Valarie Austin Podcast

Valarie Austin Portrait

Military Service is In Her Blood

Valarie Austin Ep. 70 - Military service of this West Point graduate is in her blood. Her great-grandparents were Bahamian immigrants with a legacy of military service. Valarie R. Austin is a 1987 graduate of "the Academy"; that is, the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York. Congress established this service academy for the Army in 1802. As the first service academy, many regards it as the flagship school for military leadership development. West Point, however, did not admit women until 1980. In 1987, LTC Valarie Austin graduated West Point with a bachelor’s degree in Military Science and Leadership. In her distinguished career, Valarie also taught leadership and military science as a Reserved Officer Training Corps program instructor in the military service. In this fast-paced interview, Retired Lieutenant Colonel Valarie R. Austin shares her life lessons on achieving four college degrees and serving in a combat zone while living in a Middle Eastern country with different cultural expectations for "women."

Top Takeaways:

  • The United States culture of giving women freedom as compared to other cultures that limit women
  • How to determine the career path you want to follow and then choose the best-suited school for that
  • Why you need to have a passion for a subject when writing a nonfiction book
  • Utilizing Google extensively to get credible information that helps you better understand your subject as a writer

Listen in to learn the process of writing a nonfictional book and doing self-publication.

"Writing has to be a passion. It’s not necessarily about the author, it’s the audience. My audience is high school students and college bound, who I truly hope to help, inform and give guidance. This is what I have learned, in my experience and what I hope I can impart to you, to help you going through your college journey or your career selection.” -Retired Lieutenant Colonel Valarie R. Austin

CAREER AS MILITARY OFFICER

In her interview, Valarie Austin discusses her career as a military officer as well as life-after her military service, in particular, pursuing her passion for writing and publishing; speaking to throngs of high school students (and parents) about making smart and informed decisions regarding college, college costs and student loan debt; the difference between an industry, a career and an occupation; and so much more! There is something for everyone in this highly informative and entertaining interview.

Valarie has resided and/or travelled across the globe. In that time, she has attended, graduated, and acquired college degrees from four different schools, including USMA and the University of Maryland-College Park.

From personal experience, she has unique, valubale insights into staying and graduating from college. Valarie is also an accomplished speaker in particular she conducts Career & College Readiness Workshops for high school students and their parents.

She retired after 20+ years of military service as a lieutenant colonel and earned a total of four college degrees, including an associate’s, two bachelor’s, and a master’s degree, along the way. In her military career, she was also a ROTC instructor who taught leadership and military science. Through her book and leading career/college workshops, Valarie loves speaking about and sharing with young adults the necessary discipline, skills and knowledge to successfully graduate from college on time into a fulfilling career.

VALARIE AUSTIN - AUTHOR

Are you unsure if college is for you? Do you wonder if you are prepared? Do you know when and how you should start saving for college? Are you confused about which college to attend? How do you choose a major which best fits your interests?  Valarie is the author of The Student’s Comprehensive Guide For College & Other Life Lessons, a career and college readiness book, which is available on our SHOP page.

In her non-fiction book, Valarie discusses career and college readiness, choosing the right major, making smart financial decisions and other topics pertinent to life inside and outside of the classroom. The book's ideal audience includes high school, college bound and current college students. Valarie has unique insights about selecting careers and navigating college from her experience of attending, graduating, and acquiring four college degrees from four different schools. She gives tough practical advice to guide high school, college-bound and current college students about the discipline, skills, and knowledge necessary to successfully graduate on time. The book is a comprehensive study aid and college guide that students will read before college, read while in college, and pass along to friends and family who may attend college later.

AFFIATIONS

She also is a member of Toastmasters International, the Maryland Career Development Association and holds the position of Member-At-Large with the Maryland Writers' Association.

Learn the importance of researching the occupation you want as a career in the industry of your choice.

Key Moments:

Valarie Austin explains how growing up in a family with a sense of community influenced her to choose a career in military service [2:27]

She talks about her educational background before and during her military career, plus the lessons she learned about women freedom in the US [7:23]

The education advancement milestones Valarie made when in active duty and after she retired [11:05]

She talks about her book ‘The Student Comprehensive Guide for College and Other Life Lessons’ and where to find it [20:45]

Why it is important for the parent to read a book with their child to be in synergy [23:48]

The process of writing a nonfiction book and how to approach self-publishing [25:10]

How to gather information online and at the library to better understand the book writing world [36:01]

Valarie gives us a peek into her second book which is a continuation of her first book for students [40:06]

She advises young people to pursue an occupation within an industry they want to get into by first researching [43:41]

RESOURCES

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