Satisfaction and Comfortability

Satisfaction and Comfortability

Satisfaction and Comfortability

Rayfurd Thompson’s Experience at the University of Fairfax

As an international student, Rayfurd Thompson was looking for a Doctorate of Business Administration program that satisfied the residency portion of his visa. He needed this also at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. After a recommendation from a former student, Rayfurd found the University of Fairfax. Not only did UoF fulfill his need to complete residency as an international student, but he also found a great doctorate program to further his business education. His research and dedication to his studies have culminated in him become Student of the Term for term 23SP2!

Local to the Lynchburg area due to his previous education experience, Rayfurd found UoF as it satisfied his residency needs with the Salem campus not too far from where he lives! While his residency was satisfied, he truly chose UoF because of the benefits we offer to our international students. “They actually had the wonderful opportunities for you to do CPT,” he describes, “and I thought, ‘wow! This is excellent,’ I have never really met a school that does that.” At his previous institutions, he describes there were a lot of restrictions for international students when it came to using the Curriculum Practical Training (CPT). Of those difficulties compared to where he is now, he says, “they would make it scary. It’s something that you know has to be approved and you can’t do it so freely with so many restrictions. It was just so easy at the University of Fairfax.” For his CPT, Rayfurd is teaching graduate classes in non-profit leadership finance at the University of Lynchburg.

When it comes to his classes, Rayfurd appreciates the flexibility he has to work, spend time with family, and to attend class. “I’m taking two classes every term. And it’s not overbearing,” he says. He mentions that outside of his classes and working as a professor with his CPT, he does financial advising and insurance work. He is able to travel to areas like Roanoke for work with the flexibility he has at the University of Fairfax. “The classes have been great; I really like the flexibility.” When it comes to meeting with his classes and peers, he says, “I like that things are not set in stone.” He describes that if the Sync Sessions times are not agreeable with everyone, they can move the day they meet.

“The program is geared to the satisfaction and the comfortability of the student.”

His professors provide him with a lot of knowledge because of the past experience they have within their fields. He describes them, “they are very, very knowledgeable with a lot of experience.” Two professors that exemplify this for him are Dr. Paula Cherry and Dr. Lauren VanTalia. “The two of them, especially, are very, very helpful,” he emphasizes, “they are great resources, especially in the doctoral program.”

Even though he has not begun the dissertation phase of his program at the time of this conversation, Rayfurd says that the program is geared to making his writing process easier. Even from the beginning, “each course that you take is geared towards helping you develop or identify your research problem.” He describes that every professor would take time in Sync Sessions to help develop that, along with the Research Method classes he has taken that has allowed him to dive into his research. “[Your research] is imbedded into each course so you must care about it… it’s built in there from the beginning, and it goes all the way to starting that dissertation.” His business program overall, he likes how it challenges him in his studies. “It’s not something that is easy, it has a lot of critical thinking, it causes you to do a lot of research to prove what you know… it’s phenomenal.

In his future, Rayfurd sees himself teaching, working finance, and continually earning certifications. He wants to work with non-profit organizations with finance.

Rayfurd has already and continues to encourage students to join the ranks of the University of Fairfax:

“That’s a big yes, I will recommend students, especially international students, to UoF because I think it’s a wonderful opportunity to get a terminal degree. There’s a lot of flexibility and [they’re] very accommodating.”


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