Student Spotlight 2023: Bailey Steele, U.S. Navy

Tell us about yourself.

I am from Los Angeles, California, and served in the United States Navy as an Aegis Fire Controlman. I joined the Navy because my father was an electrical technician on submarines and instilled in me the values that would lend to my success in the Navy later in my life. Leaving high school, I knew I wanted to get on a career path immediately and enlisted a week after my 18th birthday. A fun fact about me is that I represent The American Legion at the Los Angeles City Council.

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

Before attending WSP’s humanities and business course at Syracuse University, I obtained my associate’s in business management. I will be attending Syracuse Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs this spring all thanks to WSP!

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?

As a policy and public affairs novice within the veteran space, it was especially important to me to “scope out” a university with many programs that cater to veterans and the military-affiliated.

Before joining WSP at Syracuse, I had minimal confidence in myself as a student in many aspects. Returning to education after 6 years of service, I felt that I lacked the study, time management, and organizational skills necessary to keep up with my academics.

Through WSP’s humanities course and the supportive professors, I’m happy to report newfound confidence as a student and looking forward to more intensive levels of education. WSP’s Business course was another matter entirely. Being surrounded by so many veterans in business reinforced my confidence in my future endeavors. I’m extremely optimistic about my academic future and want to pursue a Master’s after my Bachelor’s degree.

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

The key to successful entrepreneurship is bringing your most authentic self forward in your endeavors. Authenticity and self-awareness were recurring themes throughout the program, Dr. Mike Hayne said it best: “It is more important to know who you are rather than where you are going.”

I was challenged to think about who I am as an individual and how creating meaning can lead to success. I believe this could be applied to not only entrepreneurship but academics as well. Knowing oneself and maintaining meaningful engagement in classes will lead to academic success.

How would you describe your overall experience?

Transformative! The overall experience offered new perspectives, opportunities, and relationships that made me believe I could be good enough for top-tier universities.

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