HBS is home to veterans of all branches of the US Military, as well as foreign militaries. Veterans bring a variety of unique and valuable skills to the HBS community and have many opportunities not only to connect with fellow veterans pursuing their MBA, but also with the Veterans Community at other Harvard Schools, and in Boston as a whole.

In honor of Veterans Day, we sat down with Peter Goodman (MBA 2017) to learn about his experience at HBS, and how he stays connected to the community in the years post-graduation.

Why did you pursue your MBA at HBS? 

I initially got exposure to HBS during an on-campus visit before I applied, and I also connected with HBS's Armed Forces Alumni Association (AFAA) through their club web page. Through the page, I was able to speak directly with AFAA Veterans for admissions advice and insight into what life was like on campus, both in the classroom and across different extracurricular activities.

The openness, advice, and support that various AFAA members provided during both the application process and once I was admitted left an indelible mark. As I considered my options for which schools to pursue, it was the camaraderie I had forged with fellow Veterans that inspired my next move to HBS.

What are some ways to stay connected to the Veterans community while living in Boston?

There were many AFAA on-campus events to get involved in like the Veterans Day Celebration, but I also connected with the Veterans community around Boston. First, I worked with staff at the Cambridge Innovation Center to establish programming for Veterans interested in pursuing the world of entrepreneurship. Second, I advised Veterans in the Boston area on the process of working with the Veterans Administration (VA) to access earned education and career benefits. 

Whether volunteering at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, joining a Boston area Veterans of Foreign Wars/American Legion Post, or simply connecting with fellow Veterans in the AFAA, there are lots of ways to stay active in the Veterans community while you pursue your MBA.

Tell us about the Harvard Veterans Alumni Organization (HVAO)?

HVAO was founded in 2006 by a Harvard alum who served in the Vietnam War. Our 501(c)3 incorporated organization is one of the Shared Interest Groups of the Harvard Alumni Association. The group supports the Veteran-led on-campus Harvard Veterans Organization (HVO), advocates to the University in support of Veterans' issues, and connects the alumni community around the world. Since the group's creation, membership has grown to over 2,000 members who come from nearly every school under the University's banner.

Since graduating from HBS, what have you been up to?

After graduation in 2017, I joined M&T Bank - a regional bank headquartered in Buffalo, NY. I was drawn to M&T for its leadership development program and the warm and collaborative culture of the organization. It was, once again, discussions with two Veterans during the recruiting process that sealed the deal for me! Most recently, I joined the leadership team of HVAO and am currently serving as the group's Outreach Officer managing interactions with new members and leading our social media presence on LinkedIn. Engaging with fellow HVAO members has been an amazing way to build connections with Veterans that attended the college, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School, and Harvard Medical School. It has truly made me feel like a proud member of the "One Harvard" community and that much more appreciative of Harvard's commitment to Veterans.

You can learn more about the HBS AFAA here: http://www.afaahbsclub.com/

You can learn more about the HVAO here: http://veterans.sigs.harvard.edu/index.html