Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Management, 2007
National Training Manager
"The feeling of professional freedom is awesome!"
If there's anybody who can keep both his feet on the ground while also having his head in the clouds, Tom Alfano is that person. A self-proclaimed "aviation geek," Alfano is also a hard-working national training manager for a Fortune 500 health care company based on Long Island. But what helped him get there was Ashford University.
"I had two years of college under my belt already so it came down to an unfinished journey and a goal that I wanted to fill. But the search for a college wasn't easy. I spoke to over 15 different schools before choosing Ashford. When I came across Ashford, I found a school that didn't try to sell me anything. They got to know me, they asked me what my goals were in life, they asked me about my current goings-on in life, they just simply wanted to know who I was before even a word was mentioned about degree programs."
It was also important to Alfano that Ashford University had a physical campus in Iowa. "I did not want to go to just an online school. I felt it was important that the school I chose have a campus and one that was rich in history. Ashford's history means they have a deep culture in education and understand what it means to hold a degree. When I walked on Ashford's campus in Clinton, Iowa, for graduation it was like I belonged there. I didn't feel unfamiliar with my surroundings or that I was a stranger. That feeling confirmed I made the right decision and helped to make my journey come full circle."
Alfano graduated from Ashford University with his BA in Organizational Management in May 2007. During his time as a student, he found the challenges came when he was on the road for his job. "I was doing schoolwork cramped in a plane seat with a large textbook, laptop, and note pad writing a 15 page paper. There were times when even the hotels I stayed in didn't have a good internet connection and some of my work was turned in late. Thankfully the professors understood the challenges I faced and worked with me."
Alfano found the diversity of the people in his classes to be the most surprising aspect of attending Ashford University. "There were folks from all walks of life and all ages. The combination of generations, lifetime experiences, beliefs and cultures truly made me see the topic of discussions from many different viewpoints and some I would have never given thought to."
In his current job, Alfano handles managing, designing, coordinating and delivering system training, new hire training, call center quality assurance training, governmental regulatory radiation safety training, and leadership training to an audience of over 1000 employees. His degree in Organizational Management lends itself to Alfano excelling in these tasks and will help him gain more responsibility in his position and beyond. "This degree has just opened up a world of opportunity. I don't feel restricted, meaning if I want to further my career I know I have the freedom to do that since I earned my degree. The feeling of professional freedom is awesome!" In his off-time, you can find Alfano at the gym or at a local airport taking photos of planes. He's had some of his images published worldwide, so he's happy to add professional photographer to his resume. You can also find some of his writing online at nycaviation.com where he explores the world of a frequent business traveler. He's also first in line to recommend Ashford University. "After I came back from Clinton and people were congratulating me, a close friend and also my cousin asked me what it was like to take online classes. After discussing it with them they began their own online programs at Ashford to fulfill their lifetime goals."
And to anyone else who is unsure about taking the leap to a degree, Alfano offers this advice: "JUST DO IT! It may seem like a long journey but it's exciting, fun, and challenging. Then before you know it, your academic advisor is saying, 'This is your last class before you graduate.' The journey itself is what you make of it; if you really want to do it, you will and if you don't, you'll never know what truly could have been.
From the bottom of my heart, I deeply feel I was a part of something, part of a school that understands the challenges of today's world and that everyone is their own unique person. Ashford is there to help you along the journey that is life. I truly feel that I am Ashford University."