Amazing Students Profiles

Chad Burke

Chad Burke

M.B.A. student Chad Burke has seen the world, but he was not on a study abroad—not the kind most UGA students take. Burke is a 15 year veteran of the U.S. Navy and has “done hundreds of millions of dollars of business” in more than a dozen countries on four continents. He has been stationed all over the country including Hawaii, Connecticut, Virginia, Georgia (twice), Florida, and Maryland. He even volunteered for a tour of duty in Iraq. Now, while stationed at the Navy Supply Corps School in Athens, Ga., he was chosen by the U.S. Navy to participate in a selective program that allows him to pursue his master’s degree while he remains on active duty. He chose the M.B.A. program at the Terry College of Business because it was a good value, and because he sees his position as a Supply Officer as “the business manager of the Navy.” After graduation, he will go back to sea as the Services Officer aboard the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt.


Hillsdale, Mich.

High School:

Hillsdale High School

Degree objective:

Master of Business Administration with a concentration in consulting

Other degrees:

B.S. (with merit), computer science, U.S. Naval Academy, 1994

Expected graduation:

Spring 2006

University highlights, achievements, awards and scholarships:

I have been inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma, the national scholastic honor society for business administration, and I have a 3.9 grade point average. I am also vice-president of the Graduate Business Association. In this role, I have been involved in numerous charitable and social functions including MBA Olympics and Candemonium.

Current Employment:

I am on active duty as a Navy Supply Corps Officer with subspecialties in contracting, acquisition, logistics, and inventory management.

I chose to attend UGA because…

…it was the best use of the taxpayers’ money. I was one of a few naval officers selected to attend UGA while still on active duty. It is a great opportunity to get an advanced degree while still in the service. A UGA M.B.A. also helps by giving students a corporate perspective, which is valuable to me since Supply Officers are viewed as the business managers of the Navy.

My favorite things to do on campus are…

…any of the sporting events. It’s a much different atmosphere than the sporting events I attended as an undergrad at the U.S. Naval Academy. At the Academy, we had to wear our uniforms to all the sporting events! Plus, it’s nice to have several nationally ranked teams for which to cheer! (Go dawgs!)

When I have free time, I like…

…to spend time with family and friends, and I really like to mess around with old cars like my 1979 International Scout II

The craziest thing I’ve done is…

I’ve been in the Navy nearly sixteen years, so there are too many crazy things to list. They range from taking fire in a combat zone to various activities when pulling into ports around the world, but many are not suitable to print! One of the most memorable things was was during Fleet Week in New York City when Ann Curry, co-anchor for NBC’s Dateline and news anchor for the Today Show, pulled me from the crowd to swing dance with her on national TV. Fleet Week is a tradition where certain cities (the most well-known is New York) welcome active U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard ships that have recently been overseas into port for a week to show appreciation for the sailors and to allow the people of the city to tour the ships. There are usually military demonstrations and air shows also.

My favorite place to study is…

…at home. I’m lucky to have a beautiful home in which I can relax and enjoy my surroundings.

My favorite professor is…

…Executive-in-Residence Pat Pittard, retired Chairman of the Board of Heidrick & Struggles International, Inc., the world’s premier provider of executive-level search and leadership consulting services. As a retired CEO, he gave us the corporate perspective on leadership in business. Particularly, he told us a lot of practical information that cannot be learned from textbooks.

If I could share an afternoon with anyone, I would love to share it with…

…the Wright Brothers. Just think of how their invention has changed our history. While they were inventing a flying machine, everyone was telling them how crazy it was. I would like to hear how they overcame the criticism and were able to persevere.

If I knew I could not fail, I would…

…develop and implement a budget and spending plan for our nation that gets rid of our deficit, fixes our social security problem and allows the continued and long term growth of our economy.

After graduation, I plan to…

…go back to sea duty. I will be stationed on the aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) as the services officer. It is a great career enhancing job. It will be my third sea duty, having previously served on an amphibious assault ship and a ballistic missile submarine. I’ll be homeported in Norfolk, Virginia. This is not the best place I’ve been stationed (Hawaii was) but not the worst either (Iraq was).

The one UGA experience I will always remember will be…

…running the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C. last year. The race itself was no pleasure, but the experience as a whole was very rewarding. I took the opportunity to run with a charity group with whom I raised more than $2500 for TAPS, an organization which provides grief counseling and other services to those who have lost loved ones in the armed forces. I also had the pleasure of running this marathon in honor of 1LT Noah Harris, the former cheerleader and 2003 UGA grad who was killed in battle in Iraq last year.