This episode features Jennifer Leong-Luik, a 2004 graduate from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. In this episode, you’ll learn how Jen’s desire to get out of Chicago combined with a drive for financial freedom and an interest in service led her to choose the Academy; and how her openness and willingness to listen to those around her guided her on a path that informed her decision to join the pistol team, pursue a Operations Research and Computer Analysis major, pursue a position in Alaska, and ultimately start her own defense contracting company. Enjoy the show!
KEY TOPICS OF DISCUSSION:
- Being a second generation Chinese immigrant.
- Looking for a way to go to college that would make her financially independent.
- Attending the Naval Academy Preparatory School.
- Choosing to transition out of the military and feeling the sense of freedom to make her own decisions.
- The power of really listening to others.
- Can you tell everyone where you’re from? What school you went to and when you graduated?
- Can you give everyone 1-2 lines about who you are?
1:28 PART I:
- What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the U.S. Coast Guard Academy?
- What about the Coast Guard specifically seemed so different to you compared to the other services?
- Growing up as a second generation Chinese immigrant.
- Getting rejected by the AIM program at the Academy.
10:00 PART II:
- Applying to be part of the class of 2003 and getting outright rejected.
- Having a terrible interview.
- Wanting to give up with her pursuit of the Academy, but then receiving a letter from NAPS.
- What was your experience like going to NAPS?
19:40 PART III:
- How did you handle being yelled at and told what to do?
- The benefits she experienced by going to NAPS before the Academy.
- How did SWAB summer go for you?
- If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one word, what would it be?
- Choosing Operations Research as her major.
29:30 PART IV:
- What are some of the highlights and most memorable moments of your time at the Academy?
- Joining the pistol team on a dare.
- Hanging out with the restricted cadets to play Mah Jongg.
- Did your parents come out to visit?
- Tell me about some of your lowlights at the Academy.
38:00 PART V:
- Tell me a little bit about your life post-graduation.
- Getting an offer for a civilian job and deciding to leave active duty.
- Learning to make a decision based on what she wants to do.
- Dabbling with the idea of owning her own company.
51:00 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:
- Deciding to leave her current job to open her own business.
- What’s next for you?
- How do you currently feel about your decision to attend an Academy?
- Do you have any parting words for listeners? Perhaps a key message to your fellow Service Academy sisters?
- What’s one random fun fact about you?
- Where can people reach you?
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