Meet Daniel Eggensammer, a student veteran and soon to be Double Demon. Eggensammer earned his bachelors degree in business administration from DePaul this summer, and began work on an MBA with a concentration in leadership and change management this fall. During his time at DePaul, he’s been a veteran liaison in Adult, Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs, as well as the treasurer of the Student Veterans Union, a student organization at DePaul. Read on to learn more about Daniel!
Where are you originally from?
I am from Fox River Grove, IL, which is about 40 miles northwest of Chicago.
Which branch of the military did you serve in, and for how long? Where were you stationed and where did you serve?
I served four years on active duty as an infantry team leader in the United States Marine Corps. I was stationed at Camp Pendleton, CA with 2nd BN, 5th MAR. My first deployment, in 2011, was to South East Asia as part of the 31st MEU. I was in Malaysia on March 11, 2011 when a devastating earthquake & tsunami struck mainland Japan. We quickly traveled up to Oshima Island, Japan to help with the humanitarian relief efforts. My second deployment, in 2012, was to Helmand Province, Afghanistan where we conducted combat operations for seven months. In total, I experienced 8 different countries.
Why did you choose DePaul (twice)?
Growing up near Chicago, I had a good understanding of the academic culture and student experience at DePaul University. DePaul University professors, staff and students always conducted themselves with professionalism. When it came time for me to consider schools, DePaul University was at the top of my list.
The location of the campus was also very appealing. I was also fortunate enough to start working as a veteran liaison on campus. I really enjoy providing veteran students with the resources and services they need to ensure their success. The other liaisons and I are able to foster a very transparent and collaborative environment that allows the veteran student a fluent transition to academic life. These factors all played a role in my decision to continue my education at DePaul University.
What has been your best experience at DePaul, or, if you had to tell a prospective student one great thing about DePaul, what would it be?
It’s very easy to get connected and network within DePaul University. No matter what you’re into, there’s most likely a student organization that covers it. It’s also very easy to connect with alumni through DePaul’s Alumni Sharing Knowledge (ASK) program. The people I’ve met through networking at DePaul have been very helpful and informative. I’ve also been fortunate enough to take a wide array of classes in order to see what grabs my interest. I’ve taken classes in sports, finance, marketing and economics.
Tell us about your experience as a veteran at DePaul: what is the student veteran community like, what programs and services have been helpful to you as a veteran?
The veteran community within DePaul University is very friendly and welcoming. No matter what branch you were apart of, you can easily relate to another individual’s experience. I have found Quarterly Connections, the Veterans Day Luncheon and Memorial Day Luncheon to be helpful and meaningful.
The Office of Veterans Affairs hosts a networking event every second Thursday of each quarter, and they are a great opportunity to make friends and chat about the quarter. The Veterans Day Luncheon and Memorial Day Luncheon welcome all students and faculty to come together and recognize those who have served our country. On top of the luncheons, the office also host events such as career fairs and movie screenings.
Because DePaul University has over 600 veteran students, I often have classes with other veteran students, and we are able to connect on a personal and professional level on a regular basis through class.
Were there any challenges you faced while a student veteran at DePaul? How did you overcome them?
I was a little hesitant to return to school after serving four years in the military, but the transition at DePaul was seamless. Faculty members and staff are supportive and willing to help anyway they can. One challenge that I and many other student veterans have faced is making sure we understand how the VA (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) benefits work. Megan Giedraitis (of Adult, Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs) does a great job of explaining this to students so they are aware of their financial situation during their time at DePaul University.
What are some challenges that veterans face, in general, when returning to college? What do you see as DePaul’s strength when it comes to supporting student veterans? Being out of school for years means there may be an adjustment period during the transition from military career to academic career, and the quick classes (10-week quarters) and rapid turnaround (at DePaul) isn’t for everyone. Therefore, one resource within DePaul University I often recommend to students is to visit the tutoring center. They are very helpful and will sit down with you and explain step by step how to fully understand the material.
Another resource I recommend to students is to get involved within the community by attending events such as Compass Groups and Quarterly Connections. These events allow students to network and be more active within the DePaul community. Lastly, another strength of DePaul is the Veterans Affairs program in Adult, Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs, where I work on campus. This is a great resource for students to connect with other veterans on campus. The veteran liaisons in the office are all current DePaul University students who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Our previous experiences are very relatable to one another.
What are your career goals?
After graduating from DePaul University with my MBA, I hope to work for a federal agency.
Tell us three interesting things about yourself.
- I’ve traveled to about 9 different countries but have never owned a passport.
- I ran the 2017 Chicago Marathon.
- While conducting combat operations in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, National Geographic followed us around shooting a documentary called “Battleground Afghanistan” which was debuted on television in the summer of 2013.