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Strome College of Business

Military Stories

Egan O'Reilly

Egan O'Reilly

Egan O'Reilly, an experienced active duty Army officer, currently serves as a Sub-Saharan Africa Foreign Affairs Officer and is completing his MBA while stationed in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania...

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Egan, a West Point graduate and ODU legacy, says when he considered his options for pursuing graduate education he looked for "a flexible program that would best accommodate my needs from afar." He found that in the ODU MBA program, saying "Despite routine travel, expected difficulties in developing countries, and raising two sons, ODU's MBA program has exceeded all of my expectations." The ODU MBA program is designed to be relevant to the purposes of its students. In Egan's words, "The military, especially for its officer corps, stresses thinking critically and analytically. What the MBA program provides is a versatile set of tools that further enables that endeavor." The MBA faculty and staff always enjoy seeing their students, especially those who rarely have the opportunity to come to the Norfolk campus based on their location. Likewise, Egan enjoys stopping by Strome when he has the opportunity to travel to the United States each year, and appreciates the "hospitality that has been shown" to him on those occasions, noting that "such interaction goes a long way to personalize the MBA experience."

Andrew Daly

Military background: Navy, active duty from 2003-2008. I graduated with a Business Management degree in 2013.

I picked ODU because it had a great reputation amongst my group of friends that had already separated from the military and were pursuing their education at ODU...

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I also had initial thoughts of finishing out my NCAA eligibility in baseball (assuming I could get on the team) and knew that ODU had a reputable program. This never happened as I chose to also work full time while pursuing my undergrad degree. I also chose ODU because my wife had graduated with a Masters in education from the university and had a great experience!

I hope to be a career managing director and wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual. I also want our firm to be known as having an internship program that propels students to their full potential while being seen as the premier firm for financial services. The growth of our sales force and the quality of our planning is paramount.

My educational path was difficult considering I worked 40 hours at HII while take a full course load at ODU. The biggest take away for me into the professional world was how to manage my time and be efficient. Every minute counts!

I speak somewhat regularly at the entrepreneur club and several of our recently graduated ODU alumni/ full time financial advisors speak to the finance club. Also, my office manager, Stephanie VanDyke is on the insurance board.

Dennis Harvey was a professor of mine while I was considering the transition to Northwestern Mutual from HII. I knew he was credentialed and experienced in the industry I was pursuing and it was his confidence in my ability and the industry as a whole that had a large impact on my confidence from the start. His insurance class gave me a great foundation to work from, but his openness and generosity was very impactful. He's a great man.

Daly recalls his fondest memory is graduation. He says It was a long hard road to finish my degree and was so proud to have finished it with ODU.

Andrew Daly

SCB Kay Brown

Kay Brown

I chose ODU because of the military presence on campus. We had an amazing group of NROTC instructors and the university welcomed all of the active duty Marines and sailors on campus to continue their education and gain a commission out of it...

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I was the president of the Semper Fi Society; a member of the ROTC choir; and a member of the ODU Dance Association.

I am a plant-based chef, urban farmer, and a dance fitness instructor. My [career] plans are to open a cafe with plant-based foods fit for every palate and I want to start a commercial garden that utilizes aeroponic towers. We would grow food to feed the community and supply the food for my cafe.

As a dancer, I learned to be versatile and flexible (no pun intended). Being held accountable by my professors [at ODU], my fellow dancers, and the audience (when we would perform) really made me stay more focused on the work in the studio and in the classroom.

All of my professors had a positive impact on my learning experience! I do have a special appreciation for Amanda Kinzer (former dance department director...she passed away last year) because she was the first person I met from the department that told me I could dance and that it could be my major! This meant a lot because I had never taken a ballet class (which is the foundation of the genres we studied in the department), and to start that type of training under her wing at the age of 26 was very scary. She noticed that I had the tenacity and drive (even though I was not a classically trained dancer). She was always giving great feedback and I believe that made me stronger as a dancer. Even after I graduated, she kept in touch with me and always wanted to know the latest and greatest with my military career and what I was doing in the dance community. She was truly a gem in the department and will/is greatly missed.

I loved the community. I still love the ODU community. I never felt out of place at ODU. I just have to say that my time there as an undergraduate student and active duty Marine was a great experience. I am especially excited now that I can still be involved with the university through the Strome Entrepreneurial Center and The Monarch Way store. It has come full circle and I am a proud Monarch Alumni.

David Setyon

Military background: Active duty Navy, 9 years. Undergrad was B.S. in English from the US Naval Academy in 2009

The ODU location was perfect for me and convenient! I was also able to utilize the hybrid program, where I could take classes on campus or online which is exactly what I wanted...

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It also allowed me to participate in more on campus events than a traditional distance learning student. AACSB accreditation was also an important factor.

My education at ODU has certainly helped with my management and analytical skills at work as a Naval Officer. I had some of the most knowledgeable professors, such as Dr. Ryan Klinger, Dr. Anil Nair, and Dr. Kiran Karande. Furthermore, having an MBA from a respected university is an enormous addition to my military record. I may stay in the military until retirement. However, if I do not, I certainly have the skill set to find private sector employment locally, perhaps in HR, Accounting, or Operations Management.

Strome exposed me to some of the most amazing opportunities, one being attending the Executive Advisory Council and having the opportunity to meet and learn from successful executives of global firms that have their headquarters locally.

David Setyon

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