A few weeks ago, we rounded up the Minnesota School of Business-Online (MSB) division’s Top Stories in 2013. In that post, we asked you for suggestions on what you’d like to hear about during 2014, and we ended up with some really great suggestions!
One of those story suggestions was to profile more of our military students. As one of the top military friendly colleges in the state, we instantly thought the idea would be perfect! So, sharing the story of his success both in the military and the classroom, we’d like to introduce you to current criminal justice program student and Army Staff Sergeant, Jeff Kloss.
What branch of the military are you in? Rank? How long have you served?
Army, Staff Sgt. (E-6), 16.5 years, all active duty
Who or what inspired you to pursue your degree?
I decided last summer that I am in a time in my career that I can handle college and the Army, and it is the only other thing that I don’t have on my promotion file to jump ahead of my peers in order to get promoted. I figured if I was going to go that track, it would also help me when I retire in 3.5 years to move back in to the civilian sector again.
What are some ways you balance your time between your military duties and your education? Any special tips for other active duty service members?
I sacrifice a lot of time with family and friends to do my college work. Sometimes, if I am really short on time, I forego the gym. All I have to say to my fellow comrades out there is that if I can do it, you can do it. I am taking 16-20 hours per quarter, depending on what I am doing for training at the time, and I still find time for it. I have a wife and two teenagers that I am also finding time for. MSB offers way too much to us to not get your schooling done here. Take advantage of what you work so hard for—it’s there for the taking, but it’s up to you to go and get it!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years, career wise? 10 years?
I really can’t predict what I will be doing outside the Army when I retire which is still 3.5 years out. I do have a cabin near a lake that I will be retiring at for sure. I’ll be 38 years old at my first retirement. I have a lot of options available to me, especially with a Bachelor’s of Science in Criminal Justice, and I’ll be a 20 year veteran that has 17 of those 20 as a military police officer. I thought a lot about working on Camp Ripley, a local sheriff or even a state trooper. Too many options out there to be picking right now. I’ll worry more about that when I drop my retirement packet a year out from then.
If you’re a current (or former) service member who’d like to share their story of how you balance your military and student life, please feel free to email me, Serena at email@example.com. Sharing your story could help other military students find their very own work-life balance!