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Your achievements inspire current students to push forward, reminding them that their sacrifices now will soon pay returns. WGU alumni successes paint the most brilliant portrait of what this university is made of. Exercise your voice, share your story, and utilize the scale of our audience! 


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Remember Your Why

Eric Rasmussen | WGU Alum and Program Faculty Manager, College of Information Technology

Our reasons for going to school at WGU are varied, but we share one thing in common now: we are alumni of WGU. Our “why statements” for why we came to WGU are different, but we now share the common goal of applying our degrees to our current jobs, a new promotion with our current companies, trying to find a job in a new field, or entering doors opened by our new degrees.

My own “why statement” was centered on finding a new job/career after an unexpected layoff after more than 20 years with a company. I often joked that I had a job where I changed companies and worked for multiple organizations without ever moving my office. As is often the case when companies get acquired by progressively larger organizations that move from private to public status, the company’s ethos and focus changes. I remember our first acquisition did a good job by having the owner of the private parent company come in and speak with us about their viewpoint and principles. They also promised to provide us a copy of those principles to keep on our desks and guide us. I never did see that list ever again. The public company shifts your concentration further to be focused on every three months to ensure a good report to the stockholders. The customer focus easily becomes a lower priority to the shareholders.

As I was finishing up my MBA, I realized after talking with my mentor several times that I really should be looking into the opportunities with WGU. Their mission was clear and the methodology of their faculty and notion of surrounding the student with people and services resonated with me. I was fortunate enough to find a position and be hired into it with just a couple months left before finishing my degree.

But more incredible than finding that position was traveling to Salt Lake City for training and walking into the training room with over 30 other new hires of various positions from Course Instructors and Program Mentors to managers of those roles across the various colleges within WGU. As we introduced ourselves and our roles, I looked around the room at my new peers and realized that not only am I surrounded by people with vast backgrounds and experiences but that I was exactly where I needed to be. In our welcome packet I found something very important: our leadership principles. But not just a card for our desks but an actual deck of cards with those principles on them for us to be able to refer to or study. Even more incredibly, they talked about them and even believed them! These are not just words on a piece of paper on a wall in a training room somewhere. These are a core part of what each person who works for WGU is and does. It is a true passion to help students improve their lives and the lives of their families every day.

My alumni journey was a short one. I found a place that not only allowed me to grow my knowledge and reward that growth with a new degree but helped me to find a new organization to belong to and to grow with. I get to apply what I learned from my courses – and apply my experience with my Program Mentor and Course Instructors in my interaction with my peers here in the College of IT. I get to relate my experiences to understand a student’s situation and encourage them to fight through it. To get that one more chapter read today. To get that one more course complete in their degree this week. To celebrate with their Program Mentor when they finish off their capstone. To remember their Why.

Eric Rasmussen, MBA, BS/MS Computer Science
Manager, Program Faculty, College of Information Technology

Mayor and 3-time WGU grad embodies grit

Dana Ralph

Mayor of Kent, Washington. Three-time WGU graduate. Business owner. Former city councilor. Public servant. Cancer survivor. Wife. Mother. You name it, Dana Ralph can do it.

Dana says on a daily basis she uses what she learned in her WGU degrees as the Mayor of Kent, Washington.

Read Dana's full story on the WGU Blog. Click here

From competitive runner to running a department

Connie Washington

Here at WGU, we’re inspired every day by the incredible things our students and grads do, both at school and in their lives outside the university.

We’re excited to showcase some of these exceptional stories, starting with Connie Washington—a record-breaking NCAA champion sprinter. We hope you’ll be inspired, and inspired to share with your family, friends and colleagues.

Check out and share Connie’s story, then use social media to tell us yours. Use #ShareWGU.

One-time dropout, two-time grad

Rashaan Green

How would you react if a teacher told you that you’d never amount to anything?

It happened to your fellow graduate, Rashaan Green, a troubled kid who dropped out of school in the 9th grade. Today, he is a two-time WGU grad employed as a cybersecurity expert.  

What’s your WGU story? What challenges and success have you experienced along the way? We’d love to hear from you!    

See how education changed Rashaan’s life, then share your story on social media using the hashtag #ShareWGU.