Student veterans join the Master of Science in Information Systems program with diverse skillsets and leadership expertise. They bring a unique perspective to the classroom and find success in some of the tech industry’s most sought-after sectors.
In honor of Veteran’s Day, we asked current MSIS student, Whitney Miller, about the impact of her military experience on her MSIS journey.
Miller always knew that she wanted to pursue a master’s degree to continue to work on big data, owning data products and business decisions within her current and future positions. As she explored degree options, she found MSIS’ emphasis on empowering students to be impactful both personally and professionally.
For me, deciding to pursue my MSIS was one of the ways I felt I could gain the experience and challenge to become a better leader.”
Leading By Example
In the classroom, Miller shares her unique perspective with her peers and seeks ways to deepen her leadership acumen. She sites IT and Organizational Strategy with Ming Fan, Professor of Information Systems, as one of her favorite courses so far:
There were so many positive learning experiences participating in the class discussions. Outside of the readings and papers, teams presented research on a company in the industry. This brought out passionate thoughts on topics such as ethics, bias, identity, and diversity. Being with a class full of people willing to participate, engage, and consider different points of view on those types of subjects was a great experience.”
Leveraging Her Military Skills to Bring Balance
Miller’s experience in the military gave her the confidence and acumen to break down complex strategical tasks and remain intentional, available, and reliable. She consistently leverages these skills as she balances the MSIS program and her full-time job.
While in the service we were often given seemingly insurmountable tasks that had to be broken down to find strategies to accomplish a successful mission. That meant following through on being physically and mentally present. There are already concepts and tasks in MSIS that have been challenging…being present for those tasks makes the difference. Being able to focus on the bigger picture and realizing the impact of my decisions has been vital to juggling MSIS and my full-time job, while also being available to my family and friends.”
Investing In Yourself and Your Future
Miller often credits the support and community she found within the military as a catalyst for her future. As she separated from the military, she leaned on the support of leaders to give her the confidence to invest in herself and take the next steps in her future career. “Investing in myself and finding ways to have that positive impact on the lives around me has been a constant reflection on where I am, where I am going, and where I want to be.”
To others considering a similar transition, she shares insightful words of advice:
Seek out opportunities to reinforce humility, challenge yourself, and focus on long-term personal growth. Be willing to take those steps, be willing to fail, and take yourself out of your comfort zone.”
The MSIS team is proud to be a part of the journey for student veterans like Whitney Miller. We thank her and all student veterans for her service and the unique perspective she continues to bring to the classroom. We look forward to seeing her continued impact throughout MSIS and beyond!