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Adrian Sandoval

Adrian Sandoval

Adrian Sandoval, US Marine Corps

After leaving active duty, many people might want to go where things are familiar. But Adrian Sandoval has a plan.

Sandoval, 26, was raised in Anaheim, Calif., and joined the US Marine Corps in 2011. His last posting was in Jacksonville, NC, but when he got out of the Marine Corps he decided to move to Ohio and enroll in Columbus State.

After studying his options, Sandoval decided he wanted a top-ranked program in International Relations in a veteran-friendly state. That brought him to the Ohio State University and the state of Ohio. The first step in that plan was Columbus State.

Sandoval is taking classes with the intention to apply his credits to a bachelor’s degree from Ohio State. That’s a common plan: Columbus State’s Preferred Pathway program allows students to get a “pre-major,” taking exactly the classes they need for their eventual major.

Sandoval started college right out of high school, studying music, but felt he didn’t have the drive for it. He’d always wanted to join the military, and he found the Marine Corps gave him the discipline he needed. But his plan changed.

“I’m pretty sure there’s someone there who’s had the same questions as you."

After traveling to foreign countries as a Marine, Sandoval plans to become a diplomat. He’s studying International Relations to possibly to go into diplomatic service or become an economic advisor in the State Department.

“My experience in the military, and my time living overseas in other countries, gave me a great interest in diplomatic service,” Sandoval said.

Columbus State’s Military & Veterans Services office was a key part of the plan. In addition to helping with benefits, Veterans Services helped him obtain Ohio residency and find an apartment. Veterans shouldn’t hesitate to call if they need help.

“I’m pretty sure there’s someone there who’s had the same questions as you,” Sandoval said.

 More than that, Veterans Services provides a home base for veterans on campus. Sandoval said he stops by the Veterans Lounge in Delaware Hall almost every day.

“It’s just a great place for me to just relax and talk to people who’ve been through what I’ve been through and speak the same language,” Sandoval said.