Incoming student veteran Brandon Wilson served in the United States Navy for eight years, making stops in Japan, Thailand and Australia.
“I have a unique perspective from having been exposed to so many different cultures around the world,” Wilson explained, noting his affable, open-minded nature.
His global experience, he said, will make it easy for him to assimilate into the Northeastern student body, approximately 13 percent of which is international. As the criminal justice major put it, “I’m looking forward to being part of different social groups in a nonmilitary environment.”
Wilson participated in a roundtable discussion among a dozen student veterans on Thursday afternoon in the Curry Student Center as part of the university’s orientation program for new students. The meet and greet followed an hourlong event focusing on financial planning for incoming veterans.
The federal government’s Yellow Ribbon Program, which operates in conjunction with the Department of Veterans Affairs, currently provides free tuition to roughly 120 Northeastern student veterans who have served in the post-9/11 era. A change in the program’s funding structure will enable Northeastern to enroll as many as 252 student veterans beginning this fall.
Michael Trudeau, a political science major and the current president of Northeastern’s Student Veterans Organization, attended the orientation session to introduce himself to the university’s new class of student veterans.
Prior to the event, the U.S. Navy veteran noted the variety of university organizations and activities that are available to the newcomers. “Our mission,” he said, “is to bring veterans together to build a social network that will ultimately help them achieve great success.”
The SVO, he added, “provides an outlet for veterans to come together in a familiar environment to share stories and get the most out of the Northeastern experience.”
The university is committed to helping veterans ease the transition from military to collegiate life. Northeastern’s Career Services office, for example, which has received best-in-the-nation accolades from The Princeton Review, held a springtime resume-writing workshops for student veterans. In the future, the workshop will likely take place at least once per semester.
Maria Stein, the university’s director of career services, singled out student veterans for bringing expert communication and multitasking skills to the workplace.
“Student veterans have proven their leadership in very stressful situations and by performing under pressure,” she explained in a recent interview. “They have a very strong work ethic.”