This episode features Deanna Franzen, a  2010 graduate from the U.S. Air Force Academy. In this episode, you’ll hear why Deanna pivoted away from a lifelong dream of owning a dance studio to instead developing a desire to serve and join the military; how a small mistake her first year at the Academy altered the trajectory of her entire career; and how she’s used her clarity and determination to find her dream job as a lawyer back in her home state of Texas. Enjoy the show!


  • Having a lifelong dream to own a dance studio
  • Being impacted by 9/11
  • Going to New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI)
  • Joining Mock Trial by mistake and changing her career path as a result
  • Becoming a Logistics Officer when that wasn’t what she wanted
  • Pivoting towards a career in law
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome 


  • 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?

1:38 PART I:

  • What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the U.S. Air Force Academy?
  • Being confronted by a teacher her senior year of high school about options after graduation.
  • Feeling behind the curve in applying to the Academies. 
  • Was there any military in your family?
  • Did you visit the Air Force Academy when you decided it was where you wanted to go?
  • Finding out she had a medical condition she wasn’t even aware of.
  • Having to go to NMMI.

8:30 PART II:

  • How did you feel about needing to go to NMMI?
  • What did you want to do post graduation when you were applying to the Academies?
  • What was it like at NMMI?
  • If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one world, what would it be?
  • How was your first day at the Academy?

18:28 PART III:

  • What happens when you enter the academic year? How does that go?
  • What are some of the highlights of your time at the Academy?
  • Getting involved in the mock trial club.

25:53 PART IV:

  • At what time did the focus shift from being involved in languages?
  • Other highlights of her time at the Academy.
  • Are there any major lowlights of your time at the Academy?
  • Dealing with imposter syndrome.

36:00 PART V:

  • Dealing with a difficult roommate.
  • How was life post-graduation?
  • Finding her way in the field of logistics.
  • Fulfilling her desire to serve.


  • Tell me the path to how you got to today as a lawyer.
  • Creating her own path to getting back to Texas and getting into law school.
  • 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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