An Opportunity to Return Home

Author: Matthew Schillo, P.E. - LT, CEC, USN
Event Date: November 27, 2021
Matthew Schillo
As a U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps (CEC) Officer, we are charged with the planning, acquisition, construction, operation, and maintenance of all Navy and Marine Corps shore facilities worldwide.


It is a tremendous responsibility and a great source of pride that I get the opportunity to serve my country, and support the warfighters around the globe. For continued career progression in the CEC, officers expecting to continue their service will be required to attend graduate school to further their technical and leadership skills. When I was notified that I would be attending graduate school for my next assignment, I had a short list of schools I would like to attend. Purdue was number one.

As a graduate of Purdue University for my undergraduate degree (BSIE ‘10), I was fully aware of the exceptional caliber of the university and the graduates that it develops. I firmly believe that Purdue provided me with many skills, both hard and soft, that I credit with much of my success in the Navy. Given the opportunity, I knew Purdue could further enhance my knowledge and skills with a graduate degree.

Being a CEC officer is somewhat of a misnomer as a primary role is actually project management and leadership. I knew a Master of Engineering Management would be the most relevant and beneficial degree I could choose. Purdue’s MEM program especially appealed to me with the amount of flexibility and customization with the courses it offers through the program. Instead of a standard course curriculum, I was able to take courses relevant to my individual situation. Industrial Engineering and Civil Construction courses align very closely with my profession and my interests.

My experience as a graduate student has been very positive. I was a little nervous prior to starting, as I had been ten years removed from academic life, but my experience as a Naval Officer has prepared me for success. We are expected to consistently produce at a high level, sometimes with little experience in the required field, and that skill has translated very well to my time at Purdue.

I look forward to completing the MEM program and using my newly acquired skills to better the United States Navy and my country. My wife, Caitlin (BSN ‘13), and I will always consider Purdue University to be one of our most special places. I am ever grateful to have the opportunity to return home.

Boiler Up!