AU People

AU People Garry Stratiev ’08 used his degree in business administration to get a job as a financial analyst after graduation. Although he quickly decided the career was not for him, he’s putting his education to good use in his new career: the U.S. Army. “I thought my job as a financial analyst was boring, (so) I did what I’ve wanted to do for the past eight years,” said Garry. “I applied for Army Officer Candidate School.” Now a second lieutenant in the Army’s Signal Corps, Garry did his basic training at Ft. Benning, GA, and received his commission in February 2009. “I am going through my branch specific training at Fort Gordon, GA.,” he says. Once he completes it in October, he will move to his permanent unit: The famed Stryker Brigade at Fort Lewis, WA, and will deploy to Iraq. Without his B.S. degree, though, Stratliev would not have been able to apply for Officer Candidate School. He’s using his AU education in his current assignment, which “involves developing a class that will make certain soldiers experts in an array of fields related to networking, communications security, satellite communications and repairs.” Although his job with the Army is “24/7,” it has its advantages. “We get to do a lot of cool stuff that normally civilians don’t have a chance to experience, or they pay big money for it,” he says. “Apart from the military, I love skydiving and skiing (can’t wait to get to Washington and hit the slopes when I get a chance).” Along with his academic background, Garry says he “developed strong bonds with professors and my close friends” during his years at Alfred. As a member of the A.E. Crandall Hook and Ladder Co., the village of Alfred’s volunteer fire department, Garry says he gained the leadership skills that help him as an Army officer. The advice Garry offers others: ”Enjoy the whole experience. Do anything you want, because you might not get a chance later. Do things you love, not because there is nothing else. There’s always something else.”