Ryan Dickerson, a native of Elyria, OH, was homeschooled in Louisville, KY, and joined the US Air Force directly after graduation. He completed basic training at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO. During basic training, he broke his ankle and received an honorable discharge one year later.
Prior to his time with the US Air Force Academy, Dickerson was part of the Civil Air Patrol cadet program in Louisville, KY where he was received the Civil Air Patrol Spaatz Award. The Spaatz award is the highest achievement in the program requiring a rigorous four-part exam process including leadership theory, aerospace history, physical fitness, and an essay on character. Dickerson was 1984th recipient of the award since its inception in 1964, and the 10th from the state of Kentucky.
Once back home from the Air Force Academy, Dickerson enrolled in courses at Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) to ease back into civilian life. Dickerson excelled academically at JCTC, but eventually desired to continue his studies at the University of Louisville (UofL).
In August 2015, Dickerson began employment at the UPS Worldport in Louisville, KY working third shift as a part-time package handler to qualify for the company’s tuition benefit and to ensure he could graduate debt free. Dickerson shared:
“I joined the UPS and Metro College program because I saw it as an opportunity to succeed, and I seized the chance. While I am very proud of my time at the Air Force Academy, my proudest accomplishment is the way that I have been able to rebuild my life after the Air Force Academy was no longer an option.”
Dickerson, now a UofL senior, majors in business economics and is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. He has proven to be a talented professional who has consistently demonstrated many of the qualities necessary to succeed in virtually any setting – ambition, persistence, professionalism, and dedication – as recognized by his many positive interactions with Metropolitan College staff.
Dickerson, recently earned his associate’s degree from JCTC in December 2017 through the Reverse Transfer at UofL program and will graduate from UofL with his bachelor’s degree in May 2019. Afterwards, Dickerson plans to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree and continue his career at UPS.
Currently, Dickerson is completing a finance and accounting co-op at UPS. The MC program encourages experiential learning opportunities to gain industry knowledge, build confidence in abilities, and to establish professional references for future employment opportunities.
Some of Dickerson’s noteworthy accomplishments from his UPS co-op this past year include: creating warranty claims with external vendors; assisting line maintenance with financial planning and forecasting; and facilitating district meetings to appropriate funding for maintenance projects.
Dickerson’s advice to aspiring professionals looking to join his career field:
“Apply for co-ops and internships!” Companies all over the nation are [looking] to fill all of the business internships that are available, and specifically in UPS there are rolling requisitions that you can apply to nearly year-round.”
Dickerson understands firsthand what it takes to be successful in the workforce thanks to his military training and experience and finance and accounting co-op at UPS. He acknowledged that he has an immense passion to mentor other students who are looking to follow a similar career and desires to disseminate valuable information.
Consequently, because of Dickerson’s valuable insight to how the internship and co-op programs work at UPS, he recently decided to volunteer to be a mentor for the Metropolitan College Online Career Guide Program, a new career development initiative which connects current students and recent graduates with experienced professionals for valuable career advice and one-time feedback on their resume, LinkedIn profile, and online career portfolio.
Dickerson concluded his interview by sharing, “Thanks to UPS, I am now on a path to real, attainable success in my chosen field, and I am proud that I found the strength and determination to get on this path.”
Learn more about Ryan Dickerson’s Metropolitan College experience and career advice in this Q&A.
Q: What professional skills and qualities do you find to be most valuable in the workplace and why?
Good communication skills, both written and oral, are essential to success in any workplace, and especially so when every word can relate to a company making or losing money.
Microsoft Access skills are crucial to finance roles for two main reasons: 1) a fair amount of current processes involve Microsoft Access, and 2) process improvement through building databases, designing queries, and keeping them user-friendly enough to become company-wide standards is vital to career stability in UPS finance.
Q: What is the best career advice that you ever received?
It sounds harsh, but it is very true and very important to realize, that nobody cares about you like you care about you. Never wait for anyone else to solve your problems for you because no one will.
Q: How has your degree or credential shaped your career or supported your success? How have you applied it to your field?
Economics is a vastly different major than finance or accounting, even though all three do work with money. Most of the people in my department have either a finance degree or an accounting degree, and because of my different background and different degree, I have been able to offer unique perspectives on issues facing the department.
Q: How have mentors impacted your professional development? Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why
I am very thankful for the excellent role models I have had in my life. My biggest influence would be my dad, who has had to work hard for everything he has. He has believed in me even when I didn't believe in myself, and has not only taught, but demonstrated pure resilience and the importance of internal motivation.
Q: What is an interesting or fun fact about yourself?
I was born in northern Ohio, so I think I should get a pass for this, but I am neither a UK or a UofL fan.... OH! IO!
Q: Favorite Quote/ Life Motto
"Success is how high you bounce when you hit the bottom." - Gen. George S. Patton, USA
We are proud of our current students and alumni and their incredible accomplishments! The MC Spotlight is a way for us to highlight the amazing things our current students and alumni are doing. As you read their stories, you will learn how their Metropolitan College experiences helped to shape their futures and influence their careers.
We are always on the lookout for inspiring MC Spotlight stories. If you or someone you know is interested in sharing a story with us, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: At Metropolitan College, we consider our alumni anyone who has ever completed coursework and received tuition benefits with us.
"Because of the UPS/Metropolitan College program, I was the first person in my family to graduate with a bachelor degree."
"Because of UPS, I was able to gain related experience in my career field and will graduate college debt-free."