At approximately zero-two-hundred hours on the 21st of December CET, I submitted my final quiz. This wasn’t just any ordinary final quiz. This was literally my final quiz in Creighton University’s Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis (MIMFA). With the click of a mouse, I transitioned from Creighton student, to Creighton Alumni.

Naturally, for my last class, the Army saw fit to send me off to France at the last minute for two weeks. I was sent to France to help train their soldiers for an upcoming deployment to Africa in support of their ongoing world-wide counter-terrorism operations.

Following the Scout Platoon

Following a French reconnaissance section that was searching for the enemy at the French Training Center (CENTAC).

I absolutely loved working with my French friends. They were generous hosts, experienced soldiers and one of the most enjoyable groups of people to work with and be around. It was one of the more rewarding experiences of my military career. It is always an honor and privilege to train soldiers who are about to be sent into harms way. These type of training operations tend to bring a certain degree of seriousness to them that is generally lacking in most training.

Unfortunately my mission to France was at an inconvenient time for me, right near the end of my final MIMFA class. Were it not for the sporadic convenience of some free WiFi hotspots, strong coffee, and an understanding professor, I may have fell short of my goals. In the end, I persevered. I am now a graduate of Creighton University’s Master of Investment Management and Financial Analysis and my 4.0 grade point average is intact. The mission to France simply multiplied my feeling of overcoming an obstacle and achieving a goal.

So how does it feel to earn the MIMFA?

Exhilaration.

Pride.

Relief.

Grateful.

Surprise.

It took me a while to fall asleep after submitting my last quiz as the gravity of clicking the submit button sank in. When I finally did fall asleep it was the best night of sleep I could remember for quite some time. All the stress melted away. It was so deep a sleep that I slept through my alarm, my wife’s alarm and the sunrise which poked through my bedroom window and hit my face. I literally can not remember the last time I overslept and was late for work. The Army does a pretty good of conditioning you to be early to everything. As I raced to prepare myself to go to work, I could not help but have a smile on my face.

I did it.

I was done.