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Michigan Ross Student Veterans Share Stories of Service at 2022 VETx Event


At the annual VETx event on Nov. 11, Ross School of Business students who are military veterans shared their personal experiences, hard-earned lessons, and insights gained on their journey.

This year’s event hosted nearly 300 attendees and featured four student veteran speakers. They delivered TED-talk-style speeches, highlighting stories from their time in the service, their journey to and from the military, the impact of the Michigan Ross community, and more.

The event was sponsored by the Armed Forces Association, a student organization that helps advance the role of veterans in business. This inspiring group actively recruits prospective students who have served, helps them understand the admissions process, and makes connections with faculty to bring career goals into focus.

VETx opened this year with introductory remarks from Mike Barger, clinical assistant professor of business administration, who served as a naval officer for 13 years. 

AFA members John Buchner, FTMBA ’23, and Vu Nguyen, FTMBA ’23 moderated the event. 

Audience members heard from four speakers about their experiences, including: Pavel Dounaevski, MBA ’24; Vaughn Michael, MBA ’23; KJ Green, MBA ’24; John Brown, MBA ’24 and eight pre-recorded video interviews from : Keith Luu, MBA ’23; Gregory Connery, MBA ’24; Andrew Archambeau, MBAn ’23; Daryl Dietsche, MBA ’23; Marquis Fernandes, MBA ’23; Joe Kearney, MBA ’24; Akbar Arsiwala, MBA ’24; Archana Kandasamy, MBA ’24


Hear more about participating in VETx

Pavel Dounaevski, FTMBA ’24

“Everyone has a story to tell. Deep down, their unique experiences help color the way they view the world. I’m no different; I just did it in a uniform. As someone who immigrated from a foreign country, and chose – willingly – to serve in the US military, I felt like I was appropriately positioned to help others understand similar journeys. I chose to speak this year to give voice to the many identities the military overshadows. Most importantly, I felt l had a duty, an obligation, to share my stories of adversity and to illustrate how we all can bounce back from failures, even from some of the harshest and most chaotic environments in the world. In many ways, VETx was an incredible opportunity to give back through storytelling and help others along similar roads.” - Pavel Dounaevski, FTMBA ’24