If I can accomplish this with a family and a salaried position in which I invest over 60 hours a week, then you can, too.
Robert Lobato Jr.
The chance was simply too good to pass up. Thanks to a partnership between Ashford University and his employer, Robert Lobato Jr. received a golden opportunity to go to college and earn his bachelor’s degree.
“My biggest hesitation in going back to school was time and money,” Robert explains. “Thanks to T-Mobile and Ashford University, these hesitations were removed, and I had to take advantage of this great opportunity!”
Robert has worked at T-Mobile for 12 years. In 2015, he discovered the company was participating in Ashford’s Leader Development Grant* program. The grant works in conjunction with the tuition assistance program at participating companies to offer eligible employees a route to a college degree at a reduced cost.
“As soon as the news regarding the Leader Development Grant was out, I made a call to Ashford and spoke to a University Advisor who was amazing and helped me enroll all in the same call,” Robert explains.
He enrolled in Ashford’s Bachelor of Arts in Business Leadership program. For Robert, the pursuit of this particular degree wasn’t about becoming a business leader – he had already climbed the ladder to a leadership role as a District Manager at T-Mobile. Getting his degree was a chance to become an even better leader and a role model to his three daughters.
“Pursuing my degree has been meaningful both professionally and personally. Professionally, earning my bachelor’s degree in leadership allows for me to flex the refined leadership skills that I learned in addition to opening up doors for future career opportunities,” Robert says. “Personally, I am able to inspire my daughters to follow in my footsteps and pursue further education as they grow up.”
Robert’s influence appears to extend beyond his family -- He was able to inspire many of his coworkers too. “I referred over 15 T-Mobile employees to take advantage of this opportunity,” he says. “One of them was able to graduate with me.”
It’s no wonder Robert is able to inspire others. His time at Ashford was a rousing success. He graduated summa cum laude with a 3.98 GPA. He was also invited to join academic honor societies such as Alpha Sigma Lambda, Golden Key International Honour Society, Sigma Beta Delta, and SALUTE Veterans National Honor Society.
Robert graduated at the end of 2016 and took part in the commencement ceremony held in October in San Diego, California. Now that he’s successfully checked a bachelor’s degree off his to-do list, Robert is thinking about heading back to school for a master’s degree. He also has advice to anyone who is thinking about pursuing a degree.
“You live life once. Make the most out of it. Stop making excuses and do it!” Robert says. “If I can accomplish this with a family and a salaried position in which I invest over 60 hours a week, then you can, too. Don’t live your life in regret.”
* Now known as the Full Tuition Grant