Online education has completely transformed how students engage in learning and apply their newly acquired skills to their careers. Brandman University is proud to make education accessible to nontraditional students, including those with military commitments that need high levels of flexibility to fit their studies into extremely busy schedules. Here we share a great success story of an online student named Daniel Mwangi who leveraged his education to achieve his goals while serving the U.S. Army in aviation maintenance.
Education has always been a positive motivator for Mwangi. After graduating with his bachelor’s degree in corporate finance at Southwest Minnesota State University, he was inspired to expand his studies. Acknowledging that communication and people skills are prime assets for advancement in any organization, he set out to improve these skills and abilities. He understood the importance of channeling human capital to attain sustainable long term profits and selected human resources as his next area of study.
After determining his path to achieve his master’s degree in human resources, he began searching for a specific learning experience that would fit into his schedule as an active military member. He also wanted to avoid falling into the same trap that he had seen many of his peers succumb to. Many went back to school with high hopes but then halfway through their programs were faced with the ultimatum to either take classes fully online or drive miles away for ridged on-campus hours.
Although both formats can work wonders for others, Mwangi selected Brandman to complete his degree in part because of the convenience of its blended format provided, combining online work with face-to-face instruction. He expands even further by stating that he “chose Brandman because they are military friendly, located on base, and they worked relentlessly to ensure service members were accommodated as much as possible.”
Mwangi also credits his Brandman professors for making a lasting impact on his experience, including Dr. Arron Grow and Dr. Ben Lastimado. He was connected to the content particularly when Dr. Lastimado connected his personal life experiences directly to the concepts the taught in the classroom, which stimulated the learning process. These instructional models painted pictures for the concepts that textbooks could not saying, “he taught us how to put the wheels on the wagon of professional, academic and personal life.”
Inspired by his experience at Brandman University, Mwangi shares his advice with others who are considering similar life paths of attaining an advanced degree. He explains that it is definitely not easy, but at the same time, it is not hard if it helps you achieve your dream career. He encourages people to self-reflect and ask themselves what they love doing and what career would make them happy if they worked in the same field for 60 years. Most importantly, “Remember it’s not all about the money, but attaining a degree that will bring total life satisfaction and happiness.”
Mwangi is now a financial analyst with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Kansas City, Missouri and continues to dream big for the future. As a citizen of the world he plans to use his education and experience as a public servant on a global platform. “Having been born and raised in Africa, I have seen what lack of housing, poor urban planning, lack of people skills, poor management of finances and resources can do to young kids who are in their formative years,” says Mwangi. “I want to use my knowledge on housing and urban development to help ensure we have tomorrow’s generations bristling with hope, and I want to one day work with United Nations Human Settlements Program.”
Being the ambitious lifelong learner that he is, Mwangi takes one of Lastimado’s lesson to heart and shares his wisdom with all of us saying, “He taught me not to wait to get to the peak of my career to see the world and its vast eternity, but to look and see the world as it is, to enjoy the view as well as the challenges,” says Mwangi. “Most importantly, he taught us not to forget life lessons that still humble us and make us human.”