We recently had the opportunity to talk with Rasmussen College alumnus, Jacob Sorem, who is now an instructor at Rasmussen College in Brooklyn Park, MN, as he shared with us his successful education and career path.
When I was young, I wanted to be an astronaut, and then a doctor, a football player, a fireman, and even Luke Skywalker. These pipe dreams soon became a distant memory, and next thing I knew, I found myself out of high school and walking into my first college class as an engineering major. I pursued my engineering degree for a few semesters, and then realized that computers were my true calling.
Although I had not completed my degree, I did have enough education to make a living. Even still, I knew that all my life, I had lived by just taking what life offered me and not proactively pursuing my passion. After my first child was born, I realized I needed to pursue my passion and start a career that better supported my family.
After weighing the options of going back to school, I finally made the decision to obtain my degree in computer science. I was almost 100% sure I would attend Brown College, but then I made a last-minute decision to check out one more school. Next thing I knew, I was walking into the doors of Rasmussen College at the former Minnetonka, Minnesota location to check out what the School of Technology and Design had to offer.
I interviewed with an program manager at Rasmussen College in the Spring of 2006. My program manager did a great job of explaining what the College had to offer in terms of education and student support structure. I knew right away that I was going to fit in at Rasmussen College, especially with the flexibility of taking on campus and online courses.
In July of 2006, I enrolled in the Information Systems Management Associate's degree with a specialization in Network Administration. My time as a Rasmussen College student was wonderful. The instructors and staff were very supportive, and I had opportunities to tutor my fellow students. In two short years, with a course load that didn’t drive me crazy, I obtained my Associate’s degree.
Shortly after graduation, I found job opportunities within Rasmussen College, an organization I had come to greatly respect. My campus director at the time worked to get me an interview within the IT department. Eleven weeks later, I was the hired as an IT Support Specialist at the Brooklyn Park, Minnesota campus.
I loved what I was doing, and really enjoyed being on campus with everyone from the instructors to the staff to the students. It was then that I decided to teach as an adjunct instructor--in part to augment my income and in part because I really enjoyed tutoring. I really enjoyed my time in the classroom, and I think my students really enjoyed me as an instructor because less than a year into my role as an IT support specialist, I was asked to become a full-time instructor. I latched onto that idea, looking forward to the new challenges that teaching IT was going to bring. I had ideas about breaking the typical surly, anti-social IT technician stereotype. I wanted to help produce students that would evolve into great employees, much like I credit my instructors for doing with me.
“My philosophy is this: I’m nothing special; I’m not smarter than my students, I just have more experience. If I can be successful, there is absolutely no reason my students can’t either. Having an interest in technology and a strong desire to be good at what I do helps drive meto be successful and can similarly help drive all of my students to success.”
The truth is, my decisions have led me to where I am now. I obviously wasn’t ready for school the first time I was in college. My time at Rasmussen College has allowed me to both grow as a person and find out what makes me truly happy. And the best part is that I get to guide others on a similar path. I encourage everyone to find their own way, and a quality education is one heck of a way to start.