by David Labrie
David Labrie, a graduate of the MPA program, shared this testimonial of his experience at UNH Manchester. "I retired from the Army and Army National Guard as a Major with 24 years and 10 months of total service. I served approximately 12 years on active duty and 12 years as a traditional Guardsman. My branch is Field Artillery and I had three deployments serving two 1 ½ year tours in Afghanistan and one 1 year tour in Iraq. I was medically retired from active duty while on my second deployment to Afghanistan. I would have to say that the professors at UNH Manchester are top notch.
Having selected a Masters of Public Administration it was nice to see that the faculty had real world experience in Public Administration -- ranging from local government to state government. This varied knowledge base helped me focus on where I wanted to go after obtaining my degree.
The most rewarding aspect of my student experience at UNH Manchester was the small class size and the networking and contacts I was able to create just by attending classes and getting to know my fellow students. Class sizes were small and everyone was willing to help if you asked for help clarifying an idea or theory. In addition the majority of my classmates were working adults (working in local and state government as well as non-profits) thus were able to bring in real world experiences which helped bring theory into practice.
The only advice I would have to say to new veterans attending UNH Manchester is to attack school like you would your military career. Invest the time in doing the reading and homework. Ask for help if you’re struggling -- there is always someone willing to lend a hand. Finally, don’t bite off more than you can chew. Start off slowly if you haven’t been in school for a while, it may take you a bit to develop your study habits and get into a routine. Finally, you need to take some time for yourself and your family. You’re not doing this alone -- if you have a family don’t ignore them. You have to make time for them just as much as you have to make time for study, and work."
The story was originally published in spring 2013.
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