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WGU Graduate Speaker, Wilfrid Ky, Winter 2008

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WGU Graduate Speaker, Wilfrid Ky, Winter 2008
Western Governors University
<p>As a young boy in Africa, Wilfrid Ky always dreamed of getting a degree in computer science. Originally from Burkina Faso, West Africa, Wil came to America in 1999 on a student visa, speaking only French. "I soon would find out the true meaning of learning to survive in America," said Wil. "Not only had I been just recently been exposed to a whole new language and culture but now I had to contend with learning a whole new career and a future way of life for me in computer science."</p> <p>He spent long nights learning English with help from his wife. Wil graduated with his associate's degree in computer science in 2003. "I finally felt a bit of relief knowing that my dream was possible," said Wil. "I knew that the sky was the limit and that doors would start opening for me."</p> <p>At that time Wil was working full time as a network engineer, but was determined to further his education. He enrolled at WGU to work on his bachelor's degree in information technology concentrating in networks design and management. Working full-time, Wil needed something that was flexible and affordable. He completed everything he needed in just under a year.</p> <p>Wil currently lives in Seattle with his wife, Belinda. He works at Microscan as a network administrator and is in charge of maintaining close to 40 servers. Headquarters and employees worldwide rely on these servers to perform their day-to-day job duties. Ky earned his Bachelor of Science, Information Technology degree.</p> <p>Transcription of video:</p> <p>Thank you, Matt, for such good speech and for making us laugh and put a smile on our face. We all need that today. And today is a celebration for all of us here. Together we're celebrating our accomplishment in each of our specialized field and are available to achieve that goal by attending WGU, or Western Governors University online.</p> <p>My name is Wilfred Ky and I’m originally from Burkina Faso, West Africa. Where my native language was French and I also spoke two other African dialects with family and friends. I came to the United States in July 1999 to the Bronx, New York on a student visa in order to pursue my dreams of obtaining a degree in computer science one day. I started off my initial studies by enrolling in an ESL school for a short time in New York, which helped me get my English started. Soon after that I met my wife Belinda. While I was living in New York we talked from two to four hours on the phone each day. I left New York to move to Washington State to be with my wife which allowed me to start using the little bit of English that I knew. </p> <p>In the fall of 2001 I entered a local junior college in Washington State where I would soon find out the true meaning of learning how to survive in America. [Laughter] In the summer of 2003 I was able to obtain my AAS in computer science where I graduated as one of the top students in my class. Shortly after graduating from junior college I completed IT certifications. First, to give me an edge in my profession. And second, to keep my skill set up to date, because the IT field is forever changing and is extremely competitive. I had achieved most of my IT certification by using self-study guides, online classes, and from the hands-on experience of working in the real world.</p> <p>While I was in my last term at the junior college I was offered a job with a web hosting company as a technical support specialist and within a year they made me the network engineer. I'm currently working for a company where I'm a network administrator in charge of maintaining close to 40 servers. They trust me to keep their network up and running smoothly for all of their employees at our corporate headquarters and our employees across the globe. I love what I do and I have a passion for it.</p> <p>One day while browsing through one of my IT magazines I discovered an ad for Western Governors University and I became extremely interested in the self-directed learning model which seemed like a perfect fit for me as a full-time IT professional. And WGU allowed me to pursue my career while earning a degree. I should mention what really caught my attention about WGU was the fact that my degree was tailored around all of my existing certifications and computer background that I had previously attained. It became apparent that WGU was much superior to other online universities that I was considering.</p> <p>In December 2006 I enrolled into the IT bachelor program at Western Governors University. I found their online courses to be very flexible with my personal schedule, and also financially. WGU was a great learning experience for me because it was extremely challenging and I spent a lot of long nights studying. There are no short cuts. Even though all the assessments are done online it's like the grader know that you did not do your best. [Laughter] And they will catch you. You have to study or you will not pass.</p> <p>But no matter how difficult things may seem there is always help when you need it. You're never alone. My mentor Dave Huff did an amazing job coaching me through this incredible journey. Thank you, Dave. Without his help I don't think I would have been able to complete my degree in ten months. Dave was always down-to-earth. When we spoke on the phone for a meeting on how things were going for me, he was always right to the point, which is the way I think folks like it. [Laughter] I was able to earn my degree by October 2007.</p> <p>My success is also due to my family that has supported and believed in me throughout this adventure. Especially my wife Belinda, who spent countless of Saturdays at the testing center waiting for me. And also enduring the last month of my capstone project all alone while I was in a time race to complete my degree before the end of my term. [Laughter] I would like to also thank my mother-in-law Mary for all her support.</p> <p>Going back to school can sound scary for any working adult, but it is well worth it and it's now possible. WGU made it possible for me to earn my bachelor's degree and I'm now planning to come back for my master's degree. Once again, thank you, Western Governors University for providing this opportunity for all of us. Thank you.</p> <p>[Applause]</p>
Western Governors University
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Original Format: 
Commencement Video
Digital Format: 
MP4 (Moving Picture Experts Group)