Serving in the Navy wasn’t part of the original plan. Schuetter attended the University of Arkansas out of college, but couldn’t afford to continue after losing his academic scholarship. He didn’t let that mistake set him back. He enlisted in the Navy – largely to pay for college – and found that he enjoyed it.
"You worked hard, you got rewarded for it,” said Schuetter. “It was pretty straightforward."
|Scott Schuetter (USNA '00) with pro golfer Lee Trevino|
(Photo courtesy of Scott Schuetter)
But he was still looking to get his college degree, and when he saw the Navy message come through about applying to the academy, he was interested. He put in his application, got picked up and headed straight to Annapolis. After four years studying political science by the Severn, he was commissioned as a naval flight officer and went on to serve on E-2Cs.
He was stationed back at the Naval Academy as a lieutenant when he decided to get out of the Navy. He and his wife were in the process of adopting a son, and he didn't want to stay in the Navy and deploy once he had children.
"I wanted to be a very involved dad," he said.
Schuetter started building his real estate business while still on active duty, working full time at the Naval Academy as an instructor in the Leadership, Ethics and Law Department. He didn't think he'd enjoy real estate when his wife first suggested it, because he didn't think of himself as a salesman.
"I'm just very honest and hardworking, but that's what ended up being successful," he said.
One of the key characteristics he learned as a midshipman that has contributed much to his current success is self-discipline, he said.
"You have to wake yourself up in the morning and go do the work that needs to be done. Most people underestimate the real estate world and what a realtor is,” he said.
Essentially, as a brand new realtor, Schuetter had to build his business from scratch, something that required a lot of behind-the-scenes work and a lot of different skills.
"In the real estate world, someone is usually good at one thing, but there are a hundred other things you have to be good at,” he said. “The whole concept of attention to detail really came through in being your own boss. You have to pay attention to every single detail."
Ultimately, it all came down to communication and taking care of people, something the Naval Academy stresses in its development of future leaders.
“That becomes a part of who you are because of the school you went to and the belief system there,” he said. "You're not working for yourself. Your whole goal is to serve and provide superior service - very similar to the traits learned at the Academy and in the military. Also similar is that the rewards from that will come without you having to grab or seek them. If you work hard and take care of people, everything else will work itself out."
The mission of the Naval Academy is graduate leaders who are dedicated to a career of naval service and have potential for future development in mind and character to assume the highest responsibilities of command, citizenship and government.
In the "You Don't Have to Be an Admiral" blog series we feature Naval Academy graduates who have, after their military service, gone on to excel in various ways outside the military.