Bradley Junior Sworn Into U.S. Navy and Rest of Education Paid For

October 12, 2021

Imagine being a first-semester junior in college and already having a full-time job secured after graduation. Now, imagine it's your dream job with the U.S. Navy. That's the reality for Mitchell Thiel.

Thiel knew he wanted to join the armed forces with a civil engineering degree since his senior year of high school. "I chose this path to use my degree in a beneficial way by helping others," he said.

After a lengthy, two-year application process to join the Naval Civil Engineering Corps (CEC) program, a process made up of interviews, paperwork and various tests, a recruiter told Thiel he was one of nine individuals selected from across the country. "That's when all my hard work paid off."

This fall, at Bradley's Fall Job and Internship Fair, his excitement for his future post grew after meeting with a CEC representative who shared his own experiences building schools in Ecuador. Along with building schools, Thiel's duties will include traveling to third-world countries to help build dams and other infrastructure projects.

Thiel is now an official member of the U.S. Navy; his service begins once he graduates. His swearing-in ceremony was held recently at Bradley's Business and Engineering Convergence Center, a place where Thiel has spent hours studying and making college memories.

For now, the program is counting on him to stay in shape and keep his grades up, two things to which Thiel has no trouble committing. The program will pay for the remaining portion of his education needed to achieve his bachelor's degree.

"After waiting so long, it feels amazing to finally be in a program I wanted to be in from the start," said Thiel. "It's a sigh of relief that I have a job after college and I no longer have to stress about that. It is a huge honor to be selected for this prestigious program. I am so greatly appreciative of my friends Kate Hampton, Becky Rose, Talia Elliott, Jenna Schilling, Luke Schreiner, and Alex Kuscsik who have helped me along the way."