It’s mid-morning on the Virginia Beach ECPI University campus, and students are trickling into the first-floor meeting space, filling coffee cups and choosing donuts from the sign-in table. The crowd works its way up to roughly 25 students before the Virginia Beach chapter of the Student Veterans of America (SVA) starts their meeting.
Today the SVA is gathering in between classes to hear from a special speaker – two-time ECPI University alum and NAVY veteran, Susan King. Susan works for NAF Human Resources in Norfolk, a quick drive from the Virginia Beach campus. Once a frequent guest speaker, Susan hasn’t been on-site since her office went remote for COVID in 2020. She’s excited to be back.
“ECPI University is like my second home,” Susan told the current student veterans, after SVA leadership called the meeting to order. “When I got out of the military, I had 14 years of experience but no degree. So I talked to ECPI on a Friday, and signed up for classes on a Monday.”
She was able to use a portion of her military experience for some transfer credits, and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in just 18 months.
Susan was hired as a contractor, but didn’t enjoy the uncertainty of contract employment. She was laid off twice because of contract issues. Frustrated with those options, Susan headed back to school, this time for a graduate degree.
The straight-A student and full-time employee was able to earn her next ECPI University degree, an MBA, in 2018.
At the morning SVA meeting, Susan’s story resonated with the students. She spoke to a captive audience giving important tips on resume building, how to apply for government jobs, what to include on their application and how (and where!) to network.
Now with NAF for almost five years, Susan has everything she ever wanted in a career – fulfillment.
“You know that saying, ‘if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life?’ Well, that’s me. Everything I’ve learned from ECPI and the outside world has gotten me to where I am now.”