Staff Sergeant Timothy M. Riley spent eight years, two months, and six days (not that he was counting) in the U.S. Army working as a Satellite Communications Controller and Terminal Operator. Although his initial plans did not include furthering his education through college-channels, the military’s focus on higher education helped to change Riley’s mind.
Upon exiting the Army, Riley went to work for PanAmSat Corporation in January 2001 as a Satellite Controller. Within a year, due to his military experience, he rose to a shift-management position. Riley returned to school in 2004 and spent a year balancing college against the demands of work and family. When his career was elevated to the ranks of middle-management, he again found it exceedingly difficult to allocate time for the traditional college classroom. In early 2005, a coworker introduced Riley to UMT. He immediately changed schools.
“When I joined UMT, my tuition costs were reduced by more than 50 percent of what I had previously been paying,” says Riley. “I also received more consideration for transfer of credit and thereby reduced the time required to achieve my bachelor degree. I knew exactly what would be expected of me within my program of study before I even signed up to take classes. UMT was very amenable to my status as a veteran; and I couldn’t have been more impressed.
“The curriculum was presented in an easy-to-follow format that I found straightforward and convenient, Riley continues. “My questions were always answered promptly. The professors were accessible and provided good feedback. I was so invigorated by the whole experience that I took only one month off after graduation and than started the program for my MBA.”
In July of 2006 Riley graduated with his BBA degree from UMT. That same month his job was slated to be eliminated. Riley stayed with the company for another 11 months until his position was actually dissolved. He utilized that time to finish his MBA program and graduated with his MBA in Project Management in May 2007. He started work as a project manager for a new company that same month.
“UMT made it possible for me to pursue education on my own terms and at my own pace, said Riley. “I just recently (August 2009) completed a second graduate program with UMT, this time a Master of Science in Information Technology (MSIT) degree. Since I work so closely with IT assets, it seemed like a logical pursuit of knowledge; and I definitely met the goals that I intended to achieve in the IT field. I can now assist in the management oversight of our company’s IT assets.
“I don’t know where I would be today if it had not been for UMT! My guess would be, in the unemployment line.
“While I had not yet established a specific direction for my latest degree, it is already taking me in interesting directions in my current job. It is going to be very interesting to see where the future takes me and I really have UMT to thank.”
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