Thomas Rouan

Thomas Rouan

Going to Norwich means you are actively choosing to excel beyond the academic standards of many other colleges to sharpen your leadership toolset.

Q: "Tell us about yourself." 
A: "I have a blessed life. I've been married to my beautiful wife for 22 years. We have three wonderful children. It's amazing how fast time passes because they aren't technically children anymore. Watching them grow, and feeding into their lives, has been the greatest honor of my life. Spending time with them at the beach, gym, or soccer field is where I find the most enjoyment. Beyond that, my Christian faith centers my identity. I am the Director of Metrology Services at Unified Industries Incorporated (UII). UII is a Department of Defense contractor with strong ties to the Navy's Strategic Systems Program. Before my current position, I served 14 years in the U.S. Air Force, where I found my passion for Defense work, and another seven years in the tech sector."

Q: "What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?" 
A: "About five years into my career in the tech sector, I realized I was experiencing little personal fulfillment daily. I knew my heart was with the military and needed a professional realignment. Norwich's National Security Studies program was the obvious choice to provide me the avenue back into the Defense industry."

Q: "What are your future professional plans?" 
A: "As a relatively young executive, I hope to continue finding opportunities to advance me into a VP position within my company within the next few years. I definitely won't navigate outside of the Defense Sector again. The relationships are organic, and everyone seems to understand the unwritten language of selflessness, integrity, and dedication to our great country."  

Q: "Why did you choose Norwich?" 
A: "A degree from Norwich speaks for itself in the military community. Holding a degree from a Senior Military College carries weight. It's an ironic story but speaks volumes about Norwich's reputation for producing outstanding leaders in the workforce. Shortly after I graduated, I applied for my current position. The very first comment made in my interview was: 'I see you graduated Summa Cum Laude from Norwich.' The rest was history!"

Q: "Did you have any uncertainties with choosing an online program?" 
A: "Going to school online was a great fit for me. As a full-time employee, husband, and father, I needed a flexible program to accommodate my busy life. As flexible as the program was, it was structured so that I had no trouble interpreting any of the instructions. This program maximized my ability to take the initiative and confidently jump into all my assignments."  

Q: "Prior to beginning your courses, what were some of your expectations for an online degree program?" 
A: "Admittingly, it had been "a few" years since I had attended college, so I was apprehensive about my ability to write comprehensive papers within the proper style and guidelines. My first class was with Professor Martin McMahon. He was integral in bringing me back up to speed quickly. He was one of many Subject Matter Experts that guided my Norwich experience. In the end, I had a few moments that tested my time management skills. However, much of my stress was self-inflicted as I was driven to perform at the highest level possible."

Q: "What advice would you give future students enrolling in one of Norwich's online programs?" 
A: "Going to school takes commitment. Going to Norwich means you are actively choosing to excel beyond the academic standards of many other colleges to sharpen your leadership toolset. Dedicating the appropriate amount of time is paramount to a successful journey at Norwich. To accomplish it takes constant reflection on the broader goal. Sometimes, I had to make concessions on my personal time, but for me, the payoff was immediate and quantifiable."

Q: "How do you plan to use your degree in your career?" 
A: "My degree has already paid dividends for my career. The leadership opportunities will only continue to grow, and hopefully, I can use my experiences to help influence the next generation of leaders."

Q: "What has been your biggest personal or professional success since starting your coursework?" 
A: "I already touched on it in another response, but my Norwich degree helped propel me into my current position. Working with SSP is an absolute pleasure, and I'm thankful for it."

Q: "Please tell us about a time you could put your knowledge gained in the classroom to work immediately at your job." 
A: "I recently wrote a whitepaper used as the cornerstone of a business proposal. Ironically, I received good news about that potential partnership about five minutes before I answered this question. Before my Norwich experience, I would have never realized that potential."

Q: "What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?" 
A: "Norwich allowed me to realize I enjoy the academic environment. Multiple professors suggested that I should contemplate becoming a professor, as well. I love helping people accomplish their goals and providing perspective based on my experiences. So, it's definitely on the 5-10 year plan. Who knows, maybe Norwich will have room in their facility for me?"