G.I. Jobs Virtual Job Fair   |   July 25

Virtual Job Fair   |   July 25

University of New Haven Success Profile – Brian Smith

Brian Smith

University of New Haven

West Haven, CT
Program Type/Area of Study: International Justice and Security
Years Served: 6
MOS: Security Forces

 What prompted you to return to school?

I wanted to better myself academically.  Additionally, the Post 9/11 GI Bill was a great factor in my decision. The opportunity to attend school, not have to worry about debt and also receive a monthly stipend required little debate.  The combination of military experience and a degree will make me a better candidate for future jobs.

What military education benefits, such as the GI Bill, did you use?

G.I. Bill; The Post 9/11 GI Bill covers 100% of my tuition.  It also pays for all of my books and provides monthly housing payments.

What has your experience been like as a student?

Academically, the classes are challenging.  However, I am able to rely on time management skills and past experiences to succeed. There are plenty of extracurricular activities, clubs and organizations to get involved with.  University of New Haven football games are always exciting.  I also attended a women’s volleyball game which was a lot of fun.

What challenges did you have adjusting to campus culture after military life?

Adjusting to a larger campus was not too challenging.  The First Year Success Center’s student coaches and veteran’s representative have a wealth of knowledge and pointed me in the right direction. There are a lot of programs to help with the adjustment process.  There are also of plenty of other veterans in the same boat.  Overall, there is a great support system.

Do you believe your military experience has made you a better student?

My military experience has made me a better student.  I am always on time for class, ready to learn and feel confident that I can manage the tougher and more overwhelming classes.  I rely on a lot of past experiences and discipline to help me get through.  As a military veteran, I don’t want to squeak by.  I set academic goals.  I WANT to do well.

What advice do you have for veterans returning to school?

There are quite a few adjustments one may have to make, especially when separating from Active Duty. Going to school isn’t a walk in the park.  It takes a lot of effort.  Expect to be one of the older and more mature students in the classroom.  Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for assistance.  Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy.  There are plenty of staff, veterans and peers willing to help.  Be comfortable.  Feel free to let your hair down and grow a beard.