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Salvatore Dell'aversano

Degree:

MBA

Industry:

Military

Year:

2020-21

By Salvatore Dell'aversano

Oxford Saïd Military Veterans Club one year on

Another cohort goes by and it is time for a new Representative for the Oxford Saïd Military Veterans Club

Is the MBA right for me? Will I fit in? Will I find a job after?

These are just some of the questions that many people ask when considering an MBA – but which for veterans there is often not a readily available roadmap for discussing or answering. One year ago, a former professional military officer in the Swiss Armed Forces and a former officer in the British Army came together at Saïd Business School (SBS) to fill this gap and founded the Oxford Saïd Military Veterans Club. The Club brings together veterans of all forms from across the world, providing a network of ambitious likeminded people who, in one way or another, have served their country before joining SBS.

This is how the two founders describe the reasons behind creating of the club.

“When I was applying for the MBA at the Saïd Business School, I found it difficult to translate my experience in the military and law enforcement into commercial language. In a careers event during the MBA program, I met an alumnus who had been successful in making the transition from a government position in national security into the private sector. He supported me in improving my CV as he had faced the same challenge before. It was this experience that spurred my ambition to provide the same support to all incoming MBAs with a background in military and law enforcement and led to the creation of the club.”

– Francesco Fazzi, Consultant at AWK Group, former Professional Military Officer (Switzerland)

“As a former army officer, I’m fully aware that the road from a military career into the private sector can be a difficult one to navigate. However, being part of our MBA veteran club allows its members to widen their network through alumnae and employer connections, as well as improve their chances of making a smooth career transition. This is where the idea of the creation of a Veterans Club started and, as the Military Veterans representative during my time at SBS, I’ve had the privilege of aiding several veterans with their applications into business school.”

– Sunil Kandola, Senior Associate at J.P. Morgan, former Army Officer (United Kingdom)

The creation and the success of the Club wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Marc Szepan, faculty advisor to the Oxford Saïd Military Veterans Club. Not only has he been an advocate for the group’s creation, but he has provided great moral support for all the veterans of the past year and hopefully for many years to come.

“Historically, the military – and the national security community at large for that matter – has been one of the world’s best leadership training institutions. Military and other national security veterans add incredible richness in talent and diversity in experience to the student body at SBS and have much to contribute to the larger Oxford community. It is a privilege and honour to serve as faculty advisor for the Oxford Saïd Military Veterans Club and to be an admittedly small part in facilitating the learning for and from military and national security veterans.”

– Marc Szepan, Aviation Industry Executive and Lecturer in International Business at SBS

This past year, I have had the privilege to “serve” as the 20/21 Club Representative here at SBS. The Club is young, and there are many opportunities to develop the Club’s reach further and connections with the outside world that future SBS veterans will pursue. I leave this enormous responsibility to a fellow veteran who comes from far away; I am sure that with his leadership, energy and experience, Joshua will keep the morale of our Veterans high while also advancing the agenda of our Club. Good luck, Josh!

If you would like to support, get involved or just have a conversation with the Veterans Club, please email veterans@sbs.ox.ac.uk.

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