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  • Serving her country while continuing her education

  • Serving her country while continuing her education

    Serving her country while continuing her education

    My military journey started with the Alaska Air National Guard. My now husband, Cory Telling, was active-duty Air Force at the time and his first duty assignment was in Alaska. We met at the Eielson Air Force Base and we have been inseparable since. It was not long after we met that we got married and started a family. His second duty assignment was at the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota. After a few years in Grand Forks, he decided to separate from the Air Force, and I accepted a full-time position with the North Dakota Air National Guard in Fargo.

    Once we both were settled with our professional careers, we decided to focus on our academic careers. We chose the University of Mary because of its reputation of academic excellence, the online and evening program options, and the military scholarship. The University of Mary staff exceeded all our expectations – they were knowledgeable, friendly, and quick to respond to any question we had. If they did not have the answer, they knew where to find it. Specifically, Laura J. Murphy, the Veteran Affairs Specialist, was extremely helpful in explaining the military benefits, both federal and state, and her goal was to save us money. She would even contact the Department of Veteran Affairs directly, so we did not have to worry about anything, she guided us through it all.

    The graduate program I chose was business management with a concentration in project management, which closely aligns with my military duties as a human resource officer for the North Dakota Air National Guard. As a human resource officer, it is imperative to have the skills to lead an organization, and these abilities can be gained through the business management program. Also, as military members, we are always tasked with projects, so understanding the initiation, planning, and execution phases of a project, small or large, is crucial.

    Being a student at the University of Mary while working as a full-time member of the North Dakota Air National Guard was a difficult yet rewarding experience. The National Guard is a defender of our nation and state, and this last year has presented many challenges. Over the past year, I have worked extended hours and long weekends and it was at the height of my graduate program. The Mary staff and instructors understand the challenges that military members face, and they go above and beyond to accommodate our needs. Whether it be our advisor scheduling the classes on our behalf or our instructors extending the deadline on an assignment, they provided excellent service without question.

    I am grateful for the education and support I have received from the University of Mary and encourage other members of the military who are contemplating advancing their education to consider one of their in-person or online programs.

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