Matt Rosebaugh

As a veteran with 11 years of active duty service in both conventional and Army Special Operations Aviation units, Matt Rosebaugh knows a thing or two about leadership.

But ask the second-year MBA student at Fisher if his leadership journey is nearly complete, and he’ll say that, despite commanding a Chinook flight training company and teaching others to fly helicopters as an instructor pilot, it’s anything but.

Rosebaugh was recently named a 2018 Tillman Scholar by the Pat Tillman Foundation, joining 60 other U.S. service members, veterans and military spouses nationwide honored for their strength in character, academic excellence and incredible potential.

Founded in 2008, the Tillman Scholars Program supports active-duty service members, veterans and their spouses with academic scholarships, a national network and professional development opportunities, empowering them to make an impact.

Rosebaugh, an assistant professor of military science at Ohio State, reflects on being recognized by the Pat Tillman Foundation, his evolution as a leader at Fisher and his plans to improve his local community through the creation of small business incubators in underserved areas.

What does being named a Tillman Scholar mean to you?

"It means that I now have a team who believes that one person can change the world. While most people would think my ideas to help others are just dreams, the Pat Tillman Foundation sees them as opportunities to leverage their resources and overcome challenges. One of the greatest things I heard when applying to the Tillman Scholars Program was, ‘If you put three Tillman Scholars in a room, they will immediately start trying to solve the world’s biggest problems.’ That is what I am excited to be a part of — a network of people with continued service at the forefront of their minds, and the drive and ability to see it through. Being a Tillman Scholar means that not only will I succeed, but I will get to help countless others do the same."

What is your definition of leadership and how have your roles as a pilot and professor at Ohio State helped refine that definition?

"Leadership is providing purpose and direction to a group to overcome whatever is in their way. While I have spent over a decade as a ‘leader,’ I have found myself most successful when I act as a catalyst to give others the opportunity to succeed. After graduating from West Point, I thought that I could really drive future success. I thought I had all of the tools required to overcome any obstacle in my way. I soon found that could not have been farther from the truth.

As a Special Operations Aviation leader and pilot, I realized I could only extend myself so far; influencing others in a decentralized network was how things really got accomplished. If I could get others to share my passion and vision, I could apply my strengths and talents where they were needed most. As an instructor, I learned more about patience and empathy than anything else. More than an instructor, I see myself as a coach who helps people find their true potential. Each of us learns, processes, and recalls information differently. We are all struggling with different challenges. I see my place as helping them see those challenges, and discover their own solutions to overcome them."

Matt Rosebaugh - Chinook
Matt Rosebaugh (third from left) in front of a CH-47 Chinook.

Why did you choose to pursue an MBA at Fisher?

"As I transitioned out of the Army, I had several opportunities for employment but was drawn to the MBA program at Fisher. The admissions team and academic staff were absolutely amazing and helped me every step of the way. While providing for my family and starting my next career were important at the time, Fisher and Ohio State provided me with opportunities to really find myself and my passions, and to learn key skills that would help me in the future.

I saw the small class size as a way to meet and engage with awesome people, and the unique programs (such as the Global Applied Projects program and unique leadership courses) as a way to become a better leader for the future."

In what ways has your military experience complemented your development here at Fisher as a soon-to-be business professional?

"The Army taught me to engage with a large, diverse group of people to accomplish some impossible tasks. We had to think outside the box to meet time-sensitive deadlines in real-world contingency missions. Coming to Fisher, I saw similar problems facing my classmates, and was able to apply lessons learned from my military experiences to find unique solutions."

Describe your motivation to eventually create incubators to help small businesses in underserved areas thrive.

"I grew up in Youngstown, Ohio. While I did well in school, and had some opportunities, I am not sure I would be where I am today if I had not joined the Army. It provided me with countless ways to overcome obstacles, find success and help others. Looking back on what my life could have been, I realized that the Army was a blessing; a blessing that not everyone receives.

As I drive through Linden most days to get to school, I think of the people from my past and the people today with big dreams but nobody to give them a chance to succeed. I think of how to change our city. I think of ways to leverage my skills to help others. I think of hope. If I can help others start, nurture and grow their businesses, they can change the face of Columbus.

I cannot change the world myself, but I can help others change theirs. If I can help give hope and opportunities to others, help them jumpstart their success and overcome obstacles in their way, I can make a difference for generations to come."

What principles/words of advice have guided your actions, or that have you found particularly inspiring?

"This one is easy! PBNN — this is my go-to, extra credit for my students in the Army ROTC program:

People first, mission always.
Be bold in all you do.
Never quit without giving it your best shot.
Never count yourself out."

I cannot change the world myself, but I can help others change theirs. If I can help give hope and opportunities to others, help them jumpstart their success and overcome obstacles in their way, I can make a difference for generations to come."

Matt RosebaughMBA student, 2018 Tillman Scholar