When you register with Mission43 and select "Education", Alison Garrow is the friendly voice on the other end of the line who calls, often within the same day, to connect and learn about your interests and career goals. She has talked to hundreds of veterans and spouses to help match them with a degree program offered at one of six partner universities. Over the past two years, she has become an expert at helping our members use their education benefits and help them get academic credit for all that they have already accomplished.
We sat down with Alison to help you learn more about her and her lessons learned as the Veteran and Service Member Liaison at Guild Education.
Interesting fact: Alison was hired by Guild Education after signing up for Mission43 and working with Hire Heroes USA to find her next career!
What did you do in the military?
According to my resumé, I was a mentor, educator, asset manager, and keeper of classified documents, but most would say “pointy-head.” I was an avionics systems technician on the greatest fighter in the Air Force, the F15E.
How did you end up in Idaho?
Mountain Home AFB was my first duty station. I fell in love with Idaho then, and when my husband had the chance to choose a follow-on base, Idaho was the first pick! This state has so much to offer, and we plan on retiring here.
Favorite place to eat in Idaho?
Izumi in Meridian - their sushi is the best!
What is your role with Guild Education?
I’m the Veteran and Service Member Liaison with Guild; I have the incredible opportunity to speak with veterans, service members, and spouses that need guidance in finding a quality, flexible education program. If you need to know what your options are, what programs fit certain career fields, how you can best maximize military credits and benefits, or simply where to start, that’s what I’m here for!
Most rewarding moment working with the M43 community?
Wow, this is a tough question! It’s so hard to pick out one moment. On a daily basis, I get to assist truly inspiring members of the military community in reaching their education goals - every day is rewarding! If I HAVE to narrow it down, I would say the most rewarding moment is when I check in with a student and hear that not only are they enjoying the degree program, but they’re THRIVING, putting what they’re learning to work, and credit much of their success in the program to their Success Advisor for being there and helping them overcome some of the hurdles that naturally come up when going to college. To me, this is 100% why we’re here, and proof that the Veteran community can use the tools available to them and overcome statistically low graduation rates.
What is your biggest take-away from your experience serving the M43 community?
I have a couple of takeaways here. Military members and veterans are commonly aware that they receive credit for military training, but it’s up to each university in allocation and allotment of credit. You deserve credit for your training and leadership experience! We have programs specifically designed to make the most of your military experience! Secondly, those that quietly serve - the military spouses - are often unaware of the benefits available to them and sadly, end up being taken advantage of in many private universities. Portable education from quality private colleges doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Guild works with universities that extend their military discount to spouses as well!
What would you recommend to those thinking about going back to school?
Don’t let past experiences define your future education. From academic forgiveness to top-ranked programs, you have options! Whether you’re thinking about returning to college or attending for the first time, the first step is often the biggest hurdle. You don’t have to take that step alone. Rely on your support system, explore your options, and don’t be afraid to ask for assistance!
If you want to learn more about Guild Education and the online degree programs offered for Mission43 members, you can contact Alison directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.