Christian was the Harvard Extension School Class of 2023 student speaker. He earned a Master of Liberal Arts, in International Relations. Christian serves in the U.S. Navy as a surface warfare officer. He has been an instructor at the Surface Warfare Officers School Command in Newport, R.I.

In this video, Christian discusses his experience as a Harvard Extension School student.

Video Transcript

I’m Christian Kurowski.

I’m a surface warfare officer in the United States Navy. And tomorrow I’ll be earning my ALM in International Relations.

So the Navy, it’s always been a lifelong dream ever since I was eight years old. For whatever reason, I always wanted to be an officer in the United States Navy. I have a deep passion for history and it was just a calling.

And so my journey in the Navy started in 2015 when I was commissioned it’s a commission out of the George Washington University in D.C. I reported to a Navy cruiser in Norfolk, Virginia, and then I got to be part of two deployments.

The past three years, I’ve been in Newport, Rhode Island, where I had the privilege of teaching allied partner country officers that come to the United States to learn how the U.S. Navy operates, and that was really why I chose Harvard Extension School.

I wanted a master’s program that would allow me flexibility to take classes as I needed during my own time, as well as start a family and focus on family life. There was also a really unique opportunity to meet people. 

It’s just been very humbling to be able to get a Harvard education, still work full time, and then also meet some people who are extremely motivated and passionate about what they do. And it really inspired me to keep going and keep pursuing this degree even when things got very, very hard.

I’ve always wanted to command a ship in the Navy. It’s been a lifelong dream. Part of that process is earning a master’s degree, so getting the opportunity to get a Harvard education not necessary early from a program where I have to be in residency, but also allows me to pick very unique classes.

One of the first classes I took met a great friend. I’ll call him Crush, even though that’s not his name. He was just from a completely different walk of life. But we were both in a class where we felt we were way over our heads and we got through it together. And now we’re still friends. We chit chat every once in a while.

Opportunities in life. You have to take them as you see fit and with a golden opportunity to get a Harvard education with people who are passionate like your other HES students that you will meet here, do it.