Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty Years of Service to the Student

Alumni Update

2015 Grad Strives to Serve, Joins the Navy

Recent graduate Rolf Verhagen Metman (Photo Courtesy of Rolf Verhagen Metman)

Recent graduate Rolf Verhagen Metman (Photo Courtesy of Rolf Verhagen Metman)

Q: How have you been spending your time since graduating from K?

A: Since graduating from K I have started working at the Navy Nuclear Power Training Command in Charleston, South Carolina. I signed on in June and went to Officer Development School in October. I got to my command in December and have been working ever since.

Q: Can you tell me a little about what your position is and what it entails?

A: My job currently entails getting qualified to become a Nuclear Instructor at the Power School on base. The process of getting qualified essentially consists of taking several exams over a variety of topics, giving practice lectures, and doing a series of boards in which I have to explain subjects to my superiors in order to prove my knowledge.

Q: What inspired you to join the Navy? Did you consider any other job opportunities?

A: I joined the Navy because I wanted a job that guaranteed me responsibility, challenged me in my field of interest, and allowed me to serve something bigger than myself. I know that sounds like a recruitment advertisement, but so far I have found all of those criteria to have been met. I also considered a job for Teach For America in Chicago and a job with the Peace corps in Tanzania. Both alternatives were good choices, but the Navy just seemed like way too cool of an opportunity to miss out on.

Q: How have you been adjusting to life in Charleston, South Carolina? Is it radically different than Kalamazoo?

A: Life in Charleston has been great so far. It is a really fun city. It is very different from K.

Q: How applicable has your K education been to your position with the Navy?

A: I majored in chemistry and French at K and, to be honest, my job with the Navy is more math, physics, and engineering oriented. That being said, I think the education I received in the chemistry department at K allows me to understand certain topics on a different level than my engineer counterparts.

Q: How do you spend your time when you’re not at work?

 A: I have been trying to stay really active and have made an effort to explore as much of Charleston as possible. That being said, I think the most valuable thing I gained from K was the friends I made, and it has really sucked to have moved so far away from them. The caliber of those people is something rare.

Q: Can you tell me about some of your future plans? What’s next?

A: This question is hilarious because people just finished asking me that when I graduated and now they are asking it again! I have four years of active duty in Charleston and after that I really don’t know. There are several opportunities within the Navy I can laterally transfer into, or I can choose to separate from the Navy and find a job or use my G.I. bill to further my education. I like to think that my options will be open and that my time in Charleston will have been a good first step towards whatever path I choose.

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2015 Grad Strives to Serve, Joins the Navy