Without Ashford*, I would not be where I am today. I cannot stress how important this was for both me and my family personally and professionally. It far exceeded my expectations, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Rob Pulver, Jr.
Even before Rob Pulver, Jr. enrolled at Ashford* in 2016, the 30-year-old Tucson, AZ., resident was no stranger to career advancement. Rob worked his way up the professional ladder from nurse, to coordinator, to practice supervisor within the Banner University Medicine organization. With the help of a Full Tuition Grant (formerly named the Leadership Development Grant) from his employer, Rob decided to pursue his degree through Ashford. After obtaining a BA in Health Care Administration in January 2018, Rob parlayed this achievement into yet another promotion within the Department of Orthopedics as Clinical Division Senior Manager. While he possessed the ambition and drive to propel and advance his own career, he credits Ashford for his latest achievement.
“It brought me to a whole new level at my company, which I would not have been able to obtain without returning to school,” he says. “It was the little shove I needed to get in gear and make it happen. Sometimes you need a push in the right direction.”
Learning how to balance work, home, and school proved difficult for Rob early on, but he was able to overcome the new challenge by re-evaluating his priorities and practicing self-discipline.
“No one is going to force you to do your work but yourself,” he says. “There were nights I would stay up late or mornings I would wake up early to get school work done. I could not let my work suffer because professionally I was still trying to prove myself. I could not let my school work suffer because I [not only wanted] to pass, I had to excel.”
Sticking to a routine and working ahead is one way Rob was able to manage his course load, get ahead, and remain focused.
“Once the content opened, I would spend that weekend doing as many discussions as possible, that way I could focus on other assignments and papers,” he explains. “I would also force myself to wake up early on Saturday and go to the coffee shop by my house to spend a few hours on my school work before my kids woke up.”
Rob also utilized Ashford’s student resources on a daily basis to stay on track. In addition to working with the Ashford Writing Center to fine-tune his papers and projects, he also relied on the Ashford Library for its wealth of knowledge and Career Services for help with his elevator pitch and resume, which he says came in handy for his promotion at work.
“My experience was more than I could have hoped for,” he says. “Every educator made sure I was engaged and was available as a resource.”
Rob’s favorite class was his major’s Senior Project, where he was empowered to be creative in selecting his area of study. He chose the topic of health care recruitment and retention, a topic he had great interest in due to his work in health care management.
“This made it much easier to focus and stay engaged,” he adds.
In his new position, Rob approaches his work with the same focused commitment, utilizing knowledge and skills he developed at Ashford.
“School, this time around, gave me much more freedom and also taught me a different side of health care,” he says. “It also helped me understand my management perspective and work on my communication skills. My quality of work feels much more elevated and polished. I now look at things from many different angles and perspectives and understand that there are always other stakeholders involved.”
Rob also gives careful consideration to the impact his journey will have on his children and employees and hopes to serve as a positive role model.
“Without Ashford, I would not be where I am today,” Rob adds. “I cannot stress how important this was for both me and my family personally and professionally. It far exceeded my expectations, and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
* Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus