Michael Smith, MBA Sports Management
Current occupation: Substitute teacher and high school athletics administrator
What made you decide to pursue your degree as an adult?
My original plan was to transfer my G.I. Bill benefits to my son as he was graduating high school the same year I retired from the U.S. Marine Corps. He notified me just before his graduation that he wanted to begin working directly out of high school instead of attending college. Instead of letting my benefits sit on the shelf, I decided to use them for myself.
Why did you choose to study at Tiffin University?
While attending Owens Community College, I listened to a presentation from Kelly Petrosino regarding the cohort program offered by Tiffin University. The program sounded interesting and I felt ready to pursue the next steps in my education.
What has been your experience with the program so far?
I really enjoyed the in-person cohort program and made some wonderful acquaintances along the way. Unfortunately, this cohort was moved to an online platform due to COVID-19. While I was not happy that I had to move to a strictly online program, I found the technology easy to use and understand.
I had several great interactions with students and staff within my cohort. It was nice seeing familiar faces in many of the classes and there was already a bit of a rapport established making it easier to interact and communicate with each other.
How are you juggling work, life and going back to school?
I found consistency in my workload throughout all my courses which allowed me to get into a routine. When you have a good idea of what is expected each week, it makes managing work, family, and school easy. Also, you are given nearly everything in advance so that you can work ahead if you need to make some adjustments to your schedule.
What keeps you motivated to stay in the program?
I have a great support system of friends and family, which helped me stay focused on the program. I often talk about things that are going on in school to keep them involved and I see how proud they are of my accomplishments.
What advice would you give to a prospective student who is thinking about going back to school?
While it is challenging, it is easier than you may think. Even in an accelerated program, the pace was steady and the workload was easy to put into your routine.
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?
I took a risk at the very beginning of my journey. I had not even obtained my associate’s from Owens Community College before enrolling into the undergraduate program at Tiffin. I knew I had some making up to do, so I challenged myself to take courses at both schools in the beginning to get myself where I needed to be by the end.