Born and raised in Scotland, John Rudolph said that his parents came to the United States when he was 10 to find better job opportunities, and instilled that same strong work ethic in him. “When I graduated from high school in Michigan, instead of going to college I immediately enlisted in the U.S. Navy – despite having a four-year music scholarship to the University of Michigan.”
Seeking a Degree
John spent the next 20 years in the Navy and received lots of professional training in computers and networking while he was enlisted. “I retired from the Navy on a Friday, and started at a new position in network administration the following Monday.” He said that he worked that job for 13 years, but then his position was eliminated. His wife suggested that he go back to school and complete his degree. “Even though I had certifications in networking and computer repair and all that experience, I still needed the degree,” he said.
What He Likes About PVCC
Commuting from Fishersville to PVCC’s main campus, John started classes at PVCC in January 2013. He knew that he wanted to utilize all the skills and knowledge he’d acquired, so he decided to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Information Technology. “I like the way they treat adult learners at PVCC. When I walk through the door, I feel just like one of the 19-year-olds! The professors treat every student the same, and I like their method of instruction.” John said that his biggest challenge is math, and he plans to spend the summer “hanging out” at the First Quadrant Math Center on campus, where he can get tutoring assistance. “It’s been such a good experience at PVCC. I will miss it when I go back to work.”
A Man of Many Talents
In addition to his computer expertise, John said that he loves to write and has published a book entitled A Squid’s Story: My First Four Years in the United States Navy. He said that he hopes to make it the first in a trilogy about his naval experience. He has also kept his musical talent alive by playing bass guitar in a rock cover band based in the Shenandoah Valley.
What the Future Holds
John will graduate in 2015. His dream job in his field would be leading an install team or doing a network installation from the ground up, or possibly leading a network security team – all goals that his associate degree from PVCC will help him obtain. John and his wife have two children, and he hopes to secure a job in the future that allows him to spend time with his family. “No matter what you’re doing – whether it’s your school or work or hobby – the key to being successful at it is to be happy with yourself while you’re doing it.”
PVCC offers Associate of Applied Science degrees in Computer Technology and Information Systems Technology, as well as a Career Studies Certificate in Computer Network and Support Technologies. These programs also prepare students for technology certifications desired by employers, such as Network+, A+, CWNA, Security+, Linux+ and JAVA. The College also offers an Associate of Science degree in Computer Science, which prepares graduates for transfer to a four-year college or university to complete their bachelor’s degree. For more information, visit www.pvcc.edu/stem, or contact the Admissions and Advising Center at 434.961.6551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.