Master’s in Supply Chain Management boosts careers of active military and veterans

As an aircraft maintenance squadron commander, U.S. Air Force Maj. Dominoe Strong routinely uses what she’s learning in the Master of Science in Supply Chain Management program at Rutgers Business School. She also sees the program’s potential beyond the military.

“I’ve taken a lot away from the classes on how to streamline work and save time,” said Strong, who oversees a team of 60 responsible for the upkeep of nine planes that do in-air fueling of fighter jets and other military aircraft.

RBS student Domino Strong
U.S. Air Force Maj. Dominoe Strong

The master’s program has inspired Strong to plan for her post-military career, a venture shipping goods for local, regional and national companies with a small fleet of trucks. “This program is going to set me up perfectly for that,” said Strong, a full-time member of the New Jersey Air National Guard for 13 years.

Since Rutgers Business School launched the online Supply Chain Management master’s program in 2014, 30% of the more than 200 graduates have been veterans, Senior Program Manager Brody Sheldon said.

U.S. News & World Report ranked RBS’ non-MBA online master’s programs, including supply chain management, No. 5 in the nation for veterans, and No. 12 overall for 2021.

Margaret ODonnell, manager of Military and Veteran Engagement Programs at RBS, said for military veterans as well as those in active duty, Reserve or National Guard roles, the importance of logistics is ingrained. “When people think of expertise they can use while serving, as well as in their civilian careers, procurement and supply come to mind as readily transferable skill sets,” ODonnell said.

The online aspect of the program, she said, “makes it doable no matter where someone is living or deployed.”

Since Rutgers Business School launched the online Supply Chain Management master’s program in 2014, 30% of the more than 200 graduates have been veterans - Senior Program Manager Brody Sheldon

“There was no question in my mind I wanted to enroll,” New Jersey Army National Guard Maj. Robert Fernandez said of the program. “The multiple combinations of the experience and subject matter background of the staff at RBS, the reputation and prestige of Rutgers, the ability to facilitate this program online for working adults like me, and the importance of this field, made my decision easy.”

Read about the experience of another recent graduate of the online Master's of Supply Chain Management Program: Graduate ready to take supply chain management career to next level

Fernandez earned the degree in three years, taking a summer semester while deployed in Kuwait in 2018. Sheldon said students have up to 4½ years to complete the 10 courses, but the average is five semesters. The program is asynchronous, so students can work around their schedules, but they must meet weekly deadlines. “It’s flexible but still structured,” she said.

Masters of Supply Chain Management alumnus Fernandez

The program’s high ranking and flexibility appealed to Strong, who’d earned her bachelor’s degree in English at Rutgers University-Camden. She joined the Air Force before her junior year. “My entire adult life has revolved around supply chain and logistics,” she said.

Fernandez is the chief operations officer for transportation at the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank, an independent state authority that finances water quality and transportation projects. I feel that this program has given me the skills through which I can always strive to find improvement and be as efficient as possible,” he said.

- Margaret McHugh

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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