Meet an IT Student Who Has a True Passion for Learning

Posted by on August 5, 2014

Information technology student David Anderson is no stranger to the Minnesota School of Business-Elk River campus. He has been a student since the Fall quarter of 2009 and is a well-known and highly respected member of the student body.

David Anderson, information technology student, shares his story about his educational journey

What David is most known for is his positive attitude and willingness to help his fellow students, staff and faculty. He also often encourages others to get the most of their education.

“Education is not about the destination. It’s really about the journey, which is why I really want to be here in class. The end game is not just the degree but the journey and the experience of getting there. That’s really what it’s all about,” shared David during a recent interview.

David first went to college in 1978 at University of Minnesota and took a variety of classes. He is a Vietnam Veteran (Marine Corps) and the GI Bill allowed him to attend college. He didn’t graduate from the U of M but instead worked at a shop that built racing engines, which fueled his passion for race cars which been with him for many years.

He did some work on the side to make ends meet at an auto parts store which led to an opportunity to work on a car for a customer. He spent time keeping the customer’s car running in his spare time and later learned that the gentleman was Honeywell’s chief engineer.

David had done such a good job with his car that he was offered a job with Honeywell, and he started out working as an engineering technician doing research and engineering on explosives at the Honeywell Ordinance Proving Grounds.

At this same time, David was able to pursue his passion for race cars because he was “earning enough to finally be able to afford it,” according to David. He began working with Enduro Racers, then built a Short Tracker and raced that for a handful of years, and then moved into Pro 4 Modified Race cars and worked with them for a while.

David decided to “try college again” while working at Honeywell and attended Anoka Technical College where he experimented with machining and electrical courses. He had prior training as a helicopter electrician when he was in the military so he wanted to give that a try. He decided, however, after taking some classes that he wasn’t quite ready for college yet so he left Anoka Tech but continued working for Honeywell.

In 1998, David attended KRS, a local business school, and took classes that followed a MCSE track that prepared him to take the certification exam. He completed his education, graduating in the top five of his class, and received a Certificate of Completion.

Soon after completing the program at KRS, his boss contacted him in regard to a position in the IT department, which was his ultimate goal. That opportunity gradually morphed into what he is doing today, which is a network security administrator at the same company where he began his career.

In 2009, when the MSB-Elk River campus opened, David met with an admissions representative and enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in Information Technology degree program.

“The college part and education is something that I’ve always valued; I’ve always wanted a degree,” explained David. He had realized that between coming out of the military, raising a family, and balancing jobs that didn’t pay very well, college just hadn’t worked out in the past as he had hoped. “I think I just needed to grow up a little bit, not that I ever intend to,” chuckled David.

He chose MSB based on the convenience of the location and the flexibility of class scheduling. With his full-time day job, he is only able to attend classes in the evenings which has worked out very well for him. He prefers taking classes on campus as opposed to online and has had a positive experience with those classes.

“I made a commitment to come here, and I want to experience as much of it as possible while I’m here,” shared David in regard to his involvement at the Elk River campus.

Throughout his education at MSB, David has been extremely active as a guest speaker in a variety of classrooms and involved in the Program Advisory Council for the Elk River, Blaine, St. Cloud and Woodbury campuses. In addition, he provides similar assistance to Brown College and ITT Tech. He has also been a huge asset to the student body as a student tutor in technology classes.

His interest in race cars has stayed with him through the years. Just two years ago, he purchased a sprint car and looks forward to the day that he can race it in the Midwest.

What’s next for David? He plans to continue his education until “the classes run out,” according to him, and then has plans to pursue a Master’s Degree in Cyber Security at the Sans Institute, which is based in Bethesda, Maryland. After he completes the program, he hopes to pursue a Doctoral degree at the U of M and would love to teach classes at MSB in the future. He plans to do this while continuing to work at Honeywell until he retires or, David added with a laugh, “they quit paying me, whichever comes first.”

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