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Service to School Stories

Service to School Stories

By Service to School

Welcome to Service to School Stories, a deep-dive style podcast hosted by Sydney Matthes, the Director of Student Success at Service to School. We’ll be digging into topics in the Higher Education landscape as they relate to Veterans and transitioning service members. Tune in as we chat about navigating the college experience for Veterans: going through the application process, dealing with imposter syndrome, applying to highly selective universities, handling rejection letters, supporting Veterans on campus and much more!

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Spotify

Navigating Next Steps After Service with Dan Savage
Navigating Next Steps After Service with Dan Savage
Join us for a chat with Dan Savage for the final episode of season 1. Dan is a West Point graduate and infantry officer veteran, earned his Masters in Public Policy from Harvard, and has more than a decade supporting veterans and service members with their career journeys post-service at Syracuse University, LinkedIn, and more. This interview is jam-packed with tips and resources that Dan shares about navigating life post-service, deciding the best path for you, the challenges of shifting identities, and so much more. Main Topics Dan’s introduction & background (0:26) Exploring future military & career goals while on active duty, decision to separate to attend grad school (3:26) Experience being lost during personal transition turned to working with veterans during transition from service & tackling issue of underemployment (6:51) Resources & tips for where to start when you aren’t sure what you want to do post-service, networking on LinkedIn (14:56) Honing the art of storytelling based on self-reflection for admissions & career search, tying your experiences to your future goals (27:16) Challenges with identity changes that arise during transition (31:13) Tips for translating military experience to civilian equivalencies (34:23) Connecting with others during the job search & the concept of “people like us,” deciding which parts of your background are relevant in different situations (38:52) Getting a feel for who you want to spend your time with at school or career (48:30) Key takeaways & final tips (56:50) Additional Resources Emerging Evidence About Transition Employment Support The Lion Tracker's Guide To Life Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life People Like Us Do Things Like This article Power of LinkedIn's Search Feature Veterati Listen, rate, and subscribe! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
01:03:30
November 22, 2022
Serving Together Beyond the Military with Gus Giacoman
Serving Together Beyond the Military with Gus Giacoman
On today’s episode, we chat with Service to School co-founder, Gus Giacoman. Gus is a graduate of West Point, earned his MBA from NYU Stern, currently works as a business management consultant, and the current chairman of Service to School’s Board of Directors. Gus shares about how friendships built at West Point and mutual passions to continue serving after the military led to the foundation of Service to School and the work we do today, supporting veterans and service members with college admissions. Main Topics Gus’s introduction & background (0:26) Origins of Service to School, establishing camaraderie at West Point (1:25) Service together beyond the military, value of education among co-founders (7:12) Making the connection to college admissions & higher ed, importance of matching peer backgrounds for support (10:11) Biggest evolutions & growth of Service to School (14:35) Translating service experience for college admissions officers & the VetLink addendum(18:02) Biggest hurdles veterans face in college admissions (20:50) Vision of the future of S2S, working to solve under-matching among veterans applying to college (27:54) Gus’s advice for veterans and service members considering higher education (33:00) Listen, rate, and subscribe! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
36:25
November 15, 2022
Rolling from Army Diesel Mechanic to Princeton University with Taehwan Kim
Rolling from Army Diesel Mechanic to Princeton University with Taehwan Kim
Today we are joined by Service to School veteran applicant, Taehwan Kim. Tae is a veteran of the US Army, international and first generation college student, and most recently admitted student at Princeton University. Tae brings a unique perspective to the conversation as we discuss how a desire for financial education and stability while living in a new country away from home led to joining the military and applying to top schools as a community college transfer, ultimately being accepted to his dream school of Princeton. Main Topics Tae’s introduction & background (0:25) Adjusting to U.S. culture, starting school in Minnesota, and transitioning to the Army (4:18) Working as a diesel mechanic in the Army, decision to transition from military & apply to college (7:40) Unique experience with a pipeline to the Army for foreign students to enlist, leveraging