Returning to school with a purpose

July 10, 2020

profile on Peter Cherepanov

The story of Peter Cherepanov '19 is literally all over the map. He was born in Russia, moved to the United States when he was young, went to high school in Massachusetts, attended university in Canada for a short time, and completed his Bachelor of Business Administration online at Quinnipiac.

He has had quite a journey, and it isn’t over yet.

When I met Cherepanov a few years ago, he began his application for Quinnipiac’s online Bachelor of Business Administration. He was driven to graduate as quickly as possible as his future was within his sights. But getting to this point took some time.

Cherepanov left college before he completed his undergraduate degree because he didn’t feel like he was getting what he needed out of his education. He attributes that to his youth.

As a young college student, he didn’t make the relevant connections from his classes to his life. Once he became a paramedic, he began to make a deep connection with the community he was serving.

He liked that about his job. He made a good living and was happy until this nagging feeling came over him – he needed to finish his undergraduate degree.

Now that he was an adult, he wanted more and was ready to return to school. Since he had credits from his earlier college experience, he began to research degree completion programs and found Quinnipiac.

An online Bachelor of Business Administration would complement his former accounting major and give him the flexibility to cast a wide net when it came time to transition into a different role.

Cherepanov said that he found meaning in his recent educational experience because he was an adult. Now, he uses his life and work experience to draw from when studying different subject matter.

That experience, along with the responsibility of being a husband and father, led Cherepanov to excel at Quinnipiac.

With his program plan in hand, Cherepanov took control of his schedule. He worked with his adviser to finish in the shortest time possible and chose interesting elective courses.

One of those courses was Legal Aspects of Health Care. He welcomed the challenge of a law class and applied his health science background. He began to see his future unfold before him.

Cherepanov combined his collective experience with his scholarly practice and knew what path he wanted to take. Once he graduated with his Bachelor of Business Administration, he applied to law school and was accepted to all of his top three choices.

He is very proud to say that he will be attending law school this fall.

A continual reference check on the impact his actions have on his life and those around him, will guide Cherepanov to a world of wonderful possibilities.

His drive and focus come from the center of his life, his wife and daughter, who lovingly support Cherepanov's academic and career choices. As he acknowledges his ability to create positive change in the world, success awaits him.

Q & A

What did you like most about your program?

I most enjoyed the actual education that I received. I knew that I had a core set of courses to take, but I also had to take several electives. I wasn’t particularly excited for most of my electives.

Nevertheless, I had an overwhelmingly positive experience with each course that I took. Each professor that I had was both knowledgeable and approachable; they were eager to help wherever they could.

I even got a letter of recommendation from a professor!

How has this experience helped your career decisions?

The education that I received has permeated every career and personal decision that I have made. The breadth of knowledge that I acquired from the program has helped me understand financial and accounting decisions in the workplace.

I have learned how to be a more effective leader in my current profession and a better student for my future academic pursuits. I am better able to evaluate my options systematically and rationally from an objective perspective.

What was your online experience like?

My online experience was overwhelmingly positive. There are pros and cons to distance education as opposed to brick and mortar schooling; for me, the strengths outweighed the weaknesses.

The courses were well organized with a challenging, but manageable workload. There was some legwork required, but nothing unmanageable.

I was set up for success with an outline of the courses I needed to graduate in an easy-to-understand format before I started my first classes.

As the semesters went on I was better able to organize myself; I didn’t need much guidance.

What motivates you to work so hard?

The actual, true cost of education is what motivates me to work hard. It’s easy to not take classes seriously when you’re 18 years old and still living, mostly, under your parents' umbrella.

I used loans for part of my education, and they weren’t some abstract number that might affect me in an unknowable distant future; there was a direct and immediate impact on my credit and ability to pay bills.

The portion of my education that I paid for myself was a huge part of my salary. A portion of every week I worked was wholly devoted to education. I was paying a mortgage and getting ready for my first child.

I weighed every aspect of the value of my education before deciding to commit and there was no way I’d give any less than 100% of my energy to succeed academically; I gave too much of myself to be lazy.

What advice would you give someone who is thinking of returning to school to finish their undergraduate degree?

I have two complementary general pieces of advice to give to someone thinking of returning to school. First, do plenty of research. There is a plethora of programs to choose from, but few that will truly meet your needs.

Ideally, there should be harmony between your lifestyle, abilities, desires, budget and any other personal needs you may have. On the other hand, at one point you need to just bite the bullet and commit to something.

I have several friends who also completed their degrees later in life and we all lament that we should have tried to finish earlier. I know that the diploma seems far away now, but you’ll have it in hand before you know it.

Every day that you wait is another day of lost, higher wages.

Like Cherepanov, not all people take a traditional path to their graduate work. Quinnipiac is here to help guide you through the decision-making process.

Reach out to our admissions team or learn more about Quinnipiac’s online Bachelor of Business Administration completion program.

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