From the U.S. Navy to a School of Rock Franchisee

23 years ago, I was a recent college graduate working in the Public Relations industry in Houston, Texas. Sitting in my office, working for the weekend, I was eager to be a part of something bigger – I wanted to know that what I was doing was making a positive impact. My father was a U.S. Navy pilot and Vietnam veteran and my whole life I was surrounded with images and stories of the impact he had made while in the military. Thus, I always had a good understanding of the Navy and what opportunities were available. It wasn’t hard for me to decide the U.S. Navy was going to be my next career move.

For the next 22 years, I moved 13 times working nine different jobs from a Supply Officer on a Frigate to Director of Operations at a Global Logistics Headquarters. The Navy moved me to Florida, Georgia, California, Rhode Island, Washington D.C. and three times to Japan. I cataloged an amazing lifetime of experiences and working hard and long I gave my all. My family and I loved the Navy, but after years of travel and deployments, we made the decision to make Chula Vista, California our home and move on to the next phase of our lives.

The Navy really does want you to do well as you transition from the military and provided us with many different resources in that effort.  In the midst of that transition, I was very much focused on a new career – one that would still allow me to make a positive impact, while also benefiting my family and our community. That’s when the idea of small business ownership came to mind, but since I had never owned a small business, I wasn’t sure where to start. Franchising was the model to utilize.

Regarding my children’s future: a core belief of mine is that music and the arts are skill sets that humans value in each other, but as technology continues to rapidly alter the landscape of available careers, I believe those skill sets will become even more valuable to us.  I was really interested in sending my children to School of Rock, but the closest School of Rock in our area was nearly 45 minutes away (without traffic). Too far for us to drive on a regular, recurring basis and thinking that someone should open a School of Rock franchise in our area, I thought, “why not me?” 

Making the decision to move forward as a Franchise Owner of School of Rock was relatively easy.  The brand is solid, the corporate team is superb, the work is fun and good for my family and community.  My next career move and the next phase of our lives was decided. 

School of Rock Otay Ranch is slated to open this December 2019, with our Grand Opening scheduled for January 2020. Our goal is to enrich the lives of the community and over 300 students every year.

For the last 22 years I have had the honor and privilege of wearing my country’s colors and being a part of something that provided a significant and positive, worldwide impact.  Now as a School of Rock Franchise Owner, I get to continue providing that positive impact while working for my community here in Chula Vista. 

The military taught me how to both serve and lead people from all different backgrounds, ages and cultures; how to assemble teams, set goals and achieve them; and it also taught me how to utilize proven systems and processes in reaching that success.  Other veterans and I bring this experienced mindset and these soft skills to the business world, allowing us to continue to add value and a positive impact to our country, family and community. And now I get to ROCK while I do it.

Article written by Mark Sheffield, School of Rock franchisee in Otay Ranch, CA.

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