Matt Culpepper started his career in construction at Varney, Inc., a respected industrial and commercial electrical contractor based in Roanoke, Virginia. After years of hard labor, Matt worked his way to being Varney’s estimator. Knowing that his direct supervisor, David Simmons, went to ANU with the Business Partnership Grant, Matt asked his superiors if he could follow that same route and with an overwhelming yes from his higher-ups, Matt enrolled in our business management administration associate’s program in May of 2021.
While attending ANU, Matt has enjoyed his experience thus far because of the instructors and their readiness and willingness to go above and beyond for their students. He describes how he lost his father in January 2022 and considered taking a break from his studies. However, he stuck with it, and his instructors worked with him to stay on track. “My instructors were able to work with me about getting my classwork in and getting everything done,” he says. Matt is especially complimentary of his instructor, Lyndsey Obringer. “She explains things to you, and she genuinely wants you to succeed,” he says. “She’s probably one of the [instructors] that has stood out to me so far—I haven’t had a bad instructor.”
The education Matt is receiving at ANU provides more freedom than other schools. “It provides more flexibility. I get to work a full-time job, come home, sit down, do my work, and go on about my life,” he says. “I don’t have to sit in a classroom for hours and then come home and do more work.”
The opportunity for Matt to attend ANU arose when he learned his direct superior, David Simmons, earned his associate and bachelor’s degree in Business Administration Management. David was featured in 2009 during his time at ANU, previously known as National College. During that time, he said: “[American National University’s] schedule gives you an opportunity to receive an education and still work a full-time job and raise a family. I have learned a great deal attending [ANU]. The instructors are well trained in the fields that they are teaching, and they make sure that the students understand what the course is about.”
David recently allowed us to interview him again to see how his business degree from ANU has helped him within his life and career. Not only has he been able to grow from Service Manager to his current role Industrial Division Manager. “Overall, I would say that my quality of life is much better. I am surrounded by a great team and have great leaders to work with. My time at ANU made me grow as a person both personally and professionally. Having an education in business gave me an opportunity that others would not have gotten.”
When David evaluates Matt as an employee, he notes how much ANU’s education has helped him. “I have seen a big change in Matt since his time at ANU. He has grown more confident and professional. I would and will encourage him to earn his bachelor’s degree. Having a four-year degree speaks volumes to someone’s desire to better themselves and better prepares them for business.” With this, David also agrees that he believes the rising Varney employees should receive their education from ANU to better prepare them for their work in the business.
Matt recommends ANU to any prospective student, and his advice to new students: “Start off slow, even if you dip your toe in the water with one class,” he advises. “That was something [to remember], getting back into learning and remembering how to manage time and to study.”