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Meet Spenser Hicks

Spenser Hicks Profile Image for Outcomes StoryWLC Class Of: 2015

Major: Adult Accelerated Program - Business Management and Leadership

Current Occupation: Project Manager at Infinite Energy Construction, Inc.

After graduating high school, Spenser Hicks wanted to enlist in the military. His mother wanted him to attend one year of college prior to enlisting, so Spenser enrolled at Wisconsin Lutheran College in 2008. One year later he enlisted in the Air Force. At the end of his enlistment, he felt called to complete his undergraduate degree and enrolled in WLC’s adult accelerated degree program in 2014.

  • Were you prepared for the transition from the Air Force back to civilian life?

    “This was a very quick transition for me; I left my last duty station in July 2014, moved to Wisconsin the same month, and began taking classes at WLC in September 2014. I seriously enjoyed my education experience there and the people I met. Being in class with other adults who had already been through many life experiences immensely helped with my transition! I would have been hard pressed to spend so much time with kids straight out of high school.”

    What did you learn about yourself during your time at WLC?

    I laughed when responding to this question, but I learned that I needed to soften my perspective and response to the “civilians” in the workplace. Just because my troops did what I said when I said it doesn’t mean that same approach works in the real world. The professionals around me have much more experience than I coming straight out of the military, into college, then into the workforce.

    Have you applied your coursework to your civilian life?

    The Business Management and Leadership program coursework proved to be extremely applicable. The homework was not just busy work but, from my perspective, expertly chosen to prepare students for tasks they would face in their various career choices. For example, I am a project manager at a construction company and daily use the skills I learned from numerous assignments I was instructed to complete. 

    Can you imagine a big moment you hope WLC has prepared you for?

    Yes. I am pursuing being selected to attend Air Force Officer Training School. There are lots of officers in the military but surprisingly not that many leaders. If selected, the servant leadership concentration of the entire Business Management and Leadership program will be something that I will rely on to lead my subordinates to success. It will be the cornerstone of my personal leadership credo.

    What advice would you give to fellow veterans regarding going back to school?

    In general, pick a school and a program that will highlight the leadership skills you learned while in the military, because regardless of your career path, the soft skills of leadership are the hardest to learn but some of the most sought-after attributes by an employer. Also, pick a program and school that will accentuate your personality; this will help with your transition. And again, an adult program helps to place you around like-minded individuals.