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The Monterey Institute was recently named one of the Top Military Friendly Schools in the country according to the Web site G.I. Jobs, earning its spot for, among other things, scholarships for veterans, participation in the Yellow Ribbon Program and flexibility of academic programs to accommodate veteran and current service members and their spouses. 

But there are other factors to consider, as Marcos Medina (MAIPS ´12), one of the founders of the Monterey Institute Veterans Organization, points out.  For one thing, the student body at the Monterey Institute is made up of people with a wide range of experiences, of all different ages and from numerous countries and so for many Vets, “it becomes easier to fit in.“ For many, however, the best part about the graduate program at the Monterey Institute is the opportunity to develop marketable, practical skills.  Marcos started his studies at the University of California, Berkeley immediately after finishing active duty.  Although he liked his chosen subject of political economy, he soon started to worry where that degree would take him.  At a career fair in San Francisco he met Monterey Institute recruiters Devin Luedekke and Rob Horgan, and discovered that “it felt like MIIS would be the perfect fit for me, and it has been.“ 

Marcos is currently in the new Nonproliferation and Terrorism Studies program, and is spearheading the MIIS Veterans Organization, founded in March of last year. The group intends to host events and to search for opportunities for increased cooperation with the military schools in the area, the Naval Postgraduate School and the Defense Language Institute. “We also hope to help each other get through the difficult transition to civilian life, make everyone aware of the services offered to us in the area and encourage each other to share experiences in the classroom“ says Marcos, adding that talking about those experiences in class is a great way to connect the dots—exactly what graduate school is all about.

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Jason Warburg

Eva Gudbergsdottir