When Kyle Grant retired from the military in 2014, he was more motivated than ever to complete his education. He immediately started taking classes at Kingsborough College, where he completed his associate degree, and then transferred to John Jay for his bachelor’s in Security Management. After earning his BS in the spring, he is now pursuing a dual-degree in Public Policy and Protection Management, with a specialty in Emergency Management.
During the day, Grant works a full-time job as a Security Manager at First Data, one of the nation’s leading credit card processing companies. At night, he commutes to campus, where he is currently enrolled in five courses. During rare moments of free time, he can be found in the Veteran’s Services Office, waiting for his next class to begin. “What I’m doing is not for everybody,” he said. “But it’s because of my dedication that I’m finding a way to get it done.”
Part of Grant’s voracious drive to complete his education comes from the fact that he doesn’t see himself as a typical college student. He has two children: an 18 month old daughter, and a son who just turned 13. “I feel like I need to catch up,” he said. “I like to say I’m behind the power curve. I’m 34 and my goal is to get all of this done by my 35th birthday.”
But while Grant may seem like a non-traditional student, his background isn’t entirely unique—at least not at John Jay. The College has one of the largest veteran student populations of any CUNY senior college with over 500 veteran students enrolled. In addition to a robust set of services and supports for veteran students, John Jay also offers a variety of graduate degree programs online, making it possible for those with multiple obligations to complete their education and achieve their dreams.
“John Jay isn’t an Ivy League, but we’re leading the way,” said Grant. “The education here is flexible—it’s challenging, but it’s something that the everyday person can do.”
Grant has earned various certifications since being enrolled at John Jay, but it’s his graduate degree’s focus on emergency management that he believes will prepare him for leadership in his career. “All corporations need someone to plan for the ‘what if?’ Emergency planning is what you need when disaster strikes,” Grant said.
Grant’s drive also comes from knowing that the job market can be extremely competitive, and that his degree will put him at the top of applicant pools. “I’m going to stand out,” he said. “I won’t leave any room for a potential employer to even consider someone else.”
About the MPA/MS in Public Policy and Protection Management: John Jay College’s MPA/MS dual-degree program in Public Policy and Protection Management prepares students for careers in planning, designing, managing, evaluating and operating protection and emergency management systems in public, private, commercial and residential settings. Learn how to apply here.