I am originally from Montana, but moved to the Upper Midwest when I met my wife. Being a husband and father of four made returning to school difficult, but having a supportive family has been a major motivator to finish school.
What prompted you to return to school?
Shortly after the economic downturn of 2008, I was laid off from my job building acoustic guitars. I capitalized on the opportunity to return to school to finish my degree.
Why did you choose Viterbo University?
I chose Viterbo after seriously looking at several options in the local area. There are three main reasons for my decision; class sizes are smaller, the 4+1 MBA program, and I really felt comfortable with faculty and university staff.
What military education benefits, such as the GI Bill, did you use?
I currently am not using VA Educational benefits. I have used Chapter 31 when at a prior institution.
What has your experience been like as a student?
I was scared to come back to college after 13 years out of the classroom. Math and English coursework had me concerned, but I was quickly put at ease by my professors and took advantage of the free tutoring offered on campus on multiple occasions. Being involved with the Student Veterans of America chapter on campus and other non-veteran organizations has helped me connect more with the traditional students as well as faculty and staff.
What challenges did you have adjusting to campus culture after military life?
There are always challenges adjusting to campus culture, even if you have been out of the military for a long period. Finding common ground with traditional aged students can also be a challenge at times.
Do you believe your military experience has made you a better student?
I believe that the military provides a great training ground to be a successful student. Time management, problem solving, perseverance, and working as a team are skills that transfer well from the military to student life.
What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?
I remind all of our new student veterans that they survived the military and they can survive college as well. Other veterans have come before them, are willing to help navigate the college experience, and know how to make it to graduation.
The administration, faculty and staff at Viterbo are supportive of student veterans. Having been at a larger state university in the past, I really appreciate the personal attention I get from professors and the smaller class sizes the Viterbo offers.