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Jun 5, 2019 | Alumni, Business, MBA, News, SPGS

Moving from the military into a new career

James Henry standing in front of American flags

After a demanding 22 years in the army, James Henry, BBL ’16, MBA ’18, was planning to retire from the military. He knew he would need more than just his army experience as he entered the civilian job market. He needed an education to be competitive, and decided to align his retirement with the completion of his bachelor’s and his master’s degrees.

He also needed a school that was military friendly and could help him navigate the VA forms required for tuition assistance, and that’s where Baker stepped in.

“I chose Baker after speaking with one of their recruiters at my workplace,” said Henry. “At the time I was active duty military and very much appreciated that Baker is a military-friendly school. I also liked that they had someone on staff to help service members use their federal tuition assistance and GI Bill benefits.”

Henry had served in the U.S. Army since 1996, working in recruiting and human resources. He enjoyed the work, and decided to pursue a career in the human resources field after retirement.

In 2014, he enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Business Leadership program, while simultaneously working as a senior human resources manager for the army. Managing school and work was tough, but Henry quickly developed a method for success.

“Time management is crucial, especially if you are an online student,” Henry said. “I would recommend setting time aside each day for studies, allowing for some flexibility. Additionally, many of the instructors I worked with at Baker were reasonably flexible with the course work when there were certain extenuating circumstances with my job.”

Henry graduated with a 4.0 GPA, moved into a new role in the Army as a readiness training manager, and quickly enrolled in Baker’s Master of Business Administration program.

“My MBA gave me a very comprehensive understanding of business today,” he said. “Most Baker instructors are working professionals themselves in the same fields they are teaching. They often shared amazingly accurate observations on the subject from their own current experiences in their other careers. I found this to be very helpful when I entered the corporate world myself.”

Now retired from the army, Henry is the human resource manager for Neovia Logistics, a global third-party logistics support operator. Henry said he uses much of what he learned at Baker at his job every day. Everything from SWOT analysis, employment and discrimination law, management and interpersonal skills, and team building have all assisted him in his new role.

With school behind him, he’s able to focus on his family: his wife, Melissa, and their six children. He treasures his time at Baker and hopes to spread the word about his experience.

“I have absolutely enjoyed every part of being a Baker student and now an alumnus,” Henry said. “Through the years, every member of the Baker University staff has been amazingly friendly, helpful, and professional. I recommend Baker to anyone I talk to about furthered education.”

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