2024 Tillman Scholar

Nicole Echols

Yale University

“The military is the beginning of my lifelong journey of service. I will bring the best of my experiences into future business initiatives to make a positive impact on society.”

Nicole serves on active-duty in the U.S. Army with over 20 years of service. Having embraced the challenges and responsibilities of a military career, Nicole knows that her journey is far from over. Her vision for a life characterized by service is not bound by the constraints of a uniform, rather it is a continuous commitment to making a positive impact. 

Nicole recognizes the invaluable experience she has gained, particularly in problem-solving and leadership. Her enthusiasm for developing creative solutions in high-pressure, politically charged environments is unwavering. She has honed her skills through numerous overseas tours, building relationships with delegates, diplomats, and corporate representatives to align efforts and achieve strategic outcomes. She understands that confidence and trust are non-negotiable for mission success, identical to the business world where economics, politics, and relationships are intrinsically connected. 

Nicole aims to merge her military experience with her Yale MBA education in a professional civilian setting. The mission and values of the Yale School of Management align with her career aspirations, offering a springboard into the global business arena. Currently, she is leveraging her Yale education and military background by founding a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering high-achieving women in special operations through expense-paid family planning options not covered by the U.S. military.Nicole firmly believes that the talents and experiences of these women represent an untapped resource. By providing unique family planning opportunities, she hopes to enable these women to serve longer, from a position of strength, while minimizing personal sacrifice.