Student Spotlight 2022: Marnela Guevara, U.S. Air Force

Tell us about yourself.

I’m originally from the Philippines and was raised there until I was 17. I’m a flight attendant on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, but I worked in human resources for the first three years of my career. I enlisted in the military because I always wanted to attend college and accomplish getting a degree that I am passionate about. As an immigrant, it wasn’t an easy path to kickstart. The military afforded me the opportunity to work full-time and attend college for free. A fun fact about myself is that I’m an amateur photographer. 

What was your educational background prior to attending WSP, and which of our courses did you attend?

Before attending WSP at Princeton University, I earned an associate’s degree in human resource management, aviation operations, and business administration. I’m currently working on my bachelor’s degree in accounting through Pennsylvania State University.

Why did you decide to participate in WSP this summer, and was there a shift in your confidence level from the first day of the course to the last day?

Switching my focus from the service to becoming a full-time college student has been daunting — I hadn’t been in a full-time academic setting for several years. I was searching for a supportive network of veterans pursuing higher education as their next journey. Most of the information posted on WSP’s website resonated with what I had been looking for. 

My confidence level on the final day emanated from the belonging that we had among each other in the cohort. We found clarity in what was misunderstood and validation of what we felt we were unworthy of. An experience such as this instills confidence in any individual. 

What were some key insights you gained during your courses, and what is your biggest takeaway? 

The most important thing I learned was that students should make themselves familiar with the resources their universities offer for success and validation. Other key insights I gained were understanding imposter syndrome, embracing my new self, and allowing myself to commit mistakes. 

In one word, how would you describe your overall experience?


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