Picture of Emilia Hamilton Owen Scholar

Emilia Hamilton

United States Marine Corps
MBA Candidate, Class of 2024
Owen Graduate School of Management

“We stood and continue to stand for something bigger than ourselves and I think that people can relate to that. As a mentor of fellow Vanderbilt students, I will give the same care and respect I gave to those I mentored in the service.”

Tell us about your military service. What did you do? Where did you serve? What do you value the most about your military service?

I served 5 years in the Marine Corps as a Flight Engineer on KC130Js, a midsized cargo transportation aircraft. I spent my first 2 years bouncing around the south east for training and then the next 2 in Iwakuni, Japan. For my last year I was stationed in sunny San Diego. I value most the growth, opportunities and relationships I experienced. I really honed my confidence, leadership abilities and a perseverance. I had the opportunity to travel the world, execute critical missions and make an impact. The relationships I forged, I will cherish and maintain for the rest of my life.

What are your thoughts on mentoring other students while at Vanderbilt? As a role model, what values do you want to share?

I pride myself in being open and approachable. As a mentor in the military, I gave my mentees everything I had to offer that would help them grow and succeed. As a student at Vanderbilt, I would love to extend this offer to others. As a role model I practice what I preach. I believe in hard work, honesty and collaboration. Though I am in the explorative point of career pivoting, I would be happy to offer whatever insight and assistance is relevant.

While at Vanderbilt, what will be the focus of your studies and how do you plan to use this knowledge in your future career?

At Vanderbilt I am focusing on Human and Organizational Performance and Strategy. I plan to use that knowledge and the experience from my military career to help companies better manage their human capital or greater business operations. Some potential career interests include human capital consulting, human resources and management consulting. Whichever career path I follow, I know that my education at Vanderbilt will be essential to success.

What would you tell other veterans about the Bass Military Scholars Program?

I truly feel honored to be a part of this program. When applying, I felt overwhelmed. I was really good at what I did in the military, so leaving that behind was a bittersweet experience. I was worried I would be out of place in grad school compared to other candidates. I’ve heard it called imposter syndrome, and to be honest most of us feel it at some point. In whatever graduate program you join, your voice is important. Your experiences are unique and they enrich the program at all levels. The Bass Military Scholars Program is a way to further enrich the community and represent veterans as scholars.