community college prior to enlistment (10:08) Decision to pursue economics in college, drive for financial security (13:41) Finding Service to School & building out a college list, making the connection with an S2S Ambassador & the benefits of peer-to-peer mentorship (17:25) Academic boost in confidence to aim higher & apply to more college (20:08) Celebrating acceptance letters & evaluating admissions packages, ultimate decision to attend Princeton University (21:46) Experience sharing the acceptance news with family & friends (24:59) Sharing veteran experiences & role in helping to shape the application process for future veterans on the Common App Student Advisory Board (28:08) Advice for enlisted service members considering college (29:08) Most excited about starting at Princeton (30:33) Additional Resources Warrior Scholar Project Common App  Evaluating College Fit Listen, rate, and subscribe! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
33:23
November 08, 2022
Supporting the Student Veteran with The University of Chicago & Villanova University
Supporting the Student Veteran with The University of Chicago & Villanova University
We dive in today for a great discussion about supporting student veterans with colleagues from two of our VetLink partner institutions - Mike Brown, the Director of the Office of Veterans & Military Service Members at Villanova University, and Beau Butts, the Exec Director of Veterans Initiatives, Programs, and Services at the University of Chicago (UChicago). We chat about the ways both institutions have invested in supporting veterans from the admissions process and built communities that foster inclusion during their time on campus. From creating veteran-specific applications and flexible admissions timelines to robust veteran centers and leveraging alumni networks, this conversation truly showcases what it means for colleges to be military inclusive. Main Topics Introductions (0:25) Supporting veterans in evaluating school fit & feeling supported on campus (5:11) Creation of a veteran-specific application, the benefits of a flexible admissions window for veterans & building relationships in the admissions process (6:35) Establishing a robust student veteran center, immersion in the campus community, launches veterans beyond through college & beyond (11:39) Centralizing veteran campus support, residential experiences designed to support veterans’ lifestyles (17:35) Leveraging veteran alumni networks to provide unique opportunities to expand experiences (24:38) Removing barriers to student veterans participating in internships, research, and career treks (30:04) Summer Business Institute at Villanova (37:31) What it means to be an alumni of an institution & how the community extends beyond graduation (41:49) Gaps in the space of supporting student veterans in higher education (50:43) Final advice on applying to college as a veteran or service member (58:08) Additional Resources Veteran Admissions at Villanova University Veteran Admissions at the University of Chicago  Summer Business Institute at Villanova Veterans Achieving Goals at UChicago Listen, rate, and subscribe! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
01:02:52
November 01, 2022
From the Sea to Brown University with Terren Wise
From the Sea to Brown University with Terren Wise
In today’s episode, we sit down for an inspirational conversation with Service to School applicant Terren Wise. Terren is a US Navy veteran, community college transfer student, and current student at Brown University. We talk about trying new things & gaining new experiences, reflecting on life passions, leveraging community college courses to strengthen your application package, perseverance through rejections to stay true to yourself and much more!  Main Topics Terren’s introduction & background (0:25) Jumping from human resources & marketing at the University of Minnesota to the Navy Nuclear Program (2:59) Rigors of Navy nuclear program schooling (5:02) Decision to leave the Navy to find & better himself, starting over after the military & handling others questioning the decision (7:29) Selecting first round of schools to apply to & the humbling experience of receiving rejections, taking a step back to re-evaluate next steps at community college (11:20) Finding Service to School & Warrior Scholar Project, leveraging resources to acclimate back into the college classroom (13:41) Re-visiting the admissions process, reflecting career passions, exploring new schools & degree possibilities (15:47) Applying post-military experiences at community college to current studies & goals, leaning into the self-journey (18:55) Most surprising parts of writing the admissions essays, joys & benefits of sharing your true self in your essays (22:43) When the hard work pays off & acceptance letters arrive (27:04) Working through the Brown University military application, importance of discussing school-specific financial aid options directly with your college, colleges investing in military student success (29:06) Tips & recommendations for service members & veterans applying soon or actively in the admissions process (33:47) Looking forward to new classes & experiences at Brown University, parts of the application process that was most surprising (36:41) Additional Resources Brown University Veteran Admissions Veteran Benefit Support at Brown University The Research Experience for Veteran Undergraduates at Yale University Listen, rate, and subscribe! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
