“There’s something about going back to school and pushing yourself to grow your knowledge base that sends you from being where you are now to where you want to be.”
Online MBA, Class of 2021
Officer, United States Army
If you told Taler Brazell back in high school that she was going to join the military, she probably wouldn’t have believed you. Now she flies Black Hawks as a pilot in the U.S. Army.
A star student athlete, Brazell was approached by several college tennis scouts, including one from West Point. She ended up visiting the campus and fell in love.
“I like to push myself to work hard, form bonds, and really care for people,” she said. “That’s what I saw at West Point. The bonus of being able to serve my country was cool, because I was always big into community service. It was a perfect fit.”
Brazell hasn’t slowed down since graduating from West Point in 2017. After attending officer school at Fort Sam Houston in Texas, she headed straight to Alabama for flight school at Fort Rucker, where she officially became a helicopter pilot. She then jumped into a new role as section leader for the medevac unit at Fort Riley in Kansas.
There’s No Time Like the Present
It was when Brazell was getting ready to head to Romania for a series of medevac field exercises with her regiment that she decided to apply for graduate school.
“After flight school, I felt like I needed to push myself and grow in a different way. Especially being junior in my position, I saw the MBA as a route to continue learning as a leader and a student.”
Although she was about to be out of the country fora few months, she wasn’t going to let the logistics prevent her from attaining her goal.
“I thought, ‘Maybe I should just wait until I get more settled.’ But at the end of the day I was like, ‘You know what? That is probably never going to happen, and we’ll just make it work and find a way.’”
She spent a month researching accredited MBA programs that would fit her schedule and lifestyle as an active-duty pilot—and that would allow her to enroll quickly without having to navigate a cumbersome admissions process.