After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, Jason Dalrymple knew he wanted to be a Marine. Two years and a high school diploma later that’s exactly what he became. Now a veteran and third-year undergraduate student at the College of Charleston School of Business, Dalrymple brings the skills he learned in the military to the classrooms of the Beatty Center.
During his two tours in Iraq as a TOW gunner for the Marine Corps Infantry, Dalrymple honed leadership skills, often making split-second decisions under extreme duress. He learned the importance of communicating effectively to earn trust and successfully complete each mission.
Putting those same team-building principles into practice at the business school helps tremendously, he says. “When I work on a group project I try to pull from my military training by learning what makes the people I’m working with tick, their strengths and their weaknesses, so I can determine how best to approach the assignment.”
This was a winning strategy during a project Dalrymple completed for a marketing concepts class in which students were required to simulate owning and operating a computer company. Students were divided into teams and asked to perform market research, create and adhere to a budget, and make decisions about sales strategy. Dalrymple attributes his group’s victory as the most profitable company to their strong teamwork.
Currently an international business major with a minor in international studies, Dalrymple plans to graduate in 2018. He’s set his sights on liaising with foreign companies or working abroad, an area familiar to him.
After his military contract ended in 2007, Dalrymple moved to Australia, where he worked in sales for an ecommerce business acquired by daily deal company LivingSocial. That experience lit a flame: “It was just so interesting to see a small company grow into something much larger,” he says.
Dalrymple traded the land down under for Sweden, where he lived for a year working for several businesses, ranging from a mobile communications company to a global sports marketing and events firm. “It was exhilarating to be exposed to a new language and a different culture,” but home – and a degree – beckoned.
After looking at a number of different schools with strong business programs, Dalrymple found his perfect fit at CofC. “The school and the city had everything I was looking for. Charleston has a great college-town vibe and is booming with economic promise.” The presence of a port and access to import/export opportunities was a plus, he said.
Dalrymple admits he’s not all business. He enjoys surfing at Folly Beach, hitting the links with pals, or checking out local music venues like The Pour House on James Island. But outside of the business school, his most frequented destination is the rugby field. Dalrymple has been a member of the College’s rugby club since early 2016. His coach, Mathew Garrison also works as the College’s coordinator for veteran, military and ROTC recruitment.
“Veterans bring a different perspective to the business school,” says Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business. “Their leadership skills, discipline and maturity help foster an interesting dynamic in the classroom.”
As for Dalrymple’s advice to other veterans interested in pursuing a business degree? “Apply what you’ve learned in the military to your college education and be open to learning from others. If you can do that, you will go very far.”