In a Tide Radio interview earlier this month with Andy Harris, Jonathan "JD" Due, the Executive Director for the Center for Military Transition at William & Mary's Raymond A. Mason School of Business, discussed the center's mission to help military personnel transition into leadership roles in the civilian world. Due explained that the center offers a variety of programs to help transitioning service members, including the Mason School's Full-Time degree programs, Part-Time MBA programs, Executive MBA programs, and specialized certificate programs designed to meet specific needs identified by veterans.
Due also discussed the challenges that military members face when leaving the military and transitioning back into civilian life, noting that it's not just a career change but also an identity change. "Often, transitioning service members become overly focused on simply finding a job," said Due. "Unfortunately, however, this approach often prompts veterans to overlook important opportunities." To address this, the center focuses on a comprehensive approach to transitioning to civilian careers of purpose, import, and meaning. This process starts with introspection and helping veterans identify their values and motivations to find a congruent match with the opportunities available to them in their future chapters of service. "The first question we attempt to assist veterans and transitioning service members answer is not 'what do I want to do,' it is 'who do I want to be' in this new chapter of service."
The Center for Military Transition offers "Flourishing through Life's Transitions," a cost-free, two-week program for transitioning service members, military spouses, and veterans who have recently transitioned or are approaching their transition from uniformed service. The program combines integrative wellness and business skills to help professionals flourish in management and other positions. The first week focuses on positive psychology and value alignment, led by Dr. Kelly Crace. The initial week, led by subject-matter experts from the Center for Mindfulness and Authentic Excellence, brings participants into the William & Mary and Williamsburg community and provides innovative experiential learning activities to foster a deeper level of effectiveness, including mindfulness, autonomic training, gyrokinesis, and creative art therapy. The second week, led by top-ranked MBA faculty, builds on the first week of mindfulness and introspection and places values-oriented work in a corporate setting. This approach helps participants design their own idealized job description based on their values and motivations. Lectures, discussions, and interactive learning modules help participants connect flourishing to leadership and professional relationships. The program aims to be a transformational experience, creating a network of support for navigating future transitions.
Due emphasized that the center is not trying to pigeonhole people into a career or job path but rather empower them to make their own choices, which he believes is critical when many veterans struggle with finding purpose and meaning in their next chapter as a civilian. By providing dedicated time to find purpose and align values, the center aims to help veterans find the right job, not just any job. "In the end, we view our mission as not trying to help find veterans A job; we are in the business of helping transitioning service members find the RIGHT job."
For more information on applying for the June 11 - 23, 2023 program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.