University Park, IL,
21
May
2020
|
05:28 PM
America/Chicago

Graduate Profile: Master's Degree Commands Change in Military Career

There may come a time or difficult course when you wonder if you made the right decision. The 'finish line' to graduation might seem so far away. I took two years off in the middle of the program, thinking I was taking on too much, but with the support of my family, and the phenomenal instructors, I was able to persevere and win the race, and you can too

When 2020 graduate Aaron Ritter originally came to Governors State University (GSU) through educational benefits available for military connected students, he was drawn to the Master of Business Administration program for the Supply Chain Management concentration that was offered. Little did he know, this program would inspire a career change. Now with his master's degree complete, he encourages GSU students to persevere.

"Stick with it. There may come a time or difficult course when you wonder if you made the right decision. The 'finish line' to graduation might seem so far away. I took two years off in the middle of the program, thinking I was taking on too much, but with the support of my family, and the phenomenal instructors, I was able to persevere and win the race, and you can too."

GSU Newsroom: What brought you to GSU?

Ritter: Being in the Illinois Army National Guard, I was afforded the opportunity to select any Illinois public school to complete my master's degree for free. I discovered GSU offered a concentration in Supply Chain Management as part of its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and, being a logistician in the military and having a desire to pursue something similar in the civilian world, I felt it was a good fit for me. I also liked that the entire program was available online because I work full-time and am not from the Chicago region, but instead about three hours away from campus in Galesburg, Illinois.

GSU Newsroom: What are some of the highlights from your time at GSU?

Ritter: I think some of the more rewarding experiences came from getting to know and work with the other students from all walks of life. In the online MBA program particularly, most of my peers were already in the workforce and had families so we could relate with one another and watch each other’s progress in our studies to graduation.

GSU Newsroom: Who were some of the professors who shaped your experience and your future?

Ritter: I think it was Dr. Feng Tian and his knowledge and expertise teaching Strategic Procurement that solidified my leap of faith to seek a career change to become a Contract Specialist for the Army. That class, and his instruction, gave me a good grasp of what I would be getting into as a buyer and just how important all of our learned business skills are to the entire procurement process.

GSU Newsroom: What's next after graduation?

Ritter: While I'm about halfway through my two-year apprenticeship as a Contract Specialist, I hope this education will better prepare me for roles of more responsibility to eventually become a Contracting Officer leading a team of specialists. I'm hope that completing my degree will also open up new opportunities for my career in the National Guard.

GSU Newsroom: What advice would you give GSU students?

Ritter: Stick with it. There may come a time or difficult course when you wonder if you made the right decision. The "finish line" to graduation might seem so far away. I took two years off in the middle of the program, thinking I was taking on too much, but with the support of my family, and the phenomenal instructors, I was able to persevere and win the race, and you can too.