Passion to Lead Others Drives Me to Achieve My Best

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Active duty Online MBA graduate in military uniform on beach.

My passion to lead and compete with and amongst others has led me to achieve my personal best and grow. I grew up in a competitive environment, participating in sports from a young age. This instilled discipline in me, and I developed a passion for being part of a team. I learned to pursue the best version of myself, and set goals for my future. My passion for being a team member, a leader and the best version of myself has helped me succeed in all aspects of my life, including playing college soccer, thriving academically and becoming a military professional.

I grew up with family members who were in the military and displayed pride, professionalism and a passion for their country and putting others first. They served as my role models, and their behavior was very admirable to me. BE, KNOW, DO. These are the basic components of a leader. Although I have my own personal goals and passions, and I am different from my family members, I learned that anyone can learn to lead. Being a leader to seniors, peers and subordinates alike and setting an example for others to follow and emulate is all about doing the right thing even when no one is watching.

By following by passions and working hard at my goals, I was awarded my battalion’s and brigade’s Best Warrior Competition 2022 U.S. Army Reserve Non-Commissioned Officer of the Year. This experience and achievement taught me that when we reach outside of our comfort zones, we can find new passions and succeed at new goals. We are often told as kids to chase our dreams and pursue whatever we want, but we get so focused on expectations from our friends, family and society. I always say I’m still a kid and growing each day, and this keeps me grounded to my roots and the drive to chase my dreams. But I also know how important it is to try new things no matter what others may think. My passion continues to stem from my aspiration to push others past their comfort zones and to never forget to push themselves to constantly improve and evolve.

During my time in the military, I always wanted to pursue higher education. I never thought I would complete an MBA program, as my only goal at the time was only to complete my bachelor’s degree. Just 1year after I graduated my main go always to focus on completing a higher-level degree to prove to myself and others that I was capable of more in my academic career. I chose the Washington State University Online MBA program, a program outside my comfort zone, different than my counterparts in the infantry and outside of fitness and health. As a full-time member of the military, it is not an easy feat by any means to earn an MBA during field training exercises, juggling planning, operations, daily meetings and ensuring other service members meet their professional requirements. But at the end of the day, the drive to continue my journey, fulfill my passion, to continue to exceed standards. Washington State University faculty and staff, my unit and mentors played an integral role in my ability to accomplish my goal.

Today I now have new goals stemming from my passion to continue to lead, mentor and coach. I stay in contact with the WSU veterans staff, recently completed the WSU Cougar Leadership Certificate Program and mentor others to never forget what they were passionate about when they were a kid. Never forget, never grow up, and never stop learning! GO COUGS!

By #CougaMBAssador Jeremy Dornbusch 

WSU Online MBA student Jeremy Dornbusch