Grand Canyon University | www.gcu.edu | A Special Bond |
Published in the May/June 2012 issue of print Search & Employ® |
Grand Canyon University (GCU) understands veterans and servicemembers – they make up roughly 10 percent of GCU’s 40,000 students. “This is a university that truly believes in God and country,” said Seth Israel, a staff sergeant who has served in both the Air Force and Army. “GCU understands that veteran employees have a special bond when working with military students and their families. We understand the military way of life and therefore we are able manage the expectations of our numerous military students. GCU has honored military students by creating a military department where the mission is to serve the unique needs of all military personnel and their families.”
Grand Canyon University is a Christian institution that was founded in 1949 and is regionally accredited. It offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs through the Ken Blanchard College of Business, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Christian Studies, College of Doctoral Studies, College of Education, College of Fine Arts and Production, and College of Nursing. GCU offers online and campus-based degree programs.
Active and retired military personnel are offered a wide variety of tuition and fee assistance. A military per-credit-hour rate is available for Professional Studies and online students. Most of the school’s counselors are veterans.
Israel knows that getting an education is key to finding post-military work. “Make sure you have transferable skills,” he said. “There is not a lot of need for tank drivers in the civilian job market. If you know that you are getting out of the service, fight to get new skill sets that will transfer to a civilian occupation. This means getting both a formal education and/or a vocational skill. Have a vision of where you want to work in two years or less, reach out to that employer, and make a plan together. This will allow you to set realistic expectations.”
Computer knowledge is especially important. “Civilian employers expect you to hit the ground running when managing the daily tasks of corporate email, spreadsheets, Word documents, etc.,” Israel said. “I entered the civilian job market when such skills were wanted and not everyone had them – new hires today are expected to already have these basic skills.”
Israel believes that the military mindset will come in handy in the civilian world. “Daily stress levels in the military can be very high as compared to a civilian job,” he said. “In the military, we are faced with unscheduled deadlines, intense leadership, and extreme focus on the task at hand. As a result, military personnel have a very pragmatic approach to problem solving; a very useful trait that can be applied in a civilian career.”
In the end it can all be about planning. “Your resume should demonstrate your ability to multi-task and manage time,” Israel said. “Your efforts will be rewarded with the many opportunities for both education and career program. Ultimately – make a plan, work your plan.”