Mini-MBA: Business Management for Military and Veterans Curriculum

Business Strategy

This module is a comparison of the elements of military and business strategies that lead to success, whether on the battlefield or in the boardroom. Learn how to successfully apply military strategies to business situations while determining what elements are transferrable and which are not.

In this session, learn how civilian business strategies change and how military experience can be value added in this process. What is the correlation between military experience and training versus civilian work experience and education? Leave this module understanding the link between business strategy and personal strategy.

Key Takeaways:   

  • Understanding the Evolution of Corporate Strategy
  • Appreciating How Technology is Impacting Strategy
  • Analyzing Military Annual Strategy
  • Viewing Today’s Business Strategy – Process
  • Translating Military Strategy Experience and Education into Civilian Business Situations


To inform, motivate, and persuade effectively, military and civilians alike need strong communications skills. Knowing how to approach each conversation can be challenging. Understanding your own communications style and recognizing those of others in your workplace will reduce anxiety, and increase input and buy in. This module addresses communication barriers, making a strong first impression, techniques to enhance communication, and how to decrease miscommunication while increasing the productivity of interactions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Address communication barriers for enhanced effectiveness in the workplace
  • Tweak their verbal, vocal and visual communication to increase impact
  • Understand your and other’s communication style to enhance interactions
  • Ask effective questions and actively listen to improve understanding

Entrepreneurial Approach

What is business? How do you define it? What is the entrepreneur’s approach to business? How do you evaluate a business? In this session, we will cover definitions and provide examples of what a business is, the key elements of running a successful business, and how to evaluate a business you may want to start or do business with.  

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the Definition of a Business
  • Entrepreneur’s Approach to Starting and Running a Business
    • Two examples, commodity and intellectual-capital based businesses
  • Intelligence Gathering Skills and Experience Before Venturing Out on Your Own – or Applying for a Job
  • Attributes of the Veteran

Marketing and Sales

This module represents a quick journey through the history of marketing and sales to gain a better understanding of the two functional areas of a business. Recognize that marketing and sales skill sets are important for everyone in an organization to have – ideas and concepts are “sold” internally, as often as products and services are sold externally.

As the roles of digital and social media expand in marketing and sales, recognize the importance of their part in personal branding, as well.

Key Takeaways:   

  • Defining the Differences and Common Ground Between Marketing and Sales
  • Understanding the Key Strategic and Tactical Roles Each Function Plays in Successful Organizations
  • Differentiating B2B and B2C by Knowing Thy Customer
  • Recognizing the Critical and Ever Expanding Role of Digital and Social Media

Human Resource Fundamentals

Learn how human resource management takes place in civilian organizations and analyze in what ways it’s similar and different from a command structure. Recognize differences in compensation, taxation, expenses, and benefits from the military to civilian employers. Benchmark a military skill set against current job postings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Overviewing the Human Resource (HR) Role
  • Defining What HR Functions are Commonly Completed by a Civilian HR Department, Rather than in the Field
  • Understanding Civilian Base Pay, Taxable Income, Reimbursable Expenses, and Benefits
  • Benchmarking Skill Sets and Associated Compensation

Navigating the Legal and Ethical Minefield

This module addresses the roles of law and ethics in business including the expectations of civilian employers. Employee Codes of Conduct will be carefully examined in comparison to the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Special attention will be directed toward the laws governing supervisors and managers as well as ethical dilemmas they might face in the workplace.

Key Takeaways:

  • Becoming Mindful of Civilian Legal and Ethical Expectations
  • Understanding the Role of Ethics in Business Success
  • Examining Content in Typical Employee Codes of Conduct
  • Reviewing Laws Governing Managers
  • Comfortably Answering to Yourself, Those Under Your Supervision, Your Employer, and Corporate Stakeholders

Personal Branding and Social Media

Over time the concept of brand has evolved from simply proof of ownership (think branding iron and cattle), past the symbolic identity of quality goods and services (logos, trademarks, brand names), to everyone having a searchable identity online, or a personal brand. Many people do not realize that every online action has contributed to and built their personal brand, for good or for bad. Learn to manage the way you are perceived to strategically, consistently, and effectively increase your worth and value, maximize your employability, and increase your lifetime earnings.

