South College student Frank Buffum represents the radiology department on the Asheville Student Activities Committee. As a 43-year-old student, he also represents the population of non-traditional students that make South College–Asheville unique.
We wanted to find out more about how South College became Frank’s perfect fit for changing his career later in life, so he shared a few details with us.
South College: Tell us about life before South College.
Frank Buffum: I owned my own computer and technology business. That was before cell phones and tablets became really big … then I got into home building in North Carolina. As I got older I realized I couldn’t keep building houses because there’s not a lot of retirement or benefits – you have to pay for everything yourself and match your own taxes.
SC: Why did you choose South College?
FB: I did some research on the school and it said the average age at South College was a little bit older and that it had a more relaxed atmosphere and that’s what got my attention at first. I’m 43, I didn’t want to go to UNC-Asheville where it’s all kids that just got out of high school. Student interaction and study groups are important for me, but I wanted it to be with people my own age.
SC: What’s unique about South College?
FB: I feel like I am a part of South College, not just some student who goes here. I am seen as me, not just another number … At a big college, where you are one of thousands, you get lost in the shuffle. I appreciate the specific attention you get as a student. At South College there are classes with six or seven people, it doesn’t seem as chaotic and you can learn as an individual. The instructors are knowledgeable, friendly and their credentials are impressive.
SC: What attracted you to radiology?
FB: I knew I needed to get into something with long-term options and there will always be a need for healthcare. I looked into the medical field and this seems to be the biggest job market around here. Also, I think X-rays and MRIs are interesting to learn about.
SC: What advice would you give to someone looking to go back to school as a non-traditional student?
FB: If you are not happy with what you are doing, which I wasn’t, you need to look at your options, pick something you want to do or that you have a passion for and just do it. If you sit around for 10-12 years, like I did, it just passes you by. You need to just get out there and go where you want to go with your life.
We agree with Frank; if you have always wanted to change your career and you need a degree to do so, now is the time! South College is waiting to help you make your dreams come true. Contact us today!