Not Getting the Job Led to His Biggest Life Improvement

Guy Tosti '18 thought he could build a successful career without a four-year degree — until a fateful job interview convinced him otherwise.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Editor’s Note: Keuka College graduate Guy Tosti was named the College’s 2018 AOE Commencement speaker. He used the occasion of his speech to fellow graduates to explain the true importance of a college education. Here are his remarks from the 2018 Keuka College Commencement Ceremony:

My name is Guy Tosti and I am a member of the Class of 2018 Organizational Management program. I would like to thank you, my fellow graduates, of the Class of 2018, the esteemed members of Keuka College, family, and friends for this opportunity to share with you my thoughts and experiences that have led me to this day.

Before I began this journey, I had a fear of successfully completing my degree. That’s because when you are a college graduate, the expectations are suddenly raised.

You see, I was always able to get along pretty far in my life with the limitation of being a high school graduate. When I was asked, “Where did you go to college” or “What is your degree in,” I reveled in the reaction when I would say, “I have no college education.” It seemed as though I was able to exceed their expectations and validate myself because I was able to put out a qualifier: “For a high school graduate …” – “I don’t need no stinking degree!”

That was until I was offered a job, a really nice job. It was a career, in fact, where I was actually recruited by the hiring manager. They came after me because they saw the work I was doing and offered me a job that paid significantly more than I was making, with more benefits and the opportunity for advancement.

After two interviews, the offer letter and salary package came in the mail. I was instructed to call the HR manager and button-up some final details. We were on the phone for about 10 minutes when he asked me, “Where did you go to college? – we need your degree and coursework.” I told him, with my characteristic arrogance (or ignorance), that I didn’t have a degree. I expected to hear, “OK, I’m just surprised how smart, talented, and successful you are without a degree.” Instead, his tone changed and he said, “OK, how many credits short are you?” In my wisenheimer way, I responded, “all of them.” I went on to say that I never attended college.

The conversation that was going so well for 10 minutes was over by the eleventh. Gone was that opportunity. I was left to return to the job that I had mentally resigned from (thankfully, only mentally).

Over the next several years, it became more and more obvious to me that I needed to put myself in a position to be an actual success – not one that required the qualifier “for a high school graduate.” Now that I have completed this portion of the journey – as have all of you – the expectations have risen. We are at a point where the next opportunity is available to us. Whether it is to continue education, enter the workforce, start your own business – whatever it may be – the expectations are higher but so, too, is the opportunity.

It’s Easy to Get Started

The admissions requirements for our business management degree program require some prior college credit. Classes are held just one night each week from 6-10 p.m. at a location near you, and in most cases, you’ll be able to earn your degree in less than two years. 

You’ll spend additional time outside of class to complete readings, assignments, case studies, online discussions, and group work. As an added convenience, some of your courses will be entirely online.
Your admissions and enrollment counselors will walk you through every step of the admissions process, tell you exactly what courses you need and how long your program will take, and make sure all of your credits transfer correctly. 

As an business management degree student, you’ll learn:

  • Business Law
  • Ethics
  • Accounting
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Information Technology
  • Project Management
  • Strategic Planning 

If you’re ready to get started, why not have a conversation with an admissions counselor? Simply request more information today by filling out the form below or by calling (800) 335-3852.

Not sure if you’re ready to talk to someone yet? No problem. Explore the business management degree online and let us know when you’re ready.

Do You See Parts of Yourself in Guy’s Story?

Is there something about Guy’s story you recognize in yourself? Drop a comment below, chat with us on Messenger, or email us at [email protected]. We’d love to know what’s on your mind.