NACTEL Student Stories

John Mondala had been working with regular phone lines at AT&T for eighteen years when he decided that he needed to return to school in order to keep his career secure. “Obviously with the way technology’s changing and everything’s moving, wireless was the way I needed to go.”

He learned about NACTEL through his employer, AT&T, who was providing full tuition, and made the decision to dedicate his free time towards earning his Associate’s degree in Wireless Technology and a certificate in Telecommunications Essentials. “I think it’s an opportunity everyone should take advantage of, especially when telecommunications companies are reimbursing workers for this. It’s basically free money. You’re getting free money to go to school and better your career and better yourself.”

Even with a family and a full-time job, John found that he could budget his time in order to focus on his studies. “I think if people really sit back, they’ll realize that there’s time in the day, especially with online learning.” He worked nights and weekends, and his effort paid off; he finished his degree and certificate ahead of schedule. 

John’s courses had an impact on his career even before he graduated. “I started adding from my class right into what I was doing at work.” His computer applications class came in handy when sorting through spreadsheets, and he was able to double the efficiency of his department with his newly-learned computer skills. His new expertise grabbed the attention of various higher-ups in his company, who started encouraging him to look for a promotion within the company.

That promotion came in April, when John was offered the position of force load analyst, a job that involved more responsibility and technical knowledge. “One of the main reasons I got the job is because of NACTEL and Pace,” says John. Despite cutbacks in his company, he was able to keep a steady job because of his education. He thinks that a lot of his success was due to the self-motivated nature of online learning. “Although the professors at Pace were all immensely fantastic, there were times of the day when my professors weren’t accessible to me. So a lot of the learning I was doing wasn’t just information from our books or our blackboards. I had to really research some of this stuff.”

For those looking to start off with an online degree, John has some advice. “Getting the support of people in your family is so important.  Let them know that there are going to be times where you focus on just your studies, but also let them know that in the long run it’s all going to pay off.”

© Copyright 2015 NACTEL. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy