From Serving Your Country to Entering the Classroom: Being a Leader Among Your Career College Classmates

The military has a way of drawing out leadership skills among its members. From the moment you become a new recruit until you separate from military service, you encounter countless opportunities that sharpen your abilities to lead.

Those types of abilities never really leave you, even long after you serve your last day as an active member. And those skills can be particularly handy when you decide to pursue higher education at a career college.

Career colleges are institutions that offer training programs in specific career fields. Many of the students at these schools are older adults who are working a full-time job while completing their coursework.

If there was ever an opportunity to step up and be a leader on campus for your peers, career colleges are it.

Four reasons you can be an excellent leader

Here are four reasons why military students make excellent leaders for their career college classmates:

  • Commanding respect.Let’s face it: The fact you served in the military is likely going to be obvious to your classmates. Military students tend to be more polished and organized that other students, and you also have a way of naturally commanding respect. When your classmates realize you served your country, they’re likely to respect your accomplishments.
  • Passion and drive.Veterans and servicemembers are internally driven. That kind of energy tends to stand out in a career college classroom, and it also can be motivating or even inspirational to other students. Just by tackling an ordinary day with the same passion and flare with which you handled assignments in the military, you can display to your classmates what type of drive it takes to excel in your coursework.
  • Real-world knowledge. Unlike many of your classmates, you didn’t enroll in college right after high school. You got out and saw the world! This gives you a perspective on many issues that other students simply have not developed yet. You can speak with authority during in-class discussions and in other conversations because you have the worldview to do so.
  • Your classmates can help you grow.Without question, as a veteran or servicemember you face more challenges than average students when enrolling in college. Why? Because you are adapting to the collegiate environment and a protocol that is far different than what you experienced in the service. But real leaders take it upon themselves to learn from others before stepping into leadership roles. By getting shoulder-to-shoulder with classmates, you can show them you are willing to learn from them as well as willing to be their leader.

Who else is going to do it?

Many of your classmates are carrying a full load at home, balancing school with commitments to their spouses and children—not to mention their full- or part-time jobs. They are doing their best to make it to class and complete their assignments. This means there will be plenty of opportunities to join or even found campus organizations that suit your passions. You can find ways to inspire other students, in the time they have available to themselves, to become as involved in possible in extracurricular activities.

Taking a step forward
The military background shaped you into the leader you are now. That doesn’t have to stop when your service ends. Why not take a step forward and volunteer your leadership to your classmates and your college? Career schools need students like you to inspire others and to get involved on campus. This is your opportunity to show the world—one more time—what a service member can do!

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