We recently had the opportunity to interview Mark Hays, a student from the Tampa/Brandon, FL college campus, who is pursuing an Information Systems Management Associate's degree with a Network Administration specialization. Mark is a full-time worker, father, husband, and student with an inspiring story.
* What degree program are you in? What is your expected graduation date?
Information Technology - Network Administration; with an expected graduation of 06/17/2012.
* What were some of the factors you took into consideration when looking for a college?
One major factor was being able to take a majority of courses online. Also, it was important that Rasmussen was an approved institution for my employer (USAA) education assistance program.
* How did you know Rasmussen College was the right college for you?
After meeting with a program manager (admissions counselor) and taking a tour of the campus, my wife and I were both thoroughly impressed. I knew for sure that I had made the right decision after being welcomed so warmly by all of the staff.
* How many credits are you taking at the moment?
I took 15 credits last quarter and 15 credits this quarter. I will probably scale it back somewhat the next few quarters because my wife and I are expecting our first child in August.
* How are you able to balance your life?
Between working full time, going to school full time, being a husband/expectant father, and still having time to play video games, work on Volkswagens, and spend time with friends... The simple answer is: you have to be a little bit crazy.
Honestly though, it's about prioritizing and not falling behind. It's so easy to get really behind if you aren't on top of things. I write down tasks throughout the week to help stay organized.
* Was there any person in particular person that helped you most in your decision to attend college?
My wife, Rhonda, is my biggest supporter. She encouraged me to take steps to be happy, whatever that was. When I mentioned going back to school, she was behind me 100 percent.
* What was your biggest surprise as a Tech and Design student?
I haven't gotten into any core specific classes just yet, but I must say I am extremely impressed by the computer systems made available to students at Rasmussen College. If a college is willing to invest that kind of resources in its equipment, I can only imagine the investment to be made in for students.
* What is your favorite thing about going to school every day?
When I walk onto campus, I feel like I'm visiting friends. I usually have time between work and my evening class on Thursday nights, so I spend some time talking with different faculty members on campus. Getting to know different people really shows that each one of them enjoy what they do.
* Any other thoughts?
I'm very grateful to be in such a great position for the following reasons:
- My employer is paying for the majority of my education
- What isn't covered by USAA, the Rasmussen College 110-Year Scholarship takes care of.
- My family is completely supportive.
- After two years, I'll have IT skills to complement my customer service skills and personality, which will make me extremely marketable.