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A successful juggling act

Army soldier exemplifies how to balance the home, career and school aspects of life

SSG Valery Forchu is currently obtaining his Master’s degree in human resources management from JBLM’s Brandman University campus. Photo courtesy SSG Valery Forchu

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The paradox of balancing work, school and home life is not a new concept -- the demands of one affect the outcome of the others, creating a vortex of stress and frustration. Thankfully, the same principle applies to success; perseverance in these areas leads to a positive synergy that undoubtedly contributes to a better quality of life.

For inspiration on this front, look to SSG Valery Forchu, who successfully balances a military career as an Army recruiter with his pursuit of a Master's degree at Brandman University's JBLM campus. Serving as "the link between the civilian population and the Army," Forchu's job duties of evaluating applicants, conducting interviews, and qualifying applicants for enlistments is paving the way for his future civilian career path in human resources.

"I am pursuing a Master's degree in Human Resources Management and a post-graduate diploma in Health Administration," relayed Forchu. "The main reason I chose this field was because it has a positive job outlook once I leave the Army. Market research shows that human resource management is the field of study that almost guarantees you employment upon graduation."

A major motivator behind Forchu's dedication to attaining his degree are the countless veterans who suffer unemployment after service and contribution to their country. "When I move around town, I see lots of veterans that are struggling to make ends meet," Forchu explained. "Some are homeless and this is a rather unfortunate reality. I try to help out, but also use this opportunity to find out what brought them to their predicament. Their answer is usually regretting: not using the education benefits they had while in active-duty, such as tuition assistance, in order to get some sort of education or trade."

Forchu's quest for educational achievement has also been inspired by circumstances from his upbringing. "I originate from the Equatorial region of Central Africa (Republic of Cameroon) where higher education is for the rich. In my family, higher education was more of a dream than a right. I am now achieving my dreams through Brandman University, and I would encourage every soldier seeking quality education to consider Brandman."

Brandman's JBLM campus offers services rooted in convenience and understanding of the military lifestyle, making it Forchu's collegiate choice. "The (Brandman) campus has set themselves above the competition because they are all about what makes the soldier succeed. They are aware that soldiers don't have time, and most of their on-campus classes are after work hours -- making it perfect for soldiers to attend school hitch-free."

Everyone has specific challenges in life that can act as obstacles on the way to the metaphorical finish line. For Valery Forchu, these everyday obligations serve as incentives for personal success and dream pursuit. For his fellow soldiers, he offers words of encouragement: "I would encourage them to make a commitment to improve themselves. Education is not everything but it guarantees you the key to success. They should use their time wisely and I want to assure them that it will pay off enormously," he advised. "I am a soldier 24 hours a day, a full-time dad, and I also take care of my sick mother. If I can do it, I think everyone can do it."

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