Going back to school as an adult can seem like an unimaginable feat, but it’s a decision that students like Louis Gattone know is well worth it.
Louis, a married father of two children (ages 11 and 14), decided to go back to school at 35 and get his first degree in Cyber Security and Information Assurance. He knew it would be hard work, especially opting to go to school full time.
“Ivy Tech provided a great environment to get my education done, while working full time and raising two boys,” he said.
Louis, who will graduate in December 2017, chose Cyber Security because he knew he would be able to start his new career quickly. He put in many late nights and long hours just to accomplish his goal.
“I am just so grateful for my wife, who has supported my crazy schedule, so I could achieve my dream of getting my degree,” he said. “This past summer was back breaking as I took an internship with a cyber security company and kept my full-time job as a manager at a warehouse.”
During this time, Louis worked 80 hour weeks, seven days a week for 14 weeks straight to get the experience he needed.
To keep him motivated, Louis credits one of his professors, Anthony Ford, for his great teaching personality and ability to keep the class engaged. He also was inspired by another professor, Dave Wilson, for the large amount of knowledge he was able to bring to class every day.
Over the last two years Louis was in school, he has enjoyed spending time with fellow classmate Grant Hodges. Louis explained Grant is inspiration that age is just a number—which rings true for many Ivy Tech students, especially working adults.
Louis hopes others will consider Ivy Tech for their postsecondary education to avoid some of the mishaps he previously experienced.
“Do not make the same mistake I did and take out more money than absolutely needed to cover tuition (in the form of loans),” he explained. “Take advantage of the affordable tuition and go into your four-year university debt-free and heading in the right direction.”
He also hopes adults considering a career change, or looking to get a degree, make that leap to achieve their goals.
“If it’s what you want, do what you have to do at any cost to get where you want to be. You will thank yourself in five years from now when you are no longer in a job, but a thriving career.”