Name: Jaccob Mau
Graduation Year: December 2023
Major: Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Dept. in Military Service: United States Navy, November 2015 – August 2021
Taking a nontraditional path to higher education can come with challenges. Navigating the application process and selecting the right courses may be intimidating for returning students.
For these students, on-campus support such as financial aid and student services become a major factor in their decision to enroll.
Chapman University is a student-centered institution dedicated to providing personalized education to every student regardless of their background or life experiences.
For Jaccob Mau, a United States (US) Navy Veteran and engineering student pursuing a double major in computer science and electrical engineering, campus support was essential to his decision when enrolling in the Fowler School of Engineering.
Jaccob’s Six Years in Service
While Jaccob was enrolled at Clearfield Jobs Corps, a technical college in Utah, he was introduced to the US Navy and its endless career opportunities. With a strong sense of motivation and a clear path to success ahead of him, Jaccob joined the US Navy in November 2015.
During the first two years of his service, Jaccob was in education training to become a nuclear electronic technician. He endured impossible studying methods, unreasonable expectations, and intense training hours. “At the end of my time in education, it was taking its toll”, shared Jaccob.
Regardless, Jaccob overcame the training and was one step closer to fulfilling his role. However, the grueling work was not done.
“The practical portion of the training, we did training on a refitted submarine moored to the pier doing actual maintenance and things you would do in the fleet. And the hours were even worse there.” For six months, Jaccob worked for seven days straight with long hours. He switched positions to prioritize his well-being and became a helicopter mechanic. While the hours were still intense, Jaccob knew this new position would be a better decision for him.
After six grueling years, Jaccob finished his service and decided to dive headfirst into pursuing higher education.
Grueling US Navy Training Creates a Well-Rounded Learner
For veterans like Jaccob, Chapman’s Veterans Resource Center provides many financial resources, such as the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship, to cover the cost of every program offered on campus. These resources, along with Chapman Engineering’s prominent computer science program, made Jaccob’s college search decision a no-brainer.
“The transition from [the US Navy] to [Chapman] makes it seem like it’s a cakewalk. To the extent that I’m overloading a lot in courses which explains how I got through so quickly to the two-degree program,” said Jaccob.
Jaccob’s military and applicable engineering experience was instrumental when tackling his engineering courses. He was familiar with the kind of discipline it would take to complete two engineering degrees in such a short time.
Before entering the military, Jaccob had never envisioned he would become a driven and self-disciplined student. Jaccob believes the most influential part of his time in service was becoming a lifelong learner.
“Before I went into the military, I wasn’t good at studying or managing my time. But during that time I learned how to learn. I learned how to manage my time. I learned how to get things done and it helped me immensely to know how I learn and what I learn,” said Jaccob.
Jaccob’s mature approach to his classes is easily distinguishable amongst the faculty. Dr. Erik Linstead, Senior Associate Dean, believes Jaccob’s time in service brought him impressive transferable life skills. “The thing that immediately stood out to me was his sense of confidence and complete commitment to his academic program and the school of engineering. His ability to work in a team, no doubt a skill honed during his time in the military, has also always impressed me,” said Dr. Linstead.
In addition to having valuable learning skills, the support from Chapman Engineering’s faculty gave Jaccob the tools he needed to speed through his coursework with ease and confidence. Over one summer, Jaccob held internships with TAE Technologies as a Summer Intern and Fusion Intern. Now, Jaccob is set to graduate in December 2023 and already has an offer in hand as a Junior Electrical Engineer with Reliance Test & Technology (RT&T).
Veteran Finds Community at Fowler School of Engineering
At the Fowler School of Engineering (FSE), our passion for fostering a community of collaborative engineers creates a welcoming environment for all students. In return, Chapman Engineering students bring values of community and innovation with them as they take on the engineering field.
Initially, Jaccob chose Chapman for its strong veteran support but he did not anticipate becoming part of a community with a younger crowd. “Honestly, this place is good at having different ideas, having different aspects. Very open,” said Jaccob. Most engineering students know Jaccob for his active participation in their communication channels. Providing moments of comedic relief, especially during finals, is one way Jaccob connects with his community.
Naturally, Jaccob spent most of his time at FSE studying and found his tried-and-true community of learners. “Some people have a little more knowledge of some technologies than I do. Some have better expertise in certain areas which I try to draw from as well,” shared Jaccob.
Additionally, Jaccob was connected to Chapman’s community of veteran and military-connected students through the Veterans Resource Center and FSE faculty.
“I think there have been a lot of people that are from the military here [at Chapman] that I didn’t expect there to be that many because it’s such a small school. I didn’t think there would be a big footprint but there actually is a big footprint here,” said Jaccob. These additional elements ensure students, such as Jaccob, feel supported during their academic journeys.
Students interested in learning more about Chapman’s veteran and military-connected services are advised to visit the on-campus Veterans Resource Center.