A Habit of Service
Date published: Jan. 8, 2018
Each year over 1.2 million men and women serve in our country’s military, and each
year nearly 300,000 veterans transition out of military service and back into civilian
life. That transition is not always easy, but the service of these brave men and women
inspire many, including University of Dallas alumnus, Ryan Cole, MBA ’16.
Cole is a supplier risk manager at Capital One with a passion for serving his community.
During his time in the MBA program he was part of a semester long project called the
Capstone Consulting Experience, where he and his team of fellow MBA students worked with Honor Courage Commitment
(HCC), a North Texas organization founded by veterans to provide education and resources
to train veterans to become entrepreneurs and business owners.
“At the start of the project I didn't know too much about Honor Courage Commitment,
but I knew they were a veteran-focused non-profit organization and that was enough
for me to want to get involved,” said Cole.
Throughout the Capstone project, the MBA students worked closely with HCC’s leadership
to better understand the mission and help the organization to flourish. As part of
the project, Cole’s team was tasked with determining the economic impact that HCC’s
veteran training program has on the North Texas economy. In addition, the team also
created a marketing handbook for HCC to help them share information about their mission.
HCC’s success has been monumental and, thanks to Cole and his team, HCC is now able
to better quantify that success: The organization has had over 60 veterans graduate
from their program and over 30 veteran-owned businesses have been launched, resulting
in an estimated $16 million of added revenue in North Texas.
“What makes HCC so unique is their focus on the bigger picture,” said Cole. “Working
on this project changed my thinking in the workplace as a business professional. Now,
I look at how I can influence a larger audience and consider the indirect impact my
work can have on others.”
Even after completing the Capstone project, Cole has continued living out his philosophy
“As much as we take from our community, we need to try to give back. When everyone
is uplifted, there’s an impact that goes on down the road.”
For the last two years, Cole has worked with his employer, Capital One, to secure
a "Transform Your Community" corporate grant for HCC, resulting in an additional $10,000
of donations to HCC’s veterans programs.
Capital One’s “Transform Your Community” campaign helps direct funding to organizations
that make a big impact in their communities.
“Capital One goes to great lengths to serve the community,” said Cole. “We help with
all kinds of service projects that range from can drives and coat collections, to
even a golf tournament that raises over $200,000 each year.”
Cole continues to be impassioned by organizations like Honor Courage Commitment and
his habit of service serves as a model to others.
Learn more about the nearly 1,000 organizations that have been impacted by the Capstone Consulting Experience at the University of Dallas.