This episode features Ann Holder, a 1989 graduate from the U.S. Military Academy. In this episode, you’ll learn how a comment that was made to Ann at a young age sent her on a mission to attend a federal service academy; what it was like to be a woman at West Point in the ‘80’s; how Ann navigated the many challenges she faced at the Academy, some of which made her question whether or not she wanted to continue on; and how ultimately – while she’s grateful to have graduated from West Point – her decision to leave the military allowed her to tap into her entrepreneurial spirit while also building a family. Enjoy the show!
KEY TOPICS OF DISCUSSION:
- Being a woman applying to the Academy in the 1980’s
- Not getting a nomination to her number one choice of Federal Service Academies
- Having a challenging first year at the Academy
- Struggling with test anxiety
- Deciding to leave the military earlier than expected
- Embracing entrepreneurship
- 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?
2:03 PART I:
- What made you choose a Service Academy – and what made you specifically choose the U.S. Military Academy?
- What was it about the Academies and the military that hooked you?
- If you wanted to fly, what was the goal if you were going to attend West Point?
- Did you visit West Point before you went there?
15:00 PART II:
- Arriving on campus for the first time for R-Day.
- Struggling with her hair.
- Managing homesickness during her first summer.
- What was the transition like going into the academic year?
- Wanting to leave the Academy.
25:26 PART III:
- If you had to sum up your time at the Academy in one word, what would it be?
- What were some of the highlights of your time at the Academy?
- What were some of the challenges you faced at the Academy during your last year?
37:50 PART IV:
- As you approached graduation, what was the plan?
- Getting sent to Germany and her involvement in the Gulf War.
- Having a baby while her husband was deployed.
44:40 PART V:
- Did you decide to stay in the military or did you decide to get out?
- Making the decision to leave the military.
- Moving through different corporate jobs at General Mills, M&M-Mars, and Pepsi.
54:00 CONCLUDING THOUGHTS:
- How do you currently feel about your decision to attend an Academy?
- What’s next for you?
- 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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