Jonathan Lampani, Jr.

Jonathan Lampani, Jr. , BBA '21

Tackling the Transition from Marine to Student Athlete

Jonathan Lampani Jr. is no stranger to leading under pressure. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve and was in training for a year before attending college for a year. Soon after, he was deployed to Afghanistan. Though his military experiences acclimated him to high-pressure environments, after he was admitted to Michigan Ross, he discovered the transition from active-duty marine to student wasn't exactly easy. But Jonathan knew that he wanted to study business because he wanted a civilian career that would allow him to create value in the world. As Jonathan expressed, “The transition can be tough because in the military, there is a very structured path for success, but in school there are so many different opportunities that it can be a challenge to find your place."

He credits his network and his peers at Ross for helping him navigate his new life as a student (and athlete) with ease. A pivotal moment that stands out to Jonathan occurred during his first week in the BBA program. “People were talking about internships that they had done the previous summer, and I had just come back to school from a two-year break. I had never made a resume before and then the kid who sat behind me literally taught me how to make a resume. I'd never talked to him before, and he showed me the ropes.” He also acknowledges the support he got from a fellow BBA student and football teammate who he would often study and work with on homework.

Reflecting back on his first year in the BBA program, Jonathan said he stuck to himself mostly. He said he tried to find opportunities on his own and to do it all alone. However, he stresses the importance of utilizing the Ross resources and network of students, faculty, and alumni.

The best advice I could give is just to reach out to people. I think there's a stigma that you think that you're a lot different from your classmates. But when you really connect with them, you realize that you're really not, and everyone's kind of in the same boat.

Jonathan also shared that during his transition back to college, the fact that he hadn't taken math classes in a while initially deterred him from pursuing certain classes. “I was kind of afraid to take on technical or STEM-type classes, and I wish I would have just taken a shot on it”. 

Jonathan’s advice for prospective students? “It's very important when you're just starting out to put yourself out there and take chances on things. Because that's the only way you're going to learn, and you'll learn from all your failures and opportunities you don't get.”

Jonathan is still currently in the reserves and his future career plans include working in the private equity or venture capital field with innovative start-ups.