'I'm Still Totally Geeked Out'
Scholarship Recipient and recent grad mixes practice and theory
Nathan Roby got pretty good training from life, but he came to Columbus State for an education.
Roby started working in restaurants right out of high school, with his first formal training coming in the management program at Chipotle. He quickly saw the value of formal education. Whereas his experience helped him solve problems he'd already seen, his education gave him the tools to analyze new problems. He is also a recipient of several scholarships through the CSCC Development Foundation. These scholarships include: Accounting & Finance Scholarship, Campos Moeller Access Endowed Scholarship and the CSCC Scholarship.
That insight propelled him to Columbus State, where he graduated this summer with an Associate of Applied Science in finance. Roby was the salutatorian for his class, delivering the Pledge of Allegiance at graduation, and he's enrolled at Ohio State's Fisher College of Business in the fall.
Although he came for the classroom education, he appreciated that his professors had many years of experience in their field. One professor, Jack Popovich, used last year's financial crisis as a real-time learning tool.
"If you came to him with a question, he'd tell you to go home and research it," Roby says. "Then that would be your lesson."
At age 27, Roby was one of the older people in his classes. Still he said his life experience was valuable and allowed him to focus on his goals.
"I can honestly say that a lot of people get through college, and they don't really like their field," Roby says. "Because I took the time to explore aspects of the real world and my career field, I'm done with my associate degree and I'm still totally geeked out about finance."
The finance associate degree fulfills the first two years of a bachelor's degree at many Ohio colleges. Roby will have to retake only two finance classes at Fisher, but he figures he'll have a leg up on the rest of the class. Columbus State also offers a general Associate of Arts degree, which is designed specifically to transfer.
On its own, the associate degree program in finance allows you to acquire entry level jobs in several arenas. These jobs can be in banking, corporate finance, insurance or investments. The vast majority of finance majors end up with a bachelors degree at some point, but the associates can prepare you for the rigors of a four year institution and give you a leg up on other candidates for jobs in the field while you achieve your bachelor's degree.
Roby hadn't planned on getting a master's or a Ph.D., but after his success at Columbus State, he's considering it. After graduating, Roby hopes to work for a public service agency or maybe the Federal Reserve—anywhere he can make a difference.
"I look at education as a social benefit," he says.
"I feel an obligation to give back."