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Changing Lives, Building Futures

I began with Institute for Professional Development (IPD) in October 2006 and was in training until December. Following training, I was able to enroll Nicholas "Nic" Cobb, the son of a close friend, was my first self-generated referral. Nic inquired about Averett's degree programs on December 1, 2006, and enrolled in our BBA program on January 12, 2007. He impressed my entire office because whenever he came for an appointment, he would wear a suit. Even though he was not employed at the time he would dress professionally for our meetings. He always wore a smile and is one of the most polite people I have ever met. Nic will graduate this December! He is employed with Capital One and has been promoted twice since his enrollment. I am extremely proud of Nic and so happy I was able to see him through this life-changing event.

Following is the interview I conducted with Nic recently.

1. When did you start thinking about returning to college?
Right after high school. This is my third time attending college. It never worked out before because my priorities weren't straight. I attended a community college and Richard Bland College. I also tried to succeed in real estate.

2. What made you contact Averett, or how did you hear about us?
I heard about AU through my Mom, who heard about it from you (Pat).

3. What were you looking for in a program?
I had a full time job and still do, so time was a big concern. I needed a program that would fit around my work schedule. I knew I couldn't be bombarded with school work.

4. What obstacles or fears did you have?
I feared my ability to do the work correctly, and I didn't know how hard it was going to be. The way the classes are set up, I get the point of view of not just myself and the professor, but all the teammates which is very helpful. I have maintained over a 3.0 grade point average throughout the program.

5. What is your favorite part of the program and why?
You are not alone. You have a team who will help you achieve your goal of achieving a degree. Study teams are unique and different and have worked really well for me.

6. What is your least favorite part and why?
I don't have a least favorite part.

7. How will completing your degree impact your life personally and professionally?
Personally, once I find a significant other, hopefully we will have similar educational backgrounds. Professionally, earning a degree is the main reason I enrolled. Averett has taught me so much about the business world. I know whatever I decide to do, it will be beneficial from all the lessons I learned, not to mention the degree itself. Life lessons combined with book lessons - can't beat that anywhere.

8. What are your plans once you get your degree?
I have been thinking about this for awhile. I do know that my degree will give me opportunities. Capital One has treated me with so much respect that my plan is to stay with them. Right now, I am a claims intake specialist. I have moved up two levels at Capital One while enrolled. I definitely tie much of my professional success to furthering my education.

9. What has been your favorite class and why?
Anatomy. I learned a lot that I did not know and got a chance to see a live autopsy. That will always stand out, it was on a volunteer basis. I didn't have to go, but knew it was a once-in-a-lifetime chance.

10. Who was your favorite professor and why?
This is a three way tie with Dr. Nancy Atkins, first and foremost, hands down. Mr. Bob Sims made a huge impact on how I write. Dr. Mike Jernigan - he is so strong and firm and stubborn. I was forced to love him over time - he grows on you.

11. What do you think about going to Danville for your graduation?
I haven't even thought about it really, just making it through one class at a time. I do need to start thinking about it shortly. I have only 3 credits left.

12. What would you tell someone looking at going to school?
Don't go to a regular college - go to Averett. You can balance work and school. This is coming from someone who previously struck out twice. I know the difference, and I will advise people to attend AU.

Final thoughts?
I love Averett University and thank you! I am indebted.

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