Wayne State College

Veteran, WSC Student Forges Path from Marines to HR Career

Published Friday, November 10th, 2023

Christine "Rose" Stanley, the first female in her family to join the military, is now pursuing her bachelor's degree in Business Administration / Human Resource Management at Wayne State College.

Christine "Rose" StanleyIn honor of Veterans Day on Nov. 11, Wayne State College is featuring a student who previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps. We thank all veterans for their service to our country.

Christine “Rose” Stanley is pursuing an online degree in Business Administration / Human Resource Management from Wayne State College and plans to graduate in 2025. Before this, she served in the U.S. Marine Corps – following her family’s footsteps into the military, but at the same time carving her own path.  

“In my family, we consider military service a ‘family business’ because generations of men joined the Army,” said Stanley. “I, being the first female to serve, went against the grain by joining the Marine Corps.”

Stanley entered the Marine Corps in 1998, attending basic training after graduating high school. She was stationed at Camp Foster in Okinawa, Japan, for a one-year overseas tour, then Quantico, Va., for the remainder of her active-duty contract. She was honorably discharged in November 2002.

Stanley remained in the DC metro area, obtained a top-secret security clearance with a full-scope polygraph, and worked for U.S. Investigation Services (CIA polygraph division), then Raytheon, processing background investigations for the Department of Defense, CIA, and National Reconnaissance Office.

“I always credit my military experience for my professional opportunities,” Stanley said. “Those positions made me realize I had a passion for people, and I landed in the HR field.”

After being the first female servicemember and first Marine in her family, she took on another first – the first in her family to pursue a four-year college degree. She now resides in Sioux City, Iowa, and is taking online courses in HR Management – a move that was supported and encouraged by her former employer, Smithfield Foods, whom she worked for as an HR consultant before starting her college education. She is now a full-time student but hopes to return to working for Smithfield Foods in the future.

Stanley FamilyBalancing college with a busy family can be challenging, and her three kids are involved in many school and community activities, as well as part-time jobs. But Stanley is able to stay on top of everything.

“Choosing online was a perfect fit for me because of the convenience it allows,” she said.

In the HR field, Stanley said she wants to advance professionally with the goal of becoming an HR manager one day.

“Returning to school in my 40s seemed like a daunting task, but, once I began, I realized I’m capable of achieving my educational goals while not sacrificing time for my family,” she said. “Knowing that WSC offers an online master’s degree in Human Resource Management has me considering continuing my education.”