By Sara Ross

A new ranking puts the University of Missouri–St. Louis’ Business Graduate Programs among the “Best for Vets.”

“I’m not surprised at all,” says Jamison Stone, a UMSL MBA student and U.S. Army veteran. He says the recently publicized study conducted by “Military Times” just makes sense. The publication puts the College of Business Administration in the top 25 graduate business schools for veterans in the nation.

BestForVets-572The “Best for Vets” study evaluated graduate business programs in five categories — university culture, student support, academic outcomes and quality, academic policies, and cost and financial aid — as well as a variety of other factors.

Tom Eyssell, associate dean of the College of Business Administration and director of Graduate Studies, credits the UMSL Veterans Center, which opened in 2012.

“I am very proud that UMSL has attained this ranking,” Eyssell says. “It is a tribute to the work done by our Veterans Center.”

Stone agrees.

“The Veterans Center offers a lot of workshops,” he says. “It’s also a nice area to go to and relax. I come to campus early some days, and they’ve always got a pot of coffee going and are nice and helpful.”

For Rebecca McMenamin, manager of UMSL’s Veterans Center, the high marks are a strong validation of the center’s work.

“The rankings are highly desirable because of the research standards of the surveys and competiveness among applicants,” says McMenamin, whose guidance has helped students such as Stone reintegrate into academics and civilian life more comfortably.

Like many UMSL MBA students, Stone’s studies are informed by his day job. An advisor at Stieven Capital Advisors L.P., he chose UMSL on the advice of his boss, alumnus Joseph Stieven.

“The accounting courses have been really helpful,” Stone laughs. “If you showed me a balance sheet before, I would have been lost.”

Jim Craig, associate teaching professor and chair of the Department of Military and Veterans Studies asserts that UMSL’s business programs are of special importance to veterans.

“The UMSL Veterans Center serves all veteran students on campus, but we have a special place in our hearts for the business students,” he says, “because almost half of our student veterans are in one of the business programs.”

Stone’s military service has translated well into the academics of business.

“A lot of the group work [in the military] trains you in a team mentality, which is really helpful,” he says. “This degree will make me more hirable for sure.”

“The veteran experience is one of teamwork, focus and accomplishment,” adds Craig.  “These are the same internal attributes and skills that the business world is looking for.”

“I think this ranking is a fantastic and well-deserved recognition of the efforts UMSL and the College of Business Administration have been taking to make us more veteran-friendly. We know that our efforts are working because our [veteran] enrollments and our graduations are increasing…now others can know it too.”

The UMSL Experience

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UMSL Daily