GradImpact: Mission Driven

    A commitment to public service is a value shared by almost all veterans and active duty servicemembers. This commitment is also shared by many graduate students who hope to use their education for the betterment of their communities. It was the commitment to public service that spurred William LaRose, a master’s candidate in public administration at Cornell University, to pursue a graduate degree after serving four years in the US Army. “I knew I wanted to continue to service after the Army,” LaRose said, “and that I wanted to do so at a premier university and program.”

     

    LaRose’s military service provided him with skills to help him succeed in his graduate program. “Time management, coping with stress, and working with diverse teams of people” were all important parts of his military training that translated into success at Cornell.

     

    These skills have allowed LaRose to not only succeed in graduate school, but become a leader and role model for other students. He has channeled that leadership into volunteer work at Service to School, a veteran-run not for profit that connects veterans and active duty military with free college application preparation services. LaRose relied on Service to School to help him prepare his graduate school applications and now volunteers with the organization as an “undergraduate ambassador” to help other veterans get into college. He has also continued his military service with the New York National Guard’s 2-108th Infantry.

     

    More than anything else, LaRose hopes that his example will encourage other veterans to apply to graduate programs. He recognizes the need for veteran’s leadership in many sectors of American life and views graduate school as one way to translate veteran experiences into civilian success. In the end, he found military service to be excellent preparation for graduate school. “To my fellow veterans,” he concluded, “you have the skills and experience to flourish at an Ivy League institution. Believe that. Our country needs your leadership now more than ever, so shoot for that top program, study hard, and continue to service the nation in whatever capacity you can.”

     

    Visit the GradImpact Feature Gallery to learn more about the amazing, innovative research being done by graduate students and alumni across the world.

     

     

    Image Credit: Cornell University

     

     

     

    The CGS GRADIMPACT project draws from member examples to tell the larger story of graduate education. Our goal is to demonstrate the importance of graduate education not only to degree holders, but also to the communities where we live and work. Do you have a great story to share about the impact of master’s or doctoral education? Visit our WEBSITE for more information.

     

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