Life After the Military
For 32-year-old Kevin Atterberry, joining the Marine Corps and serving his country was a lifelong dream. Kevin worked hard in high school to graduate early and left for bootcamp three days later. He deployed on several tours around the world, including Iraq, working as a Field Radio Operator and Listed Recruiter.
After 12 years of service, Kevin decided he was ready for a change of pace. He applied for several civilian jobs but had trouble getting his foot in the door without a degree. He even thought about becoming an entrepreneur and working for himself but knew he needed additional education before taking the risk.
From the Battlefield to the Classroom
Kevin started at Miller-Motte in the Spring of 2014, registering for the Medical Billing & Coding program. “It was weird, to say the least,” remembers Kevin about going back to school. “I had been out of school for pretty much 12 years.”
Looking for a support system to help him out, Kevin found encouragement in the camaraderie of a group of military peers, each going through the same transition. “We have a huge military presence in Jacksonville. We congregated together and helped each other out. I might not have known the guy in the military, but because he was in the military we’d help each other out.”
And support came from more than just his classmates since Kevin qualified for certain military benefits as a veteran. “I was able to use my GI Bill and a lot of things were taken care of for me that I didn’t necessarily have to worry about. My GI Bill took care of pretty much everything.”
Becoming a Leader on Campus
After a few months in the healthcare program, Kevin realized the career path he chose wasn’t right for him. After talking with the staff, Business Administration was suggested based on his skills and long-term goals. Kevin made the switch and excelled.
Soon, Kevin’s natural leadership skills were in full swing. He built relationships with the staff at Miller-Motte and became a Student Ambassador. Kevin also started and became President of Miller-Motte Jacksonville’s first Phi Beta Lambda chapter (Future Business Leaders of America).
Before graduation, Kevin completed an externship at a local Jacksonville charter school, where he now works as an Operations Manager. Kevin credits his success in business to his time at Miller-Motte, “Going to school at Miller-Motte opened that door for me to be able to do something like that.”
Finding the Right School Makes All the Difference
Kevin found both the education and the experience he wanted at Miller-Motte. “It’s just been a blast. I was looking for the full college experience and although we are a smaller campus, I felt like I was still able to get the experience that I wanted.”
He also found friends in and out of the classroom. “I think a lot of students in college, not even just at Miller-Motte, do struggle with personal issues. But I felt like if need be, I could talk to my teachers and instructors about anything that was going on.”
Kevin’s advice for veterans thinking about returning to school? “Don’t wait. Get out there and do it.”
If you’re a service member looking to transition to school, visit us online to learn more. Or, one of our Admissions Representatives can walk you through military benefits, how to enroll and program start dates.