Arthur Milhomens (B’24) on How the Military Helped Build Confidence and Resilience as a First Generation Student at Georgetown McDonough
Our veterans represent a significant part of the Georgetown McDonough community and hail from every branch and role within the United States military. They have honed valuable skills in leadership and conflict resolution through their unique experiences that create a great path forward to a successful career in business.
Arthur Milhomens (B’24) came to Georgetown as a first generation student ready to use the skills he learned in the military to excel in his undergraduate program. Through challenges faced during his time of service, Milhomens knows how to confront any obstacle with confidence, and he recognizes the importance of failure to learn perseverance and tenacity – skills that he continues to lean on as he pursues his educational goals.
Learn more about Milhomens’ experience on the Hilltop and how his time of service continues to shape who he is today both in and out of the classroom.
Why did you choose to pursue your undergraduate degree at Georgetown McDonough?
Georgetown is perfectly positioned in terms of its geographic location and high-caliber education. Being in Washington, D.C., provides access to previously established government and military networks, and attending Georgetown McDonough gives me an extremely comprehensive education and connection to a highly diverse and successful professional network. Additionally, my sister attended McDonough, and I wanted to continue the family tradition and legacy. We are the first generation to complete a higher education degree in our family.
How did your experience as a veteran prepare you for your time at Georgetown and your postgraduate career?
My time in the military taught me many things, but above all, professionalism, resilience, and confidence. Having previously managed a full-time high-pressure job trained me how to properly time manage and effectively communicate with my peers and professors. Learning that failure is an opportunity instead of a curse, I approach all obstacles knowing I am capable and should I fail, I learn the lesson and get back up again. Georgetown also can be an intimidating place, especially for first-generation college students, and some of the toughest challenges I faced in the military gave me the confidence to reassure myself I belong here and I am capable.
What would you like people to know about the life of a student veteran?
Being a student veteran is difficult. It can be complicated to build friendships, join clubs, or attend traditional campus events. As older undergraduate students, we may live off campus and juggle additional jobs. I am tremendously grateful to Georgetown’s Student Veterans Association (GUSVA), which connected me to students that have gone through similar experiences as myself and allowed me to find a group I can truly connect to on campus. GUSVA also works with other clubs at Georgetown and assists with events throughout the D.C. area, which allows me to continue my service through volunteer work while also meeting new people and having new experiences along the way.
What is one of the most important lessons you have learned while at Georgetown?
One of the most important lessons Georgetown has taught me so far is to always stay curious. The environment at Georgetown, especially at McDonough, is rich with information and knowledge and invites you to always want to learn more. The professors have tangible experiences and the stories and lessons they share are as informative as the lectures they present. It would be a disservice to myself to not take advantage of all of the information they are willing – and happy – to share.
What advice would you give to veterans who are thinking about pursuing a college/graduate-level education?
I would tell my fellow veterans that they are completely capable of pursuing and excelling in a higher education environment. It is going to be a lot of hard work, though we are no strangers to it. It will challenge you in ways that are very different than the strain of military service, but the reward is immensely satisfying. It can be nerve-racking to start a brand new experience, especially when the military is so ordered and the path is preordained, but in the uncomfortable is where we grow. Nothing that you’ll encounter during higher education is impossible, and the challenges you’ve already faced have prepared you to overcome any obstacle.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with the Georgetown community?
Student veterans are people, just like everyone else. We also are nervous about upcoming exams or ensuring we ace that presentation, so feel free to connect as you would with any other friend or peer – we’re probably hoping that you do.