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My Journey Has Begun

July 26, 2018 by Christina Lowhorn
Christina Lowhorn
A participant in the Bush Institute's Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program reflects on her time in the program so far.

Last July, I turned 33. The age itself is not all that significant except that the number 33 is one of my favorites. On my birthday, I promised myself that this year was going to be different -- I was going to say yes when opportunities came knocking.

It started by representing my employer Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company on a panel during the Mid-Ohio Women’s Veterans Conference. Through my participation, I learned that many of the frustrations I had felt during my corporate transition were universal. Then, I was given the opportunity to participate on Senator Rob Portman’s Academy Nomination Board and join the leadership team of the Military Associate Resource Group at Nationwide Insurance. It was the beginning of a reconnection with my community - the Veteran community. Then, about 96 hours before the deadline, I heard about the Bush Institute's inaugural Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program (VLP) and a surge of emotion came over me. I knew I had to apply.

From the moment I was selected to attend the program, I had a sneaking suspicion that this experience was going to be life-changing. Two modules into the Stand-To VLP and I have not been disappointed. There are only a few times in my life that I’ve felt as humbled, excited, challenged, and supported as I have during this program. Throughout the sessions, three major themes have emerged:

Commit. My realization is that everyone, even the best leaders, face inner doubts. We are all just people after all. Through this program, I’ve been inspired to push beyond those feelings of insecurity in order to share my story and vision with the world.

Participate. I joined the Navy to serve our country and felt isolated from service during my transition. This program has reminded me that there are countless opportunities to make a difference post military service - no uniform required. The nation is counting on its citizens, especially Veterans, to serve their communities in a positive and impactful way.

Communicate. The most powerful conversations have centered on principles, values, and connection. During sessions, leaders candidly shared their greatest challenges, difficult decisions, and advice. As a result of these sessions, I have challenged myself to better understand and communicate my values on a daily basis.

As my thirty-fourth birthday quickly approaches, I’m reminded of the decision that I made one short year ago. This year, particularly my involvement with the Bush Institute, has changed the trajectory of my life. Though I’m not sure exactly where I will make the greatest impact, one thing is certain: my journey has begun.

Christina Lowhorn is one of 33 individuals selected to participate in the first class of the Bush Institute’s Stand-To Veteran Leadership Program. She is currently a senior consultant in business development at Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. Through Stand-To, Christina hopes to develop an online community in order to help more veterans successfully navigate and transition to corporate America like herself. Next month, she'll join the class in Seattle for module 3 of the Stand-To program. 


Author

Christina  Lowhorn
Christina Lowhorn

Christina K. Lowhorn is the Veteran Small Business Manager on the Military and Veterans Affairs (MVA) Office at JP Morgan Chase.

Through Stand-To, Christina is launching Corporate Distillery, a Facebook page that provides straightforward, actionable, and fact-based content designed to help veterans understand corporate America and succeed post-placement.

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