Ken Mansfield came to Lewis County with his family from San Diego when the economy collapsed in 2008. Working a variety of part-time jobs, and starting a small business using goats to clear brush to make ends meet, Ken knew that if he were to have more than just a job, he would need to further his education to cement financial security and reach his career goals. That’s when he decided to attend the Bachelor of Applied Science in Applied Management (BAS-AM) degree program at Centralia College.
“I had an associate degree from Southwestern College in California,” Ken explained. “But I was less than a stellar student and didn’t see the value that an education could provide. Since attending the BAS-AM program, I can see that value now, it’s changed my life forever.”
Two years later Ken graduated near the top of his class with a 3.91 GPA, proving that with the right motivation and support he could reach his goals. He also took advantage of the interest free payment plan available at Centralia College.
“My financial aid package only covered about half of my tuition and fees,” Ken said. “The low cost of Centralia College compared to other institutions, and the payment plan made it possible for me to attend.”
After graduation, Ken took time to help care for his father, who was fighting cancer, before searching for a job. Unfortunately, this past February his father lost that fight. But Ken didn’t let his loss stop him.
“It was devastating for me and my family,” Ken said. “But he wanted the best for me, and didn’t want me to waste my education. My family helped make my success possible, and it wouldn’t be fair to them, or me, if I didn’t use it to its fullest potential.”
Recently Ken accepted a position with Syntel Incorporated, a global financial technology company, as a business analyst in Irvine, California. He credits the instructors in the BAS-AM program, and his time as an intern in the information technology (IT) department at the college for his success, especially college application developer and IT professor Sam Small.
“When I was looking for an internship while in the BAS-AM program, I met with Sam in the IT department to see if they could accommodate my career goals,” Ken explained. “I described the job I hoped for, and then Sam helped craft an internship to fit the needs of that career. He also helped coach me along the way so that I’d have the skills I needed once I began the interview process. Because of him and the instructors, I’m now beginning a career that I love.”
For more information visit centralia.edu or call 360-736-9391, ext. 608.