Vetted: Jeff Allen


This week we are showcasing students at Haas who are veterans of the U.S. military. Today, meet Jeff Allen, MBA 13, from the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program:

Service: Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army and Washington National Guard.

The path to military service: “I grew-up near Fort Bragg, NC, during Vietnam, saw the difficulties military life put on the soldier, family and community, and remember thinking, ‘I will never serve in the Army.’ But, as I grew, I saw wonderful examples of Service and it instilled a sense of duty. I went on to gain acceptance into West Point and then into Army Aviation. My active duty service was primarily at Fort Lewis, WA, and ended with a deployment to Operation Desert Storm.”

Invaluable experience: “Following active duty, I began a 20 year career in financial services practicing as an advisor with Merrill Lynch, McDonald Investments, and UBS. After establishing my practice, I rejoined the Army through traditional service in the Washington National Guard. I balanced a dual career during which I worked through two bear markets and two deployments—and some rewarding experiences. In 2005 my WA Guard unit mobilized to help in Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. In 2010, in my final military role, I volunteered to mobilize to support four deployments drawn from my Guard unit, looking after soldiers downrange, their families at home, and rebuilding a leadership team to train those who did not deploy. God bless the citizen soldiers and their families.”

B-school because: “Sometime during the turbulent decade that began in 2000, I got the crazy idea to conduct a career ‘pivot.’ I wanted to prepare myself for life’s next adventure and needed to retool and hone my management skills."

Chose Haas for: “Its distinctive leadership in strategy, entrepreneurship, and innovation, which challenge executives to challenge the status quo. Most people do not realize that military leaders are seldom told how to accomplish the mission. Berkeley-Haas is an excellent environment in which to practice leadership while being a free thinker.”

Opportunity capture: “Through the Berkeley-Columbia Executive MBA Program, I have built strong connections with people who enhance my learning experience with their skills and will forever be a part of my network. My past career was very local and I now need to be better connected on a national or even global level. The resources and people willing to help at Berkeley, Columbia, and West Point are endless and there is a welcome mat out at most American corporations for the talent and leadership veterans can bring."

Meet other Haas vets:

Brandon Doll, MBA 14, U.S. Navy

Stephanie Knoch, MBA 13, U.S. Navy

Robert Shaye, MBA 14, U.S. Coast Guard

About The Author

From 2011-2013, Valerie Gilbert focused on sharing stories of Berkeley MBA student achievements and connection to the Haas Defining Principles. At Haas since 2004 and now Associate Director of Content Marketing, she still enjoys revealing the different facets of life at Berkeley-Haas to a variety of audiences.