Transitioning from Military life to Civilian life – Briar Baker’s Story

Briar Baker’s path from aspiring teacher to management consultant at Accenture, one of the world’s largest and most respected consulting firms, is unconventional. And fascinating. Along the way, Baker earned a BS in Social Studies Education from Buffalo State College, was an Aircraft Structural Repairer in the New York Army National Guard, earned a M.Ed. from Canisius College, taught social studies in the Buffalo Public Schools, and earned his MBA at the University at Buffalo.  

Aaron Shaw, assistant director of recruiting, spent 20 minutes with Baker in our Military Information series. They discussed what it’s like to make the transition from the military to UB’s MBA program, how veterans can leverage their military skills in the program and in the workforce, support services for veterans at UB, and more. A few excerpts below: 

“I realized very quickly that I had the qualitative skills, some of those from being a teacher, but I needed the quantitative side. I think it’s being honest with yourself and understanding where you have a gap in your own experience…take a route where you want to go.” 

“The faculty and staff [at UB] have either personal experience or experience through family members in the military… they are very strong advocates because they see the untapped capability, and assets and driven value that military members bring to a program such as this one.” 

“The beautiful part about an MBA is that it doesn’t open up one door, it opens up hundreds of doors.”  

“An MBA takes that raw experience from a military perspective…to now how do we take that skill and put it into a business setting? I think an MBA finesses and really polishes that skillset to set military folks up for tremendous success.” 

Watch the full conversation on YouTube.

Interested in learning more about how the UB MBA program can impact your career? Visit or email Aaron Shaw ( to learn more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *