Former Marine Travis Bator knew he made the right decision to pursue his degree at Minnesota School of Business-Brooklyn Center after acing an exam during his first accounting class with instructor Wendy LaRock.
“The first night of the class was challenging because so many people didn’t understand the topic at all,” Bator said, “then the first test came and I knocked it out of the park. At that point I had my ‘ah-ha’ moment and I knew I could do this. Wendy (LaRock) turned out to be a great teacher and acted more of a mentor as I got into some higher classes.”
That positive start, coupled with his desire to better himself and his family, resulted in Bator going on to earn a bachelor’s in accounting in just over a year and a half. Married with one child, he was able to finish his schooling while also holding a demanding fulltime job.
Flexibility with evening classes and a swift application process were key factors for why Bator ultimately selecting MSB after returning from active duty.
“When I came back from Iraq it was late October or November and I wanted to get started right away. The application process alone for the larger universities seemed bulky and time consuming and they didn’t allow me to start my schooling in January when I really wanted to.” said Bator. Additionally, the abundance of night classes at MSB made getting my degree easier. Many other schools claim to be focused on people who want to further their career, but offer almost no classes at all, thus requiring you to sacrifice whatever kind of career you have just to go to school.”
Bator, who works as a manager in Ameriprise Financial’s managed portfolio’s department, was also at ease with how he was treated at MSB-BC.
“My final reason for coming to MSB and Brooklyn Center specifically was the Dean of Students, Dawn Espe.” Bator added. “The first time I met Dawn she came off as a very professional, but yet down to earth person and one why truly seemed to understand what someone is going through when they work a fulltime job and attend night classes.”
As far as preparing himself for his career, Bator is pleased with the education his received.
“I had my current career prior to starting at MSB. However, the advancement of my career at my present job due to the education received at MSB is very evident.” Bator said. “The knowledge base alone has put me strides ahead of my peers.”
Bator emphasized the importance of focusing primarily on family when it comes to balancing those demands with the additional stresses of work and school simultaneously.
“You have a job to provide for your family, you go to school to improve your job so you can improve your family’s way of life. With that realization your family shouldn’t be balanced in this triad, it should be the fulcrum. Your family should be there to support you and they should be there to honestly correct you when you start leaning one way or another. Make sure your family is onboard with what you are doing, and how much you are doing. If not, slow down.” Bator said.