Kurt Nowak

Yale University | Political Science

Navy | Intelligence Specialist

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About Kurt:

Welcome to Next Step Inbound (NSI), I’m Kurt Nowak and I’m the NSI Associate for Yale University. I entered Yale in the fall of 2018 under the Eli Whitney Program and belong to Yale’s best residential college: Grace Hopper. I’m a political science major with the class of ’22 and have a particular concentration in grand strategy and economics. I’m involved with the Yale Veterans Association and the William F. Buckley Program. My wife and I also have a vivacious toddler who does his best to keep us busy.

I’m originally from Toledo, Ohio, and enlisted in the Navy following my graduation from Central Catholic High School in 2008. I served in the Navy for ten years as an Intelligence Specialist and served in a variety of roles across the globe. Following my return from a deployment in 2015, I knew that I was ready to complete my college education but didn’t want an online degree. As such, I figured that the University of Florida would be an attainable goal – I would have never imagined that our nation’s top universities would be an option for someone like me – and began taking night school courses at my local community college in order to complete the prerequisites for admission. Additionally, I began networking with veterans across a variety of industries in order to see what I’d like to ultimately do in my post-military career. Long story short, I completed my AA in Business Administration from Miami Dade College in 2017 but never ended up applying to UF. Through my own research, focusing on my career goals, and a supportive chain of command, I was ultimately admitted to Yale. I still have a hard time believing it.

Throughout my military career, I was consistently humbled by the sheer amount of talent in our enlisted corps. By no fault of their own, many of our enlisted peers are unaware of the educational opportunities offered to them at our top institutions and what they can do to best position themselves in order to gain admittance. Through NSI, I’m excited to help my brothers and sisters understand their options, navigate the admissions process, and share my experiences and lessons learned along the way.


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