Rachel earned her BA in Public Policy from University of Chicago in 2003 and went on to Purdue for a MS in Agricultural Economics in 2006. Her husband was an active duty Judge Advocate General (JAG) from 2006-2015 before transitioning to the reserves. They have been married since 2013. Rachel is currently a Senior Procurement Manager for the Kraft Heinz Company, working in their DC office.
Dillon: Why did you want to become involved in UCMAG?
Rachel: Quite simply, I wanted to meet people with similar experiences and interests as me. I wanted to meet people that understood the challenges associated with military life – deployments, separations, frequent moves, etc.
Dillon: Where do you see UCMAG going in the next few years and what issues are important to you?
Rachel: I’m passionate about issues related to military spouse employment. It’s challenging to pursue a career as a military spouse because the military requires frequent moves. As such, I’ve met a lot of underemployed or unemployed military spouses that were frustrated by their own career progression. I’d love to figure out how our group can be a better career resource for them. I also think the group should continue to play a role in promoting military careers to undergraduates. The military is a great way to help cover increasing college costs and learn leadership skills that are applicable to so many career paths. I never considered a career in the military when I was at Chicago, mostly because I knew very little about what it entailed. Our group can play a role in helping undergrads understand all the career choices the military offers.
Dillon: Were you active in any groups on campus?
Rachel: I played basketball and was involved in one of the political groups on campus, as well as Student Government.
Dillon: What does your connection to the military mean to you now?
Rachel: My husband and I have lived apart for most of our relationship so that I could pursue a career. It’s helped me appreciate all the personal sacrifices our military members and their family make to serve our country.
Dillon: What’s been the best part of the UCMAG experience?
Rachel: Meeting Elizabeth Johnson! She’s an ex-Army JAG like my husband. She’s been a great resource and a great friend.
Dillon: Are you involved in any other Chicago affinity or alumni groups?
Rachel: I participate in regional alumni groups. I planned and participated in events while I lived in Denver. I just moved to DC, and I plan on getting involved in the DC alumni group.
Dillon: Thank you for all your contributions to the UCMAG!