Thursday, June 21, 2018

Two Degrees Later: Wayne Vance Exceeded All Expectations

Many years ago, a high school counselor told Wayne Vance he just didn’t have what it took to go to college. After earning two bachelor’s degrees, receiving multiple educational awards and gaining an acceptance into an MBA program – Wayne proved he not only had what it took to go to college, but he had what it took to conquer his educational dreams.

Despite his successes today, Wayne’s college journey did not start out as easily as it does for some. With the high school counselor’s words circling his mind, Wayne never felt he was good enough. Luckily, this negativity did not hold him back. Wayne started focusing on his career and began to move up the ladder to a supervisor role.

Then one day, it hit him.

Wayne had 17 people reporting to him, 13 of which were earning their college degrees. He knew he could do it, too, but he just needed to get beyond his hesitations and fears. Once he made the leap of faith, he never went back.

Starting at another institution, Wayne found he had the capability to succeed, but he hadn’t found the right fit yet. Thankfully, Wayne did find a professor who soon turned into his mentor. She recognized his strengths and his needs in order to be successful in the college environment; that’s when Wayne heard of Peirce College. “My mentor knew I needed an educational community, which was lacking at my first institution. She had colleagues who worked and spoke highly of Peirce; so she knew it was what I needed. From the Walker Center to the caring professors, Peirce had the nurturing environment I was looking for,” said Wayne.

Wayne took his mentor’s advice seriously and after much discussion, Wayne found himself applying and starting at Peirce in September 2012 in the Technology Management program. After finding his niche with the accelerated classes, Wayne was able to finally complete his first bachelor’s degree in August 2016. As Wayne waited to walk across the commencement stage in June 2017, he decided to put his time to good use and started right back up in the Accounting program at Peirce.

Wayne said he decided on Technology Management and Accounting because he believes they are both the backbone of any business. “I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so my passion fell with the two primary pieces of a business: Information Technology and Accounting,” explained Wayne, “They work well together and go hand-in-hand as I continue growing my business mindset.”

Wayne said not only did both programs contribute to his passion for education, but the professors did, as well. “The professors at Peirce are exceptional. My professors would call me even on the weekends to work through accounting problems because they truly cared about my successes,” said Wayne, “You get individualized attention. You become a part of the Peirce family. Faculty and staff know the students personally ensuring you are not just a number.”

As Wayne continued to find success at Peirce with his education, he also found success with his career. In July 2016, Peirce’s Career Development Services found Wayne a way to not only keep up with his studies, but also gain real-world experience. The accounts payable department was looking for a work study and CDS knew just who to call. Wayne started and immediately found interest and importance in this field of work. After just a few months of dedication, Wayne was asked to move from work study to a part-time employee where he currently resides today as an Accounts Payable Representative.

Wayne said eventually as he continues growing and progressing in his career, he hopes to one day be a professor in higher education. He said, “Thirty-five years ago I was told I was not college material and now I can happily say I certainly was. No one deserves to hear they are not good enough. Some may take longer than others, but everyone can do it. I want to be an educator to help everyone get to where I am today.”

As of this month, June 2018, Wayne has certainly exceeded all expectations. He not only received his second degree – Bachelor of Science in Accounting, but he also was awarded the Alumni Association Raymond L. Palzer ’52 Academic Leadership Award at the 153rd Commencement Ceremony.

Peirce is honored to not only have Wayne as one of our Peirce alumni community members, but also as a staff member who contributes daily to the work and mission of the College.

Check back in throughout the summer as we continue to feature and share some of the Class of 2018’s inspirational stories.