Michael Howen '14
After attending an open house at the Temecula regional campus, Michael Howen ’14 knew the University of Redlands was the right school for him.
“I felt that the School of Business had relevant applications to all areas of work I may find myself in in the future,” he said. “I started using skills I learned in class right away.”
Howen, a native of Oakland, California, enlisted in the United States Army in 2004 at the age of 19, and plans on finishing his final year of service by the fall of this year.
“I entered the U.S. Army as a paratrooper to contribute to the effort overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “Military service is a family tradition and I count myself fortunate to be a part of an organization that has done so much for me.”
Howen says that it wasn’t until he started courses that he really committed himself to finishing, and is proud to now have his bachelor’s degree in management from the School of Business.
“There are several online colleges and larger institutions that target military members to solicit their services, but Redlands maintains a reputation for good reason: quality staff members, a rich history, and a solid business program,” he said. “I wanted to graduate from an institution with a reputation of quality. I truly enjoyed my time at Redlands and want to thank all my professors for their contributions and the staff for helping me stay with school despite frequent military assignments. That help made the difference.”
Now living on the East Coast and assigned to a unit providing support for operations overseas, Howen plans on attending graduate school, focusing on human resources so he can eventually become an HR business partner.
“I want to continue a lifelong learning process that was encouraged from my time at Redlands,” he said. “I feel like I never really stop learning. I’d like to tell those people on the fence about going back to school, military or not, to make the commitment. Start small, one class at a time, and you will find the time if you stay committed and don’t lose sight of your dream. High school experiences years ago are not a predictor of success in the future. Don’t be intimidated.”
Howen has experienced the life-changing benefits of a degree, and wants other military members to do the same.
“A college degree not only signifies accomplishment, but it represents so much more; a learning process that shouldn’t end after high school,” he said. “Soldiers can learn more about themselves, develop more skills to tackle challenges at work and at home, and are better prepared to give back to the community, one of the principle reasons we enlist. As a military leader, a college degree helps to lead more effectively, make better decisions, and more closely understand one’s junior soldiers. Junior soldiers deserve that level of leadership from their NCOs.”
Posted: May 19, 2014
Written by: Catherine Garcia