Veteran Spotlight – Umer Ahktar

By Aaron Preston   , , , , , , No comments

Umer Ahktar headshot at Texas Wesleyan University.

Tell us a little bit about your job in the military.

My job in the military was a weapons technician, I performed services to ensure weapons are always ready when needed.

What is one skill you acquired or sharpened in the military? How has that translated positively into your civilian or academic life?

One of the things that I acquired in the military is believing in myself and persevering through hard times, and to keep getting back up no matter how many times life knocks you down.

This has helped in my pursuit of education and everyday life as I will not give up on the goals I want to achieve.

<b>What are you studying and what are your professional goals? Did your time in the service influence those decisions?

I am currently a junior studying computer science and I want to be a software engineer, my time in the service was doing something technical so I think it helps in what I am studying.

How has coronavirus impacted your studies and how have you responded, or what are you doing differently?

With the Covid-19, my studies became harder in some ways like I had trouble grasping material. It mostly impacted my face to face interaction with my professors, going to office hours etc.

The transition to

online was a bit difficult at first as some of the classes I was taking weren’t offered online due to the material, but I was able to get through them.

I had to spend more time self studying and looking over the materials which was a good thing in the end, as self studying efficiently is a good skill to have in college.

What is your best tip for new veterans navigating their education benefits?

The best advice I can give to veterans transitioning into utilizing their education benefits is that you are not alone.

There are many resources available to help you on this journey of self improvement and getting an education.

I had to use tutoring to get past courses that were needed to keep progressing in my degree plan, I bought that up to my VA counselor and she was able to help me get tutoring with Parliament Tutors which helped me tremendously and got me through some of the harder courses.

So make sure that you reach out if you need help and do not be afraid of courses that seem daunting and make you not major in something due to the courses required.

Lastly, make sure you are actually interested in what you are studying and just keep going!