Shawn Robert Spaide, BBA Management – Human Resource Management Student
Current occupation: Project Assistant at Whirlpool
What made you decide to pursue your degree as an adult?
In high school, I did not take high school seriously, which showed in my 1.6 GPA. After a couple of years after graduating, I decided the enlist in the United States Marine Corp. From there, my life changed for the better. I grew a new sense of responsibility, what it meant to work for something and find value in everything that you do. After getting out of the military a couple of years later, I decided to attend college to prove to myself and others my true potential. I first applied at Tiffin University, where because of my poor GPA, I was required to write a letter. While I was accepted to attend, I would do so on a probationary period. At that time, I decided to start off slow, so I attended Terra State and did very well there. While attending school, my mother became very ill, and I took time away at the end of the Fall semester in 2015 to help take care of her as I became her power of attorney. Then in July of 2016, we lost my mother. I then decided to return to school as I believed I was ready to finish what I started. However, I reapplied to Tiffin University this time and got accepted without being on a probationary period. Since then, I have never looked back.
Why did you choose to study at Tiffin University?
I chose to study at Tiffin University because my wife worked there for a few years, and she worked with some wonderful people. Also, because I knew Tiffin University had a strong business program, and I wanted to prove to myself and others that I could complete my degree at Tiffin University.
What has been your experience with the program so far? What has your experience been with the teaching staff in the program?
My experience with the program was excellent. The courses in my program build off of one another. I noticed that some of the stuff learned was a repeat of what I learned previously in another class, but it allowed me to apply that learning differently. The staff really care about their students, and they are always open and willing to do what they need to do to make you successful. The school is very active and does many things for their students like; giving out free tickets to sporting events (even for distance learning students), which is awesome as it gives you the opportunity to socialize with the staff and other students.
What keeps you motivated to stay in the program?
Where do I begin? There are a number of factors that have helped motivate me during my college career.
My mother was very proud of me for deciding to attend college, as she always asked me how school was going, even when she was very ill, she managed to ask me about school. So, I have to say knowing she was and is proud of me has been a significant part of my motivation.
Then a little over two years later my wife lost her Grandmother. Her Grandmother loved me and always asked about school, as well, and was intrigued to know how things were going. Losing her was difficult for my wife and her family, but we held steady, and I continued my college career.
Then a few short months later, I lost my Grandmother unexpectedly in 2018. For me, this was really difficult, as she was the piece that made losing my mother bearable. However, she told me she was proud of me many times, and that my mother was proud of me. I could not wait for her to attend my graduation, as I knew she was excited. Even though she physically cannot be there, I knew spiritually her presence will be present.
Lastly, back in August, I had major shoulder surgery that left me in a permanent brace for six weeks, which made typing very difficult, but I found a way to make it work and kept pushing. I pushed because I knew it was what my mother and grandmothers would have wanted me to do.
Also, for my family, I want to make them proud, as well as give a life that my wife deserves. Also, when I think I cannot go on and want to give up, I often think of my wife and know that she never gave up, as she was diagnosed with multiple, life-threatening diseases, but has pushed herself and lives everyday not worrying what the day brings. She is a very positive, loving individual that lights up the room. I push myself to do the best I can in everything I do. It is a motto that I live by. My sisters are all I have left of my mother and grandmother, so I push myself to do the best, as I want to be an example to them and be the person to push them to be greater than they were yesterday.
All of these things are a part of why and how I have stayed motivated in my college career here at Tiffin University. I am an individual that had a 1.6 GPA to a 3.9 GPA in college; this shows that work and dedication do pay off.
What advice would you give to a prospective student who is thinking about going back to school?
Never give up. Take what you are given and turn it into a positive thing. Everyone has it worse than we do. Be thankful for the time we have and do not waste it on something that is not going to make you proud or greater than yesterday. I had a principal in high school, and every morning, he told us “it’s a great day to be alive,” I live with that every day.
TU’s motto is: Without risk there is no gain. Can you tell us about a time when you took a risk and what you gained from it?
When I joined the military, I was not sure what I was going to gain from it. Leaving my family was hard. However, the military was a strong part of my family. But, I took the risk and enlisted in 2008, what I gained and learned is beyond words. It changed my outlook on life, and what it meant to truly work for something and cherish it, as well as be a leader to others and show them with work there can be success in the things we do.
Without risk, there is no gain.