“I want to go back to school … maybe do something in the business world.”
Networking isn’t like the movies. Nobody is going to listen to some important-sounding core values and sea stories you tell, then immediately offer you an awesome job. Good contacts will want to know what you can offer, specifically. Specific skills, experiences and characteristics. What’s bad: “I want to go back to school. Something in business.” This is vague and could mean anything. What’s better: “I strongly believe in good products, which means good quality control. I did that in the military, and I’d like to do that in the civilian world. I’d also like to go to school to learn quality systems.”
The reason why that second phrase is better is that it initiates conversation. Whoever hears it can ask you about your work in the military, your thoughts on certain jobs in the civilian world and what schools you want to attend. Also, it invites the listener’s opinions on what you’ve talked about. It starts a conversation. And it doesn’t have to be your life’s dream, just pick something that interests you, research it enough to be specific and bring it to the networking event. Maybe you’ll find out it is your dream; maybe you’ll learn about something that becomes your dream later on.