Ben relied on a bicycle as his means of transportation to and from campus. Starting college at the age of 16 and one of a family of eleven siblings necessitated coming up with his own “wheels.” Ben was very active in the Learning Support Center during his tenure at PVCC. Initially, Ben was a recipient of tutoring and soon became a tutor primarily for trigonometry. This opportunity to help others and reinforce his knowledge by sharing it in a manner they could understand has been an invaluable skill that has continued to pay dividends in his professional life. Ben appreciated the “close-knit, community-feel” that the PVCC Learning Support Center offered students and tutors alike.
A number of faculty were influential in his life. Ben cited Casey Durandet, Physics, Peter Thiel, Economics, and Steve Nicoloff, Mathematics, as professors who really cared about their students. They were tough but fair instructors.
Ben shared, “I would always recommend the community college first and foremost. The community college experience preps you for college before the university craziness.” Ben felt more prepared and less overwhelmed than his ASU counterparts. He had gotten the college process down with studying, etc. and was able to help a couple of his fellow students adjust to college life at ASU.
Sister, Lysette, encouraged Ben to secure internships as early as possible. Ben credits his good fortune of receiving ten job offers coming out of ASU to the internships he held while going to school. The work experience and expertise he had to offer as a result of his internship experiences was invaluable to potential employers.
Communication and networking are key skills to have and Ben is enjoying utilizing these skills as he builds a business model with his brother, Judah.