With anticipation of getting lost on campus, I had arrived to class a solid 30 minutes early. I made sure I was in the correct classroom as I walked in the door and quickly chose a seat toward the back of the class. I couldn’t help but feel nervous as I sat down in the cool seat and gave a nod to my classmates who had already arrived for our first day of class. I tucked my new backpack under the desk as I realized it had been four years since I had been in a classroom setting. Although I had sworn I would never enroll in graduate school, here I was sitting in my first class. I couldn’t have been more thankful for the opportunity to study at Texas A&M University.
Howdy! My name is Matt Pfeifer and I am pursuing a Master of Science in agricultural leadership, education, and communications with a focus in human resource development. This is the third degree I hope to add to my resume, as I also hold an Associate of Applied Science from Victoria College and a Bachelor of Science from Texas A&M-Kingsville. Since graduating from A&M-Kingsville in 2012, I worked full time in a petrochemical facility while I helped to maintain my family’s ranch. While living in my hometown over the last four years, I witnessed many of the issues faced by people living in rural areas. The main motivation for me to start graduate studies was so I would be better prepared to serve people who are employed in manufacturing or agriculture. After graduation, I would like to be a recruiter or trainer in the manufacturing industry or possibly working in young producer development for a conservation or livestock breed organization.
Back in class, our professor arrived on time and after welcoming us all, gave each student an opportunity to introduce them self. I learned I had classmates from all across the globe and their life experiences varied greatly as well. Just like me, most of my classmates had been away from college for a number of years and they shared how either life or a career change had brought them back. Many of them mentioned how they had found it to be a difficult decision to put life on hold while they returned to school to further their educations. I was able to relate to this as I too had made some personal sacrifices to be here. However, each student was excited to be embarking on a new journey and I felt a sense of relief knowing I wasn’t traveling this new road alone.
After the introductions, our professor allowed us to have a short break before we continued with the rest of the class. I love being outside, so naturally I wanted to use my break time to observe the view from the sixth floor of Harrington Tower where our classroom was located. When I peeked out the window, I was stunned by the beauty of campus as the sun started to sink under the horizon. Because of my vantage point, I witnessed microscopic students vigorously walking between the oak trees as miniature buses traveled down tiny roads behind them. I then realized how small each and every one of us was in the big picture of life and society. As a graduate student, I hope I can have a lasting impact, not for fame or fortune, but to improve lives and confront the issues we face as a society. I realize these are huge goals, but I know that Texas A&M will give me the tools and knowledge I need to make my dreams a reality.
Matthew Pfeifer | Agricultural Leadership, Education, and Communications
Howdy! My name is Matt Pfeifer and I am pursuing a Master of Science in agricultural leadership, education, and communications; I hope that by furthering my understanding of leadership and workforce training I can improve the lives of people in rural America.