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Charles Stewart

Meet a Student

Charles Stewart

Carlson School of Management

Area of Study
Marketing and Management

Military Service
Marines, Adjutant 2009-2013

To what degree does the GI Bill cover your school expenses?
I am 100% GI Bill qualified, so all of my tuition and fees are covered. In addition, I receive a book stipend.

What prompted you to return to school?
I always advised my Marines to return to school if/when they decided to leave the Corps, so I decided to take my own advice. By combining the world class leadership training I received in the Marines with a world class business education, I knew that I’d be in an excellent position to enter the business world.

Was adjusting to campus culture a challenge after military life?
Not as much as I expected. The program is fast paced and I still find myself managing deadlines, juggling multiple projects, and adjusting my plans as I progress closer to my goals. The biggest difference is that I get to choose my level of engagement with the program outside of class; everything else is voluntary.

What has your experience been like at Carlson School of Management?
In a word: perfect. I have no doubt that Carlson was the correct choice for me. My classmates are a very impressive group, and we work to support one another and make each other better. It’s actually similar in some ways to my military experience. We are all pulling together toward our goals.

Do you believe your military experience has made you a better student?
I’m a better student now because I’m more efficient, focused, and disciplined. I also approach every challenge with a sense of confidence; there’s nothing here that’s going to challenge me in the way I’ve been challenged as a Marine. Knowing this helps me keep things in perspective and prevents me from spinning my wheels.

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?
Don’t doubt your decision, and explore everything you can. Things have changed significantly since I left school, and navigating my options and choosing what direction to go has been very exciting. Also, make sure you get involved on campus. It can’t replace the kinship that you left, but it will help you get settled in and add some variety.

Additional Comments
For anyone who is leaving the military and isn't sure if they are going to work or pursue their MBA; go get your MBA! You'll never be in a better position to pursue your passions than you will be after you learn to harness your military experience and combine them with your school's resources. You will be completely free to choose both your career and your geographic location. Don't squander the opportunity.