You earned an Associate of Arts degree from Ozarks Technical Community College. Why did you choose to pursue a bachelor’s degree next?
I have always wanted to go to college. I want at least a bachelor’s, and maybe a master’s. My grandfather is the only other person in my family who has a college education, so I am excited to be the second one.
Why did you choose Missouri State?
I wanted a good business school. I have heard Missouri State’s College of Business Administration is one of the best.
You were in Phi Theta Kappa honors society during your time in community college. But you said you didn’t get very good grades in high school. How did you go from that to being a great student?
In elementary school, I was stereotyped as one of those kids who aren’t going to make it to college. I came from a very low-income household. I wasn’t motivated to put energy into academics. It seemed I might be lucky to graduate from high school. Late in high school, I had one teacher push me bit by bit to do well on a test, then in a class, then my whole GPA went up.
I knew I wanted a good life for my family some day. I told myself I was going to college no matter what.
I applied to Missouri State after high school, but my ACT score wasn’t the greatest, so I could not get in. I decided to get a two-year college degree first.
My first semester at OTC, I was invited to be in the honors society. The next semester, I made the dean’s list. Then I started getting into leadership positions.
Now, being a student means everything to me.
What was the transfer process like?
A lot easier than I thought it was going to be. Every one of my credits transferred. It worked out great for me. My transfer representative answered all of my questions — and I was there a lot. If I annoyed her, she didn’t show it at all!
As soon as I got to the Missouri State campus, I was assigned an advisor who has been great. She talked me through major choices when I was considering several areas. She helped me see what it was I really want to do rather than jumping into something I wasn’t sure about.
What is your ultimate career goal?
I want to take over for my grandpa as president of his custom cabinetry and wood-working business when he decides he doesn’t want to do it anymore.
This is your second semester at Missouri State. What are you doing to settle in to campus life?
One of my favorite things to do is just walk around. I also like to go to basketball and football games. Eventually I want to get into Maroon Madness (the student group that supports MSU athletics).
Do you think Missouri State is a good value?
Yes, I do. I haven’t had to pay a dime so far, really. I got a great Pell grant, and Missouri State offers scholarships for transfer students who were in Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
Also, from the research I have done, and from talking to other people, I don’t think there’s any difference between the curriculum here and the curriculum at more expensive schools. When I get into business as a career, I know I’m going to be just as good as the best.
How have your professors shown you they want you to succeed?
I was taking a marketing class and needed a good grade. I wasn’t doing as well as I hoped. My professor cared enough to show me different work I could do to raise my grade. He went out of his way. He worked with me himself.
What do you like to do in Springfield?
I am really outdoorsy, so I love to go to the headquarters of Bass Pro Shops. I just gawk, looking at all the different things I want for hunting and fishing.
I am also a chaperone to my church youth group.
And my girlfriend and I love food, so we go eat on dates. One of our favorite places is Hinode, a Japanese steakhouse. I never leave hungry.