“I am now working in the career I have wanted to work in for many years. I have gained knowledge above and beyond what I had before.”
Since he was a teenager, Tony Flaminio wanted to be an accountant. But after leaving high school he learned – as many professionals do – that the path from graduation to dream job is not a straight line.
Tony’s plan to attend and graduate college from Central Michigan University didn’t work out, as he admitted not being focused enough to succeed in school. In 2003, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, and served until 2008. He left the service feeling inspired to return to college and commit to his goal of becoming a CPA, but hit another snag when he lost his job while attending community college in Arizona. Although he was able to find work back in Michigan, the closest college was two hours away. That’s when he decided to explore online learning.
“I was skeptical of taking courses online but decided to give it a try after talking with a co-worker who was taking online courses at Ashford,” he said.
Tony enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Accounting program and earned his degree in less than three years.
“I was able to take the classes at my pace, and in doing so was able to push myself at the pace I was able to handle,” he said. “I made it challenging enough, but not so challenging that I could fail.”
As a veteran, Tony was able to take advantage of the resources available to active duty and veteran students. He found the process of registering for his Veterans Affairs benefits easier than it was at the community college he briefly attended.
“It is nice to have that peace of mind so you can focus on the school work rather than worrying about both your workload and making sure the bills get paid,” he said.
Having rededicated himself to his education after years of starts and stops, Tony then set his sights on earning his Master of Business Administration from Ashford. During that time, he earned an invitation to the Golden Key International Honour Society (students in the top 15 percent of their class based on GPA are eligible). He also bonded with several of his instructors, singling out Assistant Professor Kevin Kuznia, who taught him, “Scratching the surface will not get me anywhere, that true knowledge comes with digging deeper, and understanding every aspect of what I will encounter in the world.”
Tony graduated Ashford in 2015 and went to work preparing for his CPA exam. The experience he gained while earning both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees online has given him a solid foundation on which to launch his career.
“I see references to many concepts that I learned in the course of both degrees,” he said. “The graduate degree will also be very helpful in my personal life, especially when it comes to planning for saving money for now or the future.
“My life has certainly changed since attending Ashford. I am now working in the career I have wanted to work in for many years. I have gained knowledge above and beyond what I had before. Ashford provided a challenge for me to become better, and I am thankful for that challenge as it made me better.”