Master of Business Administration, Marketing specialization, 2010
"The one-at-a-time course schedule made it so much easier."
It was with great pride that Christian Tobias and his family attended the May 2010 Ashford University commencement, where he graduated at the age of 26. "The big reason I came to Clinton was to make my parents proud," says Christian, of San Diego, CA. "I was definitely looking forward to stepping foot on campus and seeing the real thing."
Christian finished his Bachelor's degree at San Diego State University in 2008, and has been working as a paralegal. But he's dreamed of much more. "My big-picture goal has been to work in sports marketing," he says. "I would love to do marketing and advertising for an NBA team." But how could he get into that business?
He knew his career could benefit from a graduate degree, but the graduate programs at his alma mater seemed out of reach. Then he found an alternative in Ashford University. He decided that Ashford would offer him the best opportunity to study online and earn his Master of Business Administration while continuing to work full time. He also liked the fact that with Ashford, he could choose a specialization in Marketing to add focus to his MBA.
It had been more than a year since Christian had attended school, and the online courses were new to him. "I had a year off where I hardly used my brain. I was feeling shut down," he says. "I had to re-energize myself to study, read, and write papers again, and that was a real challenge." Fortunately, he found the academic support he needed at Ashford University. "The one-at-a-time course schedule made it so much easier. After the first couple courses, I got into the groove. The secret is just to be patient. Also, a couple of the math classes were hard, but I sent a lot of emails to my instructors, and they really helped me out."
Eleven courses later, he was ready to graduate and receive his Master's hood at Ashford's campus in Clinton, Iowa.
"What with the recession, now is the best time to get into higher education," says Christian. "Times are hard right now, but they're getting better. And the important thing is for me to stay focused on my long-term goals. I saw some of my friends use the economy as an excuse to kick back and do nothing. I don't want to be that guy. As soon as the economy picks up, I'll be ready. Because behind my name, I've already got those three big letters — MBA."