Key Takeaways:

  • Define and grow your personal brand
  • Build an online identity
  • Promote yourself through your personal and business interactions

Project Management

Today’s organizations expect projects to be completed faster, cheaper, and with the highest level quality possible. The most successful way to meet project objectives is utilization of practical and effective project processes and guidelines, led by a qualified manager with strong people skills, and an involved and committed project team. It is critical that a functional set of project management guidelines is agreed upon and adapted as a way of conducting project business. This module will serve as an overview of the project processes that support successful results.

Key Takeaways:

  • Appreciate why some projects are considered successful while others are not
  • Understand the importance of developing a project objective statement
  • Discover the concepts of planning, scheduling, and control
  • Learn the value of dividing a project into several phases
  • Address the impact of changes during a project

The Impact of Global Economics

Uniformed personnel often travel the globe, but they don’t necessarily see the world from an economic perspective. In this module, participants will learn what triggers the Federal Reserve (the Fed) to adjust interest rates, and understand the impact on business; realizing along the way the consequences, good and bad, of government and industry regulation. Gain an understanding of the domestic impact of international relations and what changes will restore high levels of innovation, research and development, and capital investment.

Key Takeaways:

  • Identifying How, Why, and When the Fed Adjusts Interest Rates, and the Impact Upon Business
  • Recognizing that our International Relations Affect our Domestic Exchange, Interest and Unemployment Rates
  • Grasping What Changes are Imperative to Restore High Levels of Innovation, R&D, and Capital Investment
  • Realizing the Good and Bad Consequences of Regulation

Supply Chain Management

Supply Chain Management is a business integrating process used to create and sustain competitive advantage based on the delivery to customers of basic (expected) and value-added (unexpected) services. Done well, and customized by industry or type of organization, this process increases productivity by strategically aligning demand, flow, and allocation of resources.

Key Takeaways:

  • Summarizing the Supply Chain Function
  • Understanding the Supply Chain’s Impact on Productivity, Customer Service, and Competitive Advantage
  • Strategically Aligning Demand, Flow, and Resource Allocation
  • Differentiating Logistics by Type of Organization


Sustainability involves being mindful of the long-term impact of decisions made today. Sustainability means meeting present needs without compromising future needs. But being green or doing green is only sustainable if it is also profitable. Many executives believe the pressure of corporate social responsibility catches them between a rock and a hard place when it comes to reducing costs while at the same time enhancing green business practices.

In this module, we will demonstrate how sustainability is part of an effective overall business strategy that reduces risk, increases innovation, and strengthens resilience while improving the financial bottom line in any organization – public or private, large or small.

Key Takeaways:

  • Making Overall Business Strategy Sustainable
  • Reducing Risk
  • Increasing Innovation
  • Strengthening Resilience
  • Improving the Financial Bottom Line

Fundamentals of Finance

Reading and analyzing financial statements, and understanding their underlying story may be unfamiliar to those outside of a Finance Department or Accounting Function. Important documents covered in this module include the balance sheet, income statements, and cash flow statements. Fundamental financial analysis will be demonstrated using net present value, time value of money, rate of return, and other measures of investment attractiveness.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the Meaningful Information Contained in Financial Statements
  • Distinguishing the Three Important Financial Documents Produced by Businesses
  • Recognizing the Vital Role that Access to Cash Plays in an Organization
  • Contrasting Finance vs. Accounting

Leadership: Converting Orders in Actions

Contrasting winning military and business leaders, and their management styles, will help identify admirable traits that participants might want to emulate when leading others themselves. Determining one’s innate leadership style will pave the way to success using the skills of motivation, influence, and negotiation while supervising, leading, and managing outside of a command structure.

Key Takeaways:

  • Comparing the Management Styles of Successful Military and Business Leaders
  • Uncovering Your Innate Leadership Style
  • Supervising, Leading, and Managing Others Outside of a Command Environment
  • Finding Success Using Motivation, Influence, and Negotiation Techniques

Value-based Investing

“Great firms aren’t great investments unless the price is right.” Those words of wisdom come from Warren Buffett, who is, without question, one of the greatest investors ever. The words of Mr. Buffet sum up very nicely the essence of this module. Military veterans will learn how to make informed investment decisions when buying stocks and indices.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn to identify reliable sources of financial information prior to making an investment
  • Appreciate the inherent risks associated with different types of investments
  • Assess company performance through multiple types of analyses
  • Define return on investment and levels of satisfaction
  • Understand multiple methods of valuation prior to investing

Program Overview

For an overview of our Mini-MBA: Business Management for Military and Veterans program plus program benefits and outcomes, please click here.