(864) 977-7000
 


A Jack of All Trades and Master of None? No, That's Definitely Not Me

If it were not for the interdisciplinary studies degree [at NGU], I would not have been flexible enough to move from local missions to affordable housing developer to public official and now to a private real estate investment firm.

Dr. Bruce gave me the audacity to believe that focusing on several things does not have to make me a jack of all trades and a master of none, but rather I can pursue excellence in whatever situation I find myself in.

The first example was when I went to him for advice regarding my major. I was not happy with the major I entered with and was simply seeking. Dr. Bruce helped me decide to switch majors into [interdisc, with components in history, English, and political science].

While speaking with Dr. Bruce was always impactful, the greater importance came from other students. I was challenged constantly in new ways by attending classes in multiple disciplines with students who thought differently than I did. Another interdisc student might be focusing on Christian studies or business, so their perspective would be varied and require a more holistic consideration of the issue at hand.

After NGU, I was given an opportunity to practice a portion of my senior seminar thesis, which focused on asset-based community development. I gave up my goal to attend law school and moved to a disadvantaged community in Greenville, where I worked with local ministries, schools, and community members to bring new life to the area. I personally went through the low-income rental and home ownership process and was nominated as the community president. I ran a community garden — [with] over $100,000 in donations . . . and more than 2,500 volunteers from Maine to Miami — where we grew food and gave it back to the community.

Eventually, I began working for an affordable housing nonprofit, where I secured funding to build and manage new affordable housing in the community I lived in. I was able to continue ministering to low-income families, but also began to build a network and work history.

I have created value in myself for others because of my flexibility. People have said about unusual or particularly difficult projects, “Just give that to Andrew. He will find a way to get it done.”

Currently, I am an asset manager for a $400+ million real estate portfolio. We own and manage multifamily and assisted living facilities. I gained experience in this field while working for the affordable housing nonprofit. My flexibility and analytical skill continue to afford me success in this new endeavor.

I hope I have truly synthesized the values from my interdisc experience with my work experience and newly acquired [Master of Business Administration] degree . . . to be an excellent employee capable of functioning at a high level in many different areas.

Interdisc students are often considered jacks of all trades and a master of none. My intent and effort was to be excellent in all that I did. This seems to be paying off. I believe God is giving me success . . . with a call to continue giving back.

Andrew Ratchford
Class of 2011
Asset Manager
Graycliff Capital Partners LLC

                    

Related Stories


New Giving Opportunity to Lower Educational Costs for Students
A new fund designed to make a quality, Christian education even more affordable. 

Graduate School Named in Top 50 Best Christian Graduate Schools for 2017
NGU ranks 21 in the Top 50 Best Christian Graduate Schools for 2017 by CUO.  

NGU's Finn Honored as SEBTS Scholar
Honorees received awards for their excellence in research, writing, and displaying the characteristics of a Great Commission scholar. 

Men's Golf Takes Top Spot in Conference Championships
Next Stop: NCAA Southeast Regional and National Championship.  

NGU Named in 30 Best Online Bachelor's in Education Degree Programs
NGU ranks eighth. 

Brown to present lecture on Alma Rosé and the Women’s Orchestra at Auschwitz
Brown, Holocaust music expert 

Hurricane Harvey Relief
When called to action, the North Greenville Family responds with open hearts.

Chief Morris Featured in National Campus Safety Webinar
The National Association of Campus Safety Administrators (NACSA) webinar discussed the topic of joint dispatch system.