Young rancher on value of higher education at Gillette College

Growing up on her family’s ranch near Sundance, Wyoming, taught Andrea Pfeil how to be persistent and overcome obstacles. Pfeil, who once struggled in math, just graduated with associate degrees in Engineering and Mathematics.

“If you told me I was actually going to end up becoming an engineer or that one day I would really like math, I wouldn’t have believed you,” she said.

She says the staff and faculty at Gillette College are a big part of why she has found success in college.

“The faculty here truly care about how you are doing as a person and showed me how to be confident in my abilities and that it’s okay to ask for help,” Pfeil said. “The small class sizes here make it feel like a family.”

Pfeil plans to transfer to a four-year university next fall to pursue her bachelor’s degree, most likely in engineering. She says she is confident the education she has received at Gillette College has prepared her to be successful.

While she plans to work as an engineer after she completes her bachelor’s degree, her ultimate goal is to return to her family’s ranch. Pfeil says a college education is beneficial no matter what your goals in life are.

“As a rancher, you have to be self-sufficient and ready for anything. You are a manager, vet, mechanic, engineer, you name it, all rolled into one,” she said. “So many people believe you don’t need a college degree to be a rancher. And that’s true, but getting an education is the best way to be prepared for whatever life throws at you.”