At Grantham, we value a strong sense of community, and we want you to know your fellow students and classmates. We decided to catch up with Thaddeus Menendez, one of our Electronics Engineering Technology students, to learn more about his journey with Grantham University.
Grantham University: Why did you decide to pursue an online degree? What made you pick Grantham?
Thaddeus Menendez: I decided to pursue an online degree for the simple fact that my schedule didn't allow me to be in a classroom setting. Grantham was the school that really showed an interest in helping me pursue my degree in Electronics Engineering Technology.
GU: What were you feeling prior to starting the program? After you started?
TM: I was nervous and a little unsure knowing I graduated high school 20 years ago. Starting school after being out for so long can be a little intimidating. My first conversation with a Grantham staff member went so well and, before I knew it, I was a college student. After I started, I felt a sense of pride because I knew I was on my way to accomplishing my goals. Also, the advisors and instructors from my program are awesome.
GU: What do you like best about Grantham University? About your particular degree program?
TM: As far as my particular degree program goes, it has been challenging at times. But that should be expected from an Electronics Engineering Technology degree.
GU: Describe your life and schedule outside of your schoolwork.
TM: My life outside of schoolwork is busy. My work schedule fluctuates from 8 to 12 hour days with little notice. On top of that, I am a strength and conditioning coach for 20 girls ranging in age from 10 to 17 years old. I also take my 6-year-old to karate practice twice a week. Finding the time to complete discussions, assignments, labs is difficult. Time management is a skill that is very vital to my success, and the ability to have time to help with my kids’ homework and other family matters is important.
GU: How do you stay motivated?
TM: I stay motivated knowing I'm accomplishing a goal and will be a better provider for my family. I'm most passionate about my family. They are the reason I push myself the way I do, so they can have a better life. Obtaining my EET technology degree would fulfill a dream I've had for quite some time. It would allow me to provide a better life for myself and my family. I hope to use my degree to pursue a position in the government to maintain combat readiness of the Armed Forces’ electronics equipment, such as submarines, jets and airplanes.
GU: Describe the support you have received from the faculty and staff at Grantham. Is there anyone specific who has been a particular help to you?
TM: The staff has been great. My advisor, Carrie Wadding, has been the best. She's been very helpful and always sends emails to encourage me. She also ensures I'm registered for my next set of classes in a very timely manner. Miss Q, my ET 105 and 115 instructor, has also been very supportive. If there was a book on how to be an instructor, she would be the main character. She goes above and beyond to ensure the lesson is understood.
GU: What is your proudest accomplishment?
TM: Making it this far in my degree program. I am well into my degree program. I've completed a good portion of the core classes for the program and the EET specific classes. When I first started and looked at the classes needed to complete the program, I felt overwhelmed. But I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I hope to put my degree to use and, hopefully, pursue my masters in EE.
GU: What do you think is the most interesting thing about you?
TM: I can do just about anything that I put my mind to. If I can't do it, I'll try before I give in. I'm no quitter.
GU: Do you have a tip/trick/life hack that could help other students like you?
TM: Workout tips are my specialty. One tip to always remember is find the time to do some type of exercise whether it's breathing or doing crunches at your desk. When you take a break sneak in a little exercise, your body will thank you.