Navy Commander Sets New Goals for Civilian Life via Executive MBA Program

George BensallWhat do you do after becoming a Commander in the Navy and accomplishing all your military career goals - retire?  Not if you are a tech-savvy entrepreneur like George Bonsall, with multiple advanced degrees and loads of energy.  George wanted to pursue new goals in the civilian world and paved the way for success with an MBA from the Executive MBA Program at William & Mary.

The flexible format of the Executive MBA Program allowed George to earn his degree while flying frequently to less-than-safe areas of the world in his military role.  Now he is a consultant to government clients for Booz Allen Hamilton, which he calls, "a great company which provides quality products and services."  Booz Allen is a leading global strategy and consulting firm with over 19,000 employees on 6 continents, focusing on strategy, operations, organization and change, and information technology.

The biggest difference between military and civilian life?  George says the military is necessarily highly dependent on rank structure.  At Booz Allen, "people are open to smart ideas wherever they come from."  Another difference?  "Until I left the military at the end of 2007, I was always, ‘Commander Bonsall.'  Now, I'm just ‘George.'  I like that."

William & Mary's Executive MBA Program taught him the business approach - improving the bottom line, providing quality to the customer, and improving efficiency in dollars and hours.  "William & Mary has assembled a faculty and staff where everyone is great and cares about you and your success," George says. "The faculty are outstanding across the board.  They didn't waste my time in any class."

What George didn't expect was the degree of closeness he has with his classmates.  By the end of the Executive MBA Program, "our lives were interwoven through all our interaction, and we remain in close contact."  George was president of the Class of ‘07, but he says he hasn't had to work to keep the class close after graduation - "They naturally look for opportunities to get together.  We have already been on a white water rafting trip and a skiing trip."