The Office of Career Services hosted a panel Friday exploring military careers, where current graduate students with military experience advised students considering entering the service.
The panel was followed by a reception, allowing students to meet, talk to panelists, and ask further questions. The panelists included graduate students who have served in the Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy, and Army.
The event was well-attended and attracted men and women spanning a range of ages and backgrounds, from freshmen to National Security Fellows, members of the military participating in a year-long fellowship at Harvard.
Attendees of the event were provided with copies of a new pamphlet created to provide advice to students considering military service. The publication was produced by members of Crimson Serves, an organization of military veterans at Harvard that aims to connect students with resources regarding military service.
“It was helpful to hear from somebody who’d been in my shoes before,” said Andrew J. Taylor, a student at the Harvard Extension School who is intending to join the military after graduating.
Though the panel came at a time of increasing rapprochement between Harvard and the military, who have historically had a tense relationship with one another, event organizer Nancy Saunders, the director of undergraduate career programming and advising, said that the panel has been offered for a number of years. Along with the pamphlet, Saunders said Friday’s panel was part of OCS’s established efforts to connect students with career opportunities.
“While ROTC students have already made a decision to serve there are also other undergraduates who will consider the military as a starting point in their careers,” Saunders wrote in an email to The Crimson. “We try to respond to all trends in student career interests and develop corresponding programs, like Friday’s, where we bring together alumni and graduate students with undergraduates to share information.”
Christian A. Rivera ’13 said that he is interested in serving in the military but is not involved in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. “No-one really expects Ivy Leaguers to go into the military,” Rivera said, adding that he wants to serve his country.
He explained that he was interested in going to graduate school to study law and that he hoped he could combine his military and legal interests in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, the legal branch of the military.
The panelists stressed that while military service is not for everybody, it can offer a great deal for the right sort of individual.
“We’re here to help you guys think through whether this is for you or not,” said Erik Malmstrom, an Army veteran and one of the panelists.
—Staff writer Aisling H. Crane can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.