stress and trauma, we are not immune to them.

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