What Does Success Look Like To You – Zachary Sanns

What Does Success Look Like To You – Zachary Sanns

Zachary Sanns, a former United States Marine, exemplifies a unique blend of military discipline, academic excellence, and a passion for extreme sports. After his service, Zachary pursued an education in history, graduating with honors, and continued his Master’s studies. His academic focus reflects a deep interest in historical events and their contemporary relevance. Beyond academia, Zachary is an avid skydiving and CrossFit enthusiast, demonstrating his commitment to physical fitness and mental resilience. His journey, marked by diverse experiences and achievements, positions him as an inspiring figure with aspirations in history and risk management.

Q&A With Zachary Sanns

Zachary, can you share how your experience in the Marines has influenced your approach to your academic studies?

Zachary Sanns: Thank you for having me. The Marines taught me the value of discipline and focus, which are crucial in academia. The structured environment and the need to adapt quickly to new challenges in the military have significantly honed my ability to tackle complex academic subjects with a disciplined approach.

In your history studies, is there a particular era or event that captivates you the most?

Zachary Sanns: I find myself drawn to military history, especially events that have had a significant impact on modern tactics and strategies. The way historical battles and conflicts have shaped current military practices is particularly fascinating to me.

Shifting gears a bit, how do you find skydiving and CrossFit complement your academic life?

Zachary Sanns: Both skydiving and CrossFit are not just physical activities for me; they are mental exercises as well. They teach me about resilience, help me manage stress, and keep me mentally agile. There’s a balance I find in them that complements the intellectual rigor of my studies.

In terms of future aspirations, where do you see your passion for history leading you?

Zachary Sanns: I am keenly interested in a career that allows me to apply my historical knowledge, possibly in a role that involves risk assessment or policy development in defense or international relations. I believe my military background, coupled with my academic training, positions me well for such roles.

Can you tell us about a significant challenge you’ve overcome, either in your military or academic career?

Zachary Sanns: Transitioning from military to academic life was a significant shift for me. It was challenging to move from a highly structured and active lifestyle to one that is more self-guided and intellectually focused. Learning to balance the discipline of the military with the freedom and exploration of academic life was a journey in itself.

What advice would you give to someone with a military background considering higher education?

Zachary Sanns: My advice would be to fully embrace the new experience while valuing the skills and discipline learned in the military. Higher education offers a vast landscape of knowledge and opportunities, and the focus and resilience honed in the military can be incredibly advantageous.

Finally, how do you unwind and relax amidst your busy schedule of studies and physical training?

Zachary Sanns: I believe in the importance of balance. For relaxation, I enjoy reading non-academic material, spending time with friends and family, and engaging in outdoor activities that allow me to disconnect and recharge.

Finally, what does success look like to you? 

Zachary Sanns: It’s not just about achieving goals in academics or physical fitness, but also about making a meaningful impact. Success, in my view, is using the skills and knowledge I’ve gained to contribute positively to society, whether through teaching, policy-making, or any other form of service. It’s about leaving a legacy that reflects a commitment to improvement, both personally and in the wider community.

Key Takeaways 

  • Military Discipline as an Academic Asset: Zachary Sanns highlighted the significant impact of his Marine Corps experience on his academic journey. The discipline, focus, and adaptability he developed in the military have been instrumental in his approach to tackling complex subjects in his history studies, demonstrating the valuable crossover of military skills into academic success.
  • Balancing Physical Rigor with Intellectual Pursuits: Zachary’s involvement in extreme sports like skydiving and CrossFit complements his academic endeavors. He views these high-adrenaline activities as not just physical exercises but also as means to enhance mental agility and manage stress, showcasing the importance of maintaining a balance between physical and mental well-being.
  • Future Aspirations Blending History and Service: Zachary expressed a keen interest in leveraging his historical knowledge and military background in a career that involves risk assessment or policy development, particularly in defense or international relations. His goal is to make a meaningful impact and contribute positively to society, indicating a desire to integrate his personal experiences and academic achievements into a broader service-oriented context.