College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Highest Expectations


7/28/2011

Andy Lucido ’12 smiled knowingly when he heard the news about his fellow Army Ranger, Sargeant First Class Leroy Petry. On July 12, 2011 Petry became only the second living recipient of the nation’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, for grabbing a live grenade.

What set Petry apart from average men and women was his purpose, the conditions surrounding his fateful choice, and the consequences.

Army Rangers like Petry are all volunteers who willingly, eagerly, step in harm’s way to lead the offensive, to battle America’s enemies wherever and whenever necessary. Already a veteran of several deployments, Petry and the men he supervised had been conducting a rare daylight raid on a Taliban compound in eastern Afghanistan’s Paktya Province when they ran into trouble.

In the strain of battle, after having been shot through both legs by an enemy bullet, Petry led two of his fellow rangers to take cover behind a chicken coop, just as a live grenade landed in their midst.

Despite his wounds, it was at that moment that Petry reached for and then tossed the enemy grenade away.

As a result of his unflinching purpose as a warrior and a leader, Petry lost his hand but saved his men. He even called in an update to command shortly after bandaging his arm. In so doing, he captured the resolve, the unflinching calm of dedication and training all soldiers aspire to achieve.

Lucido, who was deployed twice to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan, believes Petry’s valor and heroism reflects well the training, inherent ability, and commitment Army Rangers are known for. Once a member of Petry’s unit before joining the ILLINOIS MBA, Lucido also believes a military career is great training for the business world.

“Being an Army Ranger made me a better person,” says Lucido. “I learned what my strengths are and how to adapt to any situation on the fly.”

As an undergraduate, Lucido joined the Army ROTC which prepared him to be a commissioned officer upon graduating. As a newly commissioned officer, Lucido became immediately responsible for 50 men. Two years later he was promoted to the rank of captain. By the time he resigned he was leading 150 men as a company executive officer.

The military taught Lucido how to lead. He is a superior trainer and logistics specialist with strong ethical compass. He can brief executives, manage a budget and adapt as needed to difficult situations in high pressure environments. The military produced an unusually motivated and capable 29 year old leader who is ready to take his place in the world of business.

Like many veterans, Lucido is taking advantage of financial incentives afforded to him. He chose ILLINOIS because of its strong academic and veteran-friendly reputations.
 
Lucido starts his last year of the MBA program this fall.

Lucido is also working hard to build up the Illinois Military Veteran’s Association, a group designed to help veterans reinvent themselves for the civilian job market. Lucido and other contributors are organizing a series of career workshops to achieve this goal.

“We plan to help ILLINOIS MBAs learn how they can specifically leverage their military skills over to the MBA side in their career search. At the same time, we will participate in a career event in Chicago called the MBA Veterans Career Conference, created by ILLINOIS alumni Chris Petersen [‘09] and Dave Chonowski [‘10].”

Lucido believes veterans will benefit tremendously from guidance for building new networks, reworking resumes for business, and adjusting to the wide array of career options available with an MBA.

Upon graduating, Lucido’s personal goal is to get a job in public sector consulting at a top company. If his past accomplishments are any indication, potential employers should keep a spot open for him.

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Andy Lucido belongs to the ILLINOIS MBA Class 2012 and is the Military Veterans Association President. He can be reached at alucido2@illinois.edu.

UIUC College of Business