42:45
October 25, 2022
Grad School Test Prep with Jeff Miller
Grad School Test Prep with Jeff Miller
Today’s episode is all about GRE & GMAT test prep for graduate school admissions with test prep professional, Jeff Miller. Jeff is the COO of GMAT & GRE Instruction at Target Test Prep. Jeff brings 13+ years of experience in GMAT & GRE prep to the conversation and provides practical tips & advice for approaching graduate school testing with confidence. Dive in with us as we chat about evaluating test options, creating a test prep plan for success, and more! Main Topics Jeff’s introduction & background (0:25) GMAT vs GRE when your program accepts both, determining which test is the best fit for applicants (4:05) Study tips for MBA admissions tests (8:55) Best timing for studying for the GMAT/GRE, downfalls to prepping too early before the test (13:31) Giving yourself enough time to prep for your tests (15:48) Flexibility in testing multiple times, leveraging your best test scores in your admissions package (17:38) Importance of test scores on applicant success in the admissions process (20:08) Preparing for the GMAT & GRE, Target Test Prep options & prep philosophy models (24:10) Self-studying timeline (27:21) Most common myths/misconceptions among applicants (31:12) Key takeaways for prospective GMAT/GRE test takers (35:22) Additional Resources Target Test Prep  GMAT vs GRE: Verbal Section Discount for Target Test Prep services when you sign up for MBA Admissions Support with Service to School Listen, rate, and subscribe! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
40:33
October 18, 2022
Commitment to Veterans with Princeton University
Commitment to Veterans with Princeton University
Today’s episode we are joined by two of our admissions colleagues from Princeton University - Alex Bustin, Senior Associate Dean & Director of Transfer and Military/Veteran Admissions, and Dr. Keith Shaw, Director of Transfer, Veteran, and Non-traditional Student Programs. This rich conversation hones in on Princeton’s support of the veteran population through the admissions process and the time on campus. We talk about understanding the unique circumstances student veterans face during college & meeting them where they’re at in life, designing policies and procedures to help veterans succeed on campus, promoting academic goals through community formation, and more! Main Topics Alex introduction & background (1:08) Keith background & introduction of the Emma Bloomberg Center at Princeton (4:51) Early evaluation of student veterans, the support they need on campus, and military-friendly vs military-inclusive (6:52) Changes over the years for recruiting student veterans (11:39) Importance of an individualized approach to connecting with potential applicants  (15:27) Working with veterans in higher ed when you haven’t served, imposter syndrome among both admissions officers and veteran applicants, trusting shared experiences for improved collaboration (20:35) Providing support to student veterans, benefits of co-curricular programs to acclimate new student veterans to campus, creating a social & intellectual community to support one another (24:36) Navigating adapting student life policies for veterans, role of student veteran influence and advocacy for policy change, balancing the wide spectrum of student veteran needs on campus (30:22) Financially investing in veteran success (38:50) Advice for prospective students, current students, and higher ed colleagues (45:03) Additional Resources Princeton Veterans Admissions From U.S. Military to Princeton Undergraduate Student Veteran Benefits at Princeton Listen, rate, and subscribe! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
55:39
October 11, 2022
Service to School Founding with Anna Ivey
Service to School Founding with Anna Ivey
Today’s episode highlights the core of Service to School’s foundation and the impact that supporting veterans through college admissions has on our community. We’re joined today by Service to School co-founder, Anna Ivey. Anna is a former film finance lawyer as well as Dean of Admissions at The University of Chicago Law School, two-time author and currently running an education technology startup. Anna has more than a decade of experience supporting veterans on their journey through college admissions and brings a deep understanding of the higher education landscape. Main Topics Anna’s introduction (0:27) Anna’s background in higher education & how supporting veterans led to the start of Service to School (1:41) Crossing path with co-founders (6:53) Vision of Service to School’s peer-to-peer model (7:30) Bridging the gap for veterans & admissions officers by establishing the VetLink partnership program (11:08) Reflecting on barriers that keep veterans from