As a student at W.W. Samuell High School, William Kruse (Class of 1994) made the most of his JROTC experience, and today he credits what he learned in the program for preparing him to serve in the U.S. Marine Corp and putting him on a path for success. As a senior solutions architect for Dell and the owner of his own catering business, Kruse is living life on his own terms and serving others in the process.
AlumNow, The Hub feature that profiles district alumni, caught up with Kruse and found him hard at work turning his dreams into reality. His advice for students—never settle for the same thing, stay on the lookout for the next opportunity, and do what it takes to achieve the next step, whatever it is.
What are you doing now?
I help build technical solutions. I get to work in all lines of business in healthcare, financial, education, and state, local, and federal government.
Briefly list a few of your career and/or personal highlights.
I have been able to serve my country in the United States Marine Corps and then use what I learned in high school and the Marine Corps to work my way up the corporate ladder to what I am today–a senior solutions architect across multiple lines of business. One of the best parts is that I get to travel the world through my work. I also work in several ministries at my church teaching when needed, cooking on a weekly basis, or serving those who are less fortunate. I also just opened a new catering business called Low and Slow Texas BBQ.
What was your favorite subject or activity/involvement in high school?
I really loved JROTC and band. JROTC really served me well in preparation to later serve on active duty in the United States Marine Corps. I also loved the creativity of being in marching band and going through the various competitions.
Who was your favorite teacher?
First Sgt. Henry Bivins was one of my instructors in JROTC. Through his leadership, I learned foundational things that would serve me well once I got to boot camp and into the Fleet Marine Force. He took the time to explain what was needed in such a way that I was able to retain it and then use it. He is such a good man. I had several other really good teachers, as well, who taught me other needed life skills.
What lesson did you learn in high school or beyond that has served you well through the years?
To slow down and learn what my teachers were teaching me. There were really good teachers, even in places where there were many challenges. If students can learn these things and put them to use, they can really achieve whatever they want in life.
What advice, if any, would you offer to high school students today?
To put all of the chaos around you aside and really take these school years to learn as much as you can so that if you go to college, serve in the military, or go straight to work, you will be better prepared to excel in whatever it is you are doing. Always plan on being the best that you can, and never settle for the same thing. Always be looking for your next promotion when you get to your current role, and do the things necessary to achieve that promotion.