Thursday, July 13, 2017

50 never felt so good – Meet Brian Gombert, 2017 Graduate

Brian Gombert took a nontraditional educational path, serving our country immediately following his high school graduation.

“I joined the Navy right out of high school, leaving for boot camp just 11 days after turning 18,” he says.

After completing his six-year enlistment, Brian moved directly into a banking job. He eventually found his way into education, but as most Peirce students can relate, life got in the way.

“Family illnesses, financial responsibilities, buying, then selling my first home – all of these things consumed my time and energy, and my college education moved to the backburner,” says Brian.

But Brian realized he would never be able to move up in his current field if he didn’t return to school. “I became increasingly aware that my chances to advance and be promoted were hindered by my lack of a college degree. One day I decided that I had to take charge of my life and my career. If I wanted to be promoted or get to the next level, I needed a degree,” recalls Brian.

He returned to college at age 41 to earn his associate degree from Gloucester County College in New Jersey. After seven years of persistence and determination, Brian earned his Associate Degree in Business Administration in 2014.

Despite the accomplishment Brian was feeling, he knew he wasn’t done yet. “Once I graduated in May 2014, I knew I wanted to continue on for my bachelor’s degree, but I didn’t want to spend another seven years getting to my goal,” Brian explains.

Brian looked around and found the best fit was Peirce’s adult life-friendly approach to college. “The flexibility of online and in-person classes, coupled with the accelerated pace, offered me the hope that I could achieve my goal of earning my bachelor’s degree by the time I turned 50,” says Brian.

Returning to school as an adult learner may seem like a disadvantage to some, but Brian found it was quite the opposite. “I tell everyone that I was more disciplined and focused as an adult learner. My life experiences, both personally and professionally, allowed me to approach projects and homework assignments from a different vantage point. I achieved better grades as an adult learner, than I ever did in my previous college experiences.”

It was close, but with Peirce’s help, Brian achieved his goal of graduating by age 50. “As fate would have it,” Brian tells us, “my final class was scheduled for August 16, 2016 – my 50th birthday!”

As of June 2017, Brian has officially earned his Bachelor’s of Science in Integrated Leadership. He currently works for Bank of America and hopes to land a new position utilizing his new skills and degree within the company.

Brian shared one final piece for anyone considering going back to school: “Just do it! Don’t wait another minute! It doesn’t matter if you are 25 or 50, take that first class. My experience has encouraged me to be a ‘champion’ to other adults considering returning to school. If I can do it, anyone can!”

Congratulations to Brian on all of his accomplishments! If you or anyone you know is considering heading back to school, contact an Enrollment Specialist today at 215.670.9000 or admissions@peirce.edu.