Alumni Testimonials

Jim Hartman

, Class of 2013
The skills that I honed at Norwich were useful in helping me lead an organization that teaches critical thinking.
Jim Hartman, Class of 2013

Q: “Where are you from, Jim?”
A: “I live in San Diego.”

Q: “Tell us a bit about your professional life.”
A: “I am a commander in the Navy. I am currently the executive officer of the Helicopter Maritime Strike Weapons School Pacific, a unit that provides tactical flight instruction to Navy strike helicopter squadrons around the Pacific Fleet. In addition to a career as a pilot, I have been fortunate to work as part of both German and Japanese units, and learn both languages.”

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”
A: “While studying at the Japanese War College in Tokyo, I was introduced to many topics of international relations. However, it was not a degree program and upon my return to the United States, I wanted to complete a formal degree program in international relations.”

Q: “Why did you choose Norwich and how did you learn about it?”
A: “Norwich is of course a well-known school, which I’ve known about since long ago. I learned about the Master of Arts in Diplomacy program from a colleague who completed the program a few years back. The Norwich program fit my needs quite well, both in terms of timing and subject matter.”

Q: “What makes Norwich unique?”
A: “Norwich has an established online model for graduate education. In particular, the format is friendly for working professionals. In my case, I often traveled to remote locations during my course, and taking time off from work was not an option. Therefore, I needed a program that did not demand constant internet access, or physical presence at any particular location. On the other hand, Norwich keeps the pace moving so that the degree can be completed in less than two years. This is important for working adults who need to fit the program into a certain time in their career.” 

Q: “Describe any memorable experiences with members of the Norwich community.”
A: “I remember the ‘mock trials’ from my international law class, during which student teams wrote up the opinions of plaintiffs, defendants, and judges. It was fun to collaborate in this with the other members of my cohort.” 

Q: “How have you grown personally or professionally as a result of your education?”
A: “Many years after graduating from college, I found it challenging to write academic papers again. The program gave me tools for mental discipline, and the work that I put into my diplomacy courses helped sharpen my critical thinking. In addition, I learned about an array of topics that I had not previously considered, from international law to the world’s response to East Timor. Completing the program while working full time required much effort in time management, and I am proud to have been able to pull it off.”

Q: “Have you used your recently gained knowledge in your work?”
A:  “My studies helped me to improve my writing and ability to form arguments, skills that I was immediately able to use on the job. My job involves teaching tactical planners how to incorporate more mental discipline in their planning. The skills that I honed at Norwich were useful in helping me lead an organization that teaches critical thinking.”

Q: “What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?”
A: “My studies at Norwich gave me a better sense of both the possibilities and the limitations that the international community faces in confronting challenges. Now more fully aware, I hope to help lead the international community in a positive direction.”