Shortly after the birth of Miguel Montes’s first son, he experienced a divorce. Now, with a young son to care for, Miguel stopped everything – his graduate degree, his promising career in science – to raise his child.
The moment gave Miguel a new outlook, and he emerged with a stronger resilience to overcome any challenge in his life.
It was that same attitude that would lead Miguel to enroll in the Maryville Online Bachelor’s in Data Science and make peace with a lifelong disorder that he barely knew anything about.
A second chance. A passion, reignited.
Years later, with a new marriage and more children present, Miguel dearly missed his science career. His wife encouraged him to resume his studies, and said she’d support him if that was his decision.
So Miguel researched. He wanted flexibility so that he could study on his own time. He preferred to pay out of pocket, so the degree had to be cost-effective. That’s when he found Maryville.
“I’m happy I chose Maryville and I would not change it for the world.”
Initially, Miguel studied math as a hobby during his free time; he didn’t think he could manage being a full-time student as a parent, husband, and teacher. Miguel was intrigued by his data science minor though, and his experience with Maryville’s faculty and the flexibility Maryville provided gave him the confidence he needed. So, after changing majors, Miguel was officially enrolled in his present Bachelor’s in Data Science online.
Miguel’s appetite for learning was satisfied as an enrolled student. His favorite class was Excel with Dr. Yuanjin Liu, which he was able to immediately utilize.
“If I’d met him 25 years ago, I probably could have saved about two months of my life…there are no words to express how much that class was immediately useful.”
Miguel also learned Python under Professor Robbie Beane, which he considered preparation to be competitive in the data science market. “I know I’m going to need Python as a data scientist, and I love that class and the rigor that Dr. Beane put us through,” he said.
Navigating change from a part-time to a full-time student.
Miguel’s transition to a full-time student – all while continuing to work and be a family man – required dedication and a solid plan. Miguel protected his time by scheduling uninterrupted study time, and prioritizing school on weekdays and weekends.
But what made Miguel’s challenges easier to bear was the Maryville staff and students.
One of Miguel’s classmates had already worked in some of the same fields related to data science, and the two shared notes and friendship.
“He’s sort of been a mentor towards me,” said Miguel. “He keeps telling me not to be such a perfectionist, and to keep things simple.”
Also, Miguel learned many helpful lessons from the director of his program, like how to navigate the change from a part-time to a full-time student, and to select the best course schedule for him. It was part of the trend Miguel had seen time-and-time again at Maryville: accessible teachers and concepts designed to help him succeed.
Overcoming a lifelong barrier.
Throughout his life, Miguel had noticed a habit of starting things – serving many diverse interests – but, often, not finishing many of those same pursuits. He’d considered it just his nature. It wasn’t until he decided to visit a professional that he learned he had attention deficit disorder.
“Accept who you are, take it as a strength, and surround yourself with people who also accept you.”
With the knowledge of his ADD, Miguel created success strategies that worked for him, and his program search evolved more to fit his specific needs. Now, Miguel plans to graduate in 2023, and from there, plans to pursue a master’s and Ph.D program. He’s learned many helpful strategies for those with ADD who are navigating the same journey as he once did.
“A lot of people who have ADD might also be perfectionists, and they have ten tasks and spend ninety percent of their time on the first task and never get to the remaining tasks,” said Miguel. “I’d suggest that the students get a timer and allot themselves an equal amount for every class. What’s important is to do something daily – even if you don’t finish or even if it’s not perfect. You can always come back and make it better.”
Taking steps one-by-one to reach new goals.
Miguel’s outlook is one of positive reflection, and he truly believes that he – and anyone else out there – can do what you want by taking the first step. Then repeat.
“Be brave, because then after that first step you just have another and another, and eventually gets easier. Pretty soon you’ll be at your goal,” Miguel said. “At one point, I did not think I was going to be able to do this. My family had broken up. My son did not have the life I wanted him to have. I had given up my career, and was heartbroken.
“Maryville University saved my life because I was able to be brave… so start now. It’s never too late.“
If you’re ready to see how Maryville Online can help you be brave and pursue your educational and professional goals, we’re here for you. Check out our online bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorate degrees, or schedule a call with an advisor today.
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