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Layla Ernst: Post-AIM Interview

Layla Ernst | July 28, 2023

Layla Ernst

Describe your initial impression of AIM in five words or less.


Did all your physical fitness preparation pay off?

The training I did assisted me in not falling behind the other AIM members. If I had not done any physical training, I would have fallen behind and performed poorly.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about the Academy that you didn’t already know?

The most interesting thing that I learned about the Academy was all of the extracurricular activities that are available for the attending cadets. There is something for everyone no matter their interests, from music programs to sailing.

What was your biggest challenge and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge was the intense exercise in long intervals. It was difficult to run for long periods of time and to run extremely often. I was determined to do my best, so I put my mind to it and pushed myself as hard as I could.

Looking back, would you have done anything different to prepare yourself for AIM?

I would have exercised more often and with greater intensity. The main challenge I faced was the long days and long intervals of running and walking. Training more on endurance would have been beneficial.

What surprised you the most about AIM?

The thing that surprised me most about AIM is the feeling of belonging that you develop with your fellow AIMsters. You truly feel as if you are a family, and you treat each other as such.

How was your connection with the other AIMsters?

I think I connected to the other AIMsters well. We talked a lot about our hobbies and experiences when we had free time. We also functioned well as a group when we did our workouts and challenges.

Can you identify a noticeable difference in yourself after attending AIM? If so, what?

Yes, I can. I understand the importance of hard work and nonstop dedication. I’m even more determined to serve my country after going to AIM. I want to work harder than ever before to achieve my goals and get where I want to be. It also gave me a sense of accomplishment and self-worth that for me is priceless.

Would you recommend attending AIM? Why?

I would definitely recommend attending AIM. The program will challenge you mentally and physically, allowing you to become a better version of yourself. You work with like-minded people, and make close friends that you’ll talk with for a long time, and potentially work alongside when you go to the Academy. You accomplish things you never thought you could do, and learn that you truly are capable of anything you set your mind to.

About Layla

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