Army veteran enrolls in USC to complete MBA degree

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The Master of Business for Veterans program at USC allowed army veteran Rob Fortner a chance to one day open his own brewery. (KABC)

USC was recently named among the best universities for veterans by the Military Times, and it is why longtime Trojan fan and US Army veteran Rob Fortner decided to apply.

"Here at USC they've really assisted us with taking our skills and instead of saying 'What did you do,' they would say 'What do you know?'" Fortner said.

Fortner is a Purple Heart and Silver Star recipient. He was an army medic shot twice in combat while saving lives.

He is also a cancer survivor and said continuing his education has given him much hope and ambition for his future.

"(It) instills really a sense of confidence that I am able to compete at an executive level in the civilian world," Fortner said.

Fortner also shared how difficult transitioning from military life to civilian life can be.

"What I struggled with was translating my military skills away from the military jargon that I knew it as and put it in more of a civilian acumen," Fortner said.

By directing the Master of Business for Veterans program at USC, veteran James Bogle hopes to help change the way veterans re-enter the civilian workforce.

"In the military, everybody's focused on a mission and we can kinda bark out orders and not worry about how we make people feel," Bogel noted. "So we do provide leadership instruction that focuses on the context in which we find ourselves as leaders.

The one-year program has allowed Fortner to garner the entrepreneurial skills necessary for the brewery he plans to start.

"We want to open up a brewery. We want to do it down here in the southland. We want to make it based on international styles but we want to do it with American flair," Fortner said.

The soon-to-be graduate is thankful for what is still to come in addition to his military service.

"This bold adventure that's sitting out there waiting and I can see the path and so the closer I get to it, the more I start walking down it the more excited I get," said Fortner.
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educationuscveteranarmymilitaryeducationcollegesocietyLos AngelesLos Angeles County
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