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Student of the week: Obed Garcia

Obed Garcia

Following many years of job experience in a variety of fields, Obed Garcia says he most recently put aside a successful career in sales to come back to school after more than 20 years. Self-described as a full-time student and full-time dad, Obed believes it’s never too late to begin a new life.

Originally from Laredo, Obed graduated high school in 1997, and shortly after went into the Marines. His many experiences have included a stint with the management team at Sears, a career in international sales with an oilfield company, and opening his commercial landscaping business, which he did for 10 years.

His most recent job included working for Red Fish as a recycling consultant in Brownsville.

“In my opinion, when you’re young and coming to college, it’s fun and exciting. You want to experience everything, so there is that risk of possibly losing focus on the education part of college,” Obed said about the difference between being a young student out of high school, compared to coming back to school at his age.

“When you’re coming back at my age, you have a purpose of why you are here and what you need to get out of a certain class in order to graduate,” he said. “There is no joke about why you are coming back because you have more responsibilities when you come back home.”

Hoping to begin a career in either medical sales or marketing and public relations, Obed is currently pursuing his Associate of Applied Science (AAS) and will then pursue a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership. He plans to graduate with his Associate degree in spring 2018.

“I have an abundance of experience, but because I don’t have that piece of paper on the wall, that’s what always holds me back,” he said. “I was terrified of coming back because it had been so long since I had been in a class. I was paranoid, but I think the best thing that happened to me was coming and having some great professors. If I had questions, I could go up to them and knew they could help me.

“For anyone wanting to come back to school I would say, just come back and try it. I will be honest, it is a lot more difficult than if I would have started younger,” he said.

Top three accomplishments:

“I love being a dad. I like teaching them things and telling them things. I tell them where I made mistakes in life and not follow that same path.”

“My second accomplishment would be the mindset I have. I don’t like going with the flow. My goal is to do something to help somebody else. I strongly believe in that, and I emphasize that to my kids.”

“My third accomplishment would be, being on my way to finishing college. It was coming back to college. I was extremely scared to come back.”

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  1. Obed, I have seen you in school, I really feel the same as you, coming back to school was terryfing but is a challenge that we can accomplish.

    Great to read your story. See you in school.

  2. Community College nationwide is an average age of 30, but our record graduate was 63 (might still be- or I am out of date), any age is a great age for more education- You are a great student Obed!