“For me it was all about the challenge of it, proving to myself that I would be able to do it. It was all about the constant thought of raising yourself to the next level.”
Ross ‘09 and Keely Bosn ‘10 didn’t want an ordinary life in an office. After studying Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University they both chose a life of adventure and challenge.
On the day of his commencement, Ross also had his Commissioning Ceremony for the U.S. Marine Corps. After graduating from Kettering, Keely joined the U.S. Navy. They were married Dec. 27, 2010 and their life has been an exciting journey ever since.
“I was 22 or 23 coming out of Kettering. Sitting behind a desk wasn’t for me. For me just being in my early 20s and still having a bug for adventure, I wanted to do something different, more challenging, something with more meaning,” Ross said. “There really was no better way for me to spend those six years. The military and engineering are two separate worlds, but it was a great way to start my professional career.”
Ross, who transitioned back into the civilian life in 2015, was a Captain in the Marine Corps. He was a combat engineer, working in construction for roads and buildings, and demolitions.
Ross served one deployment on a Navy ship in the Persian Gulf.
“Joining the military was our way of wanting to help and do our part in serving the country,” Ross said. “In the military you’re always putting yourself in a position you weren’t fully ready for, but that’s the point. It helps you grow. It’s a humbling experience to be put in a position of great responsibility.”
Keely, who will transition back into civilian life in 2017, is a Lieutenant in the Navy. She was in supply corps for the Navy where she helped with logistics, budgeting and finance and engineering projects, among other things.
Keely has been deployed twice in the Middle East.
“For me it was all about the challenge of it, proving to myself that I would be able to do it. It was all about the constant thought of raising yourself to the next level,” she said. “It wasn’t just the mental aspect but also the physical aspect. You are put through times where you can say you can’t believe you did that.”
Before going into military service, both Keely and Ross had a strong interest in engineering.
Keely, from Oklahoma, had an obsession for Corvettes when she was in high school. When she was doing a report on them in 11th grade she discovered they were made in Flint, Mich. When she later realized she wanted to study engineering and saw that Kettering was in Flint, she knew she needed to visit.
“I was from a small high school originally, so Kettering’s small class sizes were a good fit for me. And the co-op program was really attractive to me,” Keely said.
Ross, from Nebraska, came from an automotive family. His brother Ryan Bosn ‘01 also came to Kettering.
“It just made sense,” Ross said. “I wanted to go outside of my comfort zone.”
Kettering brought Keely an opportunity to travel, a love she carried with her during her time in the Navy. Ross’ time on campus allowed him to experience the engineering industry, get a solid foundation and then find his passions.
“For the five years I spent at Kettering I did a lot of world traveling, more so than I did in the military,” Keely said. “At Kettering I learned to always have a higher goal in mind. Once you reach one, you set another.”
The alumni connections they have made over the years has stayed with them, the Bosns said.
Now with two small children, Ross and Keely are transitioning back into civilian life. Ross is beginning his second year of an MBA program at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and Keely is getting ready to start looking at new goals and new dreams.
But their time in the military has taught them lessons they will always take with them. They walked away with a lot of personal and professional growth.
“It’s not the technical skills I’m still using. It’s the people skills part of the experience. That’s what you leave with. You never really forget,” Ross said. “You always have the mindset of what’s the people problem not the technical problem.”
Both Keely and Ross advise students to think outside of the box when deciding what to do after graduation.
“Look for the challenges and look for the things that will give you the most growth potential. Look something that maybe you don’t fit the mold of,” Keely said. “Find a way to personally get something out of it that will teach you lessons about yourself. Have fun while you can.”
Ross’ advice is all about trying something new and not being afraid of the unknown.
“Think unconventionally. Don’t be afraid to do something weird, whether it’s the Peace Corps, Teach For America, the Navy or something else,” Ross said. “Don’t waste your 20s on something very un-weird.”