12:27 PM

Military-Veteran Services Center helps student Jeff Owens write success story

Military-Veteran Services Center helps student Jeff Owens write success story

By Bill Wax, Director of Communications

Madison, Wisconsin, native Jeff Owens credits Bellevue University and the University’s Military-Veterans Services Center (MVSC) with helping him land his dream job assignment in Texas. Owens and his wife, Sandy, and their daughter made the move in mid-March, and he reported to his new job assignment at Fort Worth Naval Air Station on March 23.

[caption id="attachment_1448" width="300"]Jeff Owens Sean McC 300ppi Jeff Owens, right, with MVSC Manager Sean McCollum[/caption]

Owens served five years in the U.S. Air Force, including an overseas deployment following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. His regular duty station was Offutt Air Force Base, and he and Sandy decided to remain in the area after he completed active duty in 2005. The couple lived in Bellevue. He worked as a civilian firefighter at Offutt, and she served as an officer in the Nebraska National Guard.

In 2014, at his wife’s recommendation, Owens enrolled in Bellevue University’s online B.S. in Emergency Management degree program. Sandy, a double alum, earned a B.S. in Healthcare Management and a Master of Public Administration degree from the University. After enrolling, took advantage of the career and counseling resources available at the University’s Military-Veteran Services Center. “In August, I came to the Center for assistance with my resume. Sean McCollum (MVSC manager) spent a lot of time helping me,” Owens recalled. “We put my resume up on the projector screen and ripped it apart and revised it from the ground up. It helped tremendously.”

Owens began submitting the revised resume with applications for first-responder jobs in Texas. “We love the area and had always dreamed of living there,” he recalled. Not long afterward, the Fire Chief of the Fort Worth Naval Air Station called, Owens interviewed, and after his references checked out, he was offered a firefighter job. “The Chief told me later that my resume, work background, and college transcripts got me the job,” Owens said. “It all has to come together.”

McCollum said stories like the Owens’ are gratifying to the MVSC staff. “We like seeing our guys succeed,” he said.

Owens plans to complete his coursework on July 18th. The couple is looking forward to the arrival of their second child, a son to be named Jace, on July 22nd. “That's the great thing about Bellevue University; life still goes on and you need to prepare for it,” Owens said.