applying to colleges & changes to bring veterans into the college ecosystem (17:46) Importance of supporting veterans in evaluating school options & determining what the best school is for them (22:10) Building up the confidence in Veterans applying to college & the core support of our Ambassador network (26:02) Collaborative network supporting veterans (31:13) Importance & value of veterans contributing by bringing new, unique experiences to the college classroom (33:28) Looking forward on the future of Service to School & the evolution of supporting veteran applicants (36:48) Anna’s final advice for veteran applicants (46:54) Additional Resources Anna Ivey Consulting How to Prepare a Standout College Application The Ivey Guide to Law School Admissions Inline Coach Listen, rate, and subscribe! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
50:18
October 04, 2022
Test Optional Admissions with Bowdoin & George Washington University
Test Optional Admissions with Bowdoin & George Washington University
Today’s episode explores a hot college admissions topic - test-optional policies. We sat down with Ryan Ricciardi, Associate Dean of Admissions at Bowdoin College, and Benjamin Toll, Dean of Admissions in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at George Washington University. We chat about different opportunities to showcase your strengths to an admissions committee without standardized test scores, the importance of being reflective in the application process to align your educational & experiential goals, institutional priorities that have driven test-optional policies, and so much more. This interview is jam packed with deep insights from 2 admissions colleagues who have a combined 20+ years of experience working with test-optional admissions! Main Topics Introduction to test-optional landscape (0:26) Ryan & Ben introductions & backgrounds (2:10) What a holistic application review looks like (5:07) Self-selecting out, components of a strong application with a gap in education (11:00) When to submit a test score & when not to (16:43) Parts of the admissions process you can control, what you want admissions committees to know about you (20:00) Coursework to demonstrate academic aptitude in your application (25:45) Leveraging letters of recommendation & selecting recommenders to strengthen your application (29:03) What makes a strong applicant for each institution (36:14) Advice for applicants applying to college & considering applying test-optional (45:06) Additional Resources Bowdoin College  Bowdoin Test Optional Policy  George Washington University George Washington Test Optional Policy Listen, rate, subscribe & follow! Spotify Apple Podcasts Amazon Music Service to School Website Sign up for Admissions Support Events Calendar Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
48:59
September 27, 2022
Navy to Yale Law School with Hillary Browning
Navy to Yale Law School with Hillary Browning
Today’s episode takes listeners on the journey of today’s guest, Hillary Browning, from the Navy to Yale Law School. Hillary is an enlisted Navy Veteran, an Eli Whitney scholar, Yale University graduate, first generation college student and most recently the first female enlisted Veteran admitted to Yale Law School. We talk about the ups and downs of the college & law school admissions processes, take a deep dive into Hillary’s experiences with being waitlisted & re-applying, owning her Veteran background and more. Main Topics Hillary’s introduction & background (1:00) Joining the US Navy (1:42) Experiences & education while Active Duty (5:52) Transitioning from the military & decision to apply to college (9:44) Transfer application requirements lessons learned (12:25) Finding Service to School for application support (14:45) Evaluating school fit & overcoming imposter syndrome when applying to highly selective schools (17:48) Finding community on-campus as an undergraduate in the Eli Whitney program at Yale University (22:57) Decision to go to law school, being waitlisted & applying as a Veteran (26:16) Owning your Veteran identity in your applications & translating it into an academic environment (29:32) Service to School support for law school admissions & importance of the diversity statement (35:12) New approaches when re-applying to law school after being waitlisted (37:41) A look back at the biggest lessons learned through application processes & look forward to Yale Law School (45:52) Additional Resources Yale Veteran Admissions: https://admissions.yale.edu/veterans Eli Whitney Program: https://admissions.yale.edu/eli-whitney Listen, rate, and subscribe! Website: https://service2school.org Sign up for Admissions Support: https://service2school.org/sign-up/ Events Calendar: https://service2school.org/events/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ServiceToSchool Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/service2school/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Service2School LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/service-2-school/ YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMffWcJ1oHL3tIIxYkS_RDA
50:24
September 20, 2022