Milan Institute Graduate | Ray Woods

Ray Woods, 2013 accounting graduate from Milan Institute, Visalia, California, didn’t fear what he would become after graduation. On the contrary, he faced his future straight on with confidence and enthusiasm, just as he did when he enrolled at Milan Institute.

Like many potential students, says Ray, “I was nervous and unsure of myself. I certainly wasn’t where I wanted to be in life at the age of thirty-two. I needed to take quick action and redefine the direction my life was heading.” Ray enrolled at Milan Institute and set his goals before the first day of class. “I would be at the top of my class, with a 4.0 GPA, perfect attendance, and I would exceed all expectations. These perhaps weren’t goals as much as they were demands that I had made upon myself,” he says.

As a student at Milan, Ray was focused and driven to succeed. The classroom environment, instructors and staff fostered these traits that pushed him to succeed. “My instructor was there to help whenever I needed additional explanations. Moreover, as graduation neared, she was even able to point me in the direction of an internship that turned into my first accounting job. When a new potential employer was hesitant to interview me, Milan made contact and helped me get my foot in the door,” remembers Ray.

Unlike other programs at Milan Institute, the Accounting program doesn’t have an externship that provides soon to be graduates an opportunity to work in real employment environments. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop Ray. A few months before he graduated he sought out an internship at Community Services Employment Training (CSET) thanks to the advice of his instructor. The week he graduated it turned into a part-time paid position with the possibility of becoming full time as new budgets were created. “CSET was a wonderful place to work, but I continued to look for full-time employment as the promise of a possibility is not a sure thing. I was highly selective in the positions I applied for, as the Professional Development courses at Milan had given me the confidence I needed,” says Ray. One position he applied for was a Corporate Accounting Officer position with Milan Institute. “On paper I was probably under qualified for the position, but with the support of the campus I managed to get a phone interview. The phone interview quickly led to second and third interviews in person. At least two other applicants were still waiting for interviews for the position, but I kept my confidence high as I left the interview and the next day I was hired.”

Ray has been working at Milan’s corporate office now for about a year and a half. “Prior to enrolling in the Milan Institute Accounting program I couldn’t conceive the possibility that I would be where I am now, but even this is not the end. Where I am now is simply the end of my new beginning. As life moves onward so, shall I. The choices you make will determine the path you take, and if you haven’t made the choice of enrolling at Milan Institute, I recommend you do. You never know where you might be in the future.”