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3 March, 2016
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“Education is not preparation for life, education is life itself.” – John Dewey
1 August, 2016

Small School Big Dreams

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As any other dreamer, I pictured myself attending a big school, with lots of buildings, full of students as hungry for knowledge as I was. Classrooms as big as theaters, a huge campus with lots of green areas…everything we imagine when it comes to attending a university, right?

Based on this, I immediately started to think about the possibilities I had, the colleges I could attend and the different cities I could go to. Since living in New York City had always been one of my goals and I had been in Miami for four years, I  decided to adventure myself into going there to check a few colleges. I dreamt of arriving in the city, getting soaked in the culture and being one of the lucky students that were privileged enough to live and study in the big apple. Nevertheless, as with any other dream, reality was “slightly” different.

As I began touring campuses, a strange feeling started running down my spine. Although every school seemed extremely competent and organized, I couldn’t help but realize how all of them seemed to be offering the same thing. What was the “it” factor that differentiated them from one another? Moreover, the populated classrooms reminded me of my undergrad years, and the disadvantages this could bring as a student.

As I came back to Miami I started to think about exactly what I needed and not what I wanted in a school. What were my goals? What tools did I require in order to achieve them? As I contemplated all my possibilities, a friend who knew about my situation invited me to check a university based in downtown Miami. “Atlantis University” he said, “a small, fast growing competency based university focused on business and IT”. To me, the key word was “small”. How differently would a small school work? I had to check it out.

I made an appointment to go check the premises and the program, and was pleasantly surprised. They offered a fast paced Master’s degree program where you could graduate in a year or a year and a half. Intensive 4-hour classes allowed students plenty of extra time between days of the week to work on other projects. The school focused on today’s technological advances, merging business with IT as well as engaging students with activities related to Miami’s growing start-up community. Moreover, they gave the opportunity to every business student to pitch any business idea they had, offering assistance as far as development and support.

It has been six months since I first became a part of Atlantis University family and I have to say that coming here has been extremely beneficial. Being at Atlantis has giving me the opportunity to have a better interaction with my professors, which has helped me develop stronger bonds and connections for my career. Because of these bonds I now consider my professors my close mentors who are always there whenever I need extra guidance, whether it is for a school matter or for a business related project. On the other hand, being able to easily contact school staff in order to suggest any school activity or project related to the university has been beneficial to my career.

As many of us already know, we live in an extremely competitive era, and having a degree is no longer enough. Today, it is more about knowing what to do with that knowledge and to start thinking outside the box. What makes you different? I decided I did not want to be just another number at a school and not get lost in a sea of faces; I decided I wanted to be a strong competitor in today’s society. So far, my experience has paid off as I feel I have been pushed into directions I never thought I would have taken. This small competitive school with big dreams has made me think outside “my” box, providing me with even bigger dreams than the ones I already had. I know Atlantis University is going to keep pushing me and giving me more opportunities in order to achieve my goals and become a successful professional in the near future.