Westminster Network in Action
You never know where you’ll find a fellow Griffin
by Conor Bentley (MEd. ’08)
The Westminster Network extends far beyond Westminster’s campus, the state of Utah, and even the United States—just ask naval officer Jake Boudreau (’13). Jake, an aviation graduate, was on a Navy ship halfway around the world in Dubai when he happened to meet a fellow Westminster aviation grad whose simple advice and encouragement changed the trajectory of Jake’s career.
After graduating, Jake joined the United States Navy in hopes of becoming a pilot. Unfortunately, he was medically disqualified from flight school. He became a driver of ships instead of planes and gave up on the idea of flying for the Navy.
One day, while on a deployment in the Middle East, Jake was on the bridge of the U.S.S. Essex when he discovered that visiting Lt. Commander Mike Dimmitt (’05) was also an alum of Westminster’s aviation program. Mike was doing a few weeks of training on the ship to become officer of the deck. Jake introduced himself and, without even trying, had taken advantage of the Westminster Network. Jake and Mike quickly built a relationship around their shared Westminster experiences. They exchanged stories about their alma mater and naval experiences.
Over the course of their conversation, Jake shared his story with Mike. A Navy helicopter pilot himself, Mike encouraged Jake to keep pursuing his dream of being a pilot. Together, they discussed some ways that might allow him to transfer back into flight school. This brief meeting between the two Westminster alums proved serendipitous because, not long after, Jake began to investigate what he would need to do to become eligible for a career as a Navy pilot.
“It was Mike and a few other people who encouraged me to keep working to get my medical clearance for flight school,” says Jake. He began flight school in Florida this past November and is now able to put his aviation degree from Westminster to use.
You never know how or when your Westminster experience will create an opportunity to connect with a fellow alum who can help you on your path toward a career or personal goal. Even though their time together was brief, Jake and Mike are great examples of how the Westminster Network can be beneficial, even when you’re about as far away from Salt Lake City as you can possibly be. As Mike says, “You never know when you’re going to run into a fellow Griffin.”
About the Westminster Review
The Westminster Review is Westminster University’s bi-annual alumni magazine that is distributed to alumni and community members. Each issue aims to keep alumni updated on campus current events and highlights the accomplishments of current students, professors, and Westminster alum.