Winter 2006 Online Publication    

Back in the FA Saddle
Submitted by David Ximenez, District Director, Tarrant County College

Greetings from Tarrant County College, home of the Fort Worth Stockyards and some pretty cool museums! By now, many of you know that I accepted the District Director of Financial Aid position at Tarrant County College. Although it has been more than a year since I started, I was asked by the TASFAA Times committee to write an article on my move from Richland College to Sallie Mae, and back to a school (TCC).

My flirt with the wild side began in February 2004, when I was at Richland College. After twelve years of working in Financial Aid, I was approached by Sallie Mae about an opportunity to join their team. I was contacted previously about sales positions, but never seriously considered it. This time was different (amazing how ones attitude can shift after a rough spring semester). I thought the time was finally right to broaden my horizons and try something different, so I took the plunge. Memory Keeler is a gifted sales person!

My Sallie Mae experience was great. I worked with some amazing people, did a little traveling, learned a lot and enjoyed some really nice perks (you gotta love lots of good food, a company car and free gas!). However, I realized shortly into my endeavor that my heart, skills and talents were in serving students more directly. I missed the interaction with students; I missed working in an office environment with coworkers and lacked a feeling of accomplishment. Isn’t it cool when you sit down at the end of the day and ponder the number of students you were able to reach and the assistance you were able to make available with one packaging program?

On a sales call with a TCC Campus Director of Financial Aid, I learned that TCC was looking for a District Director of Financial Aid. She encouraged me to apply for the position. I jumped at the opportunity, applied for the position and now find myself part of another great team! My transition back to a school has gone smoothly. It’s wonderful to be back in an environment where we are able to have such a positive impact on students. It’s great to be able to accomplish good things. It’s great to be back in the FA saddle again!

My story is well on its way to ending as a retired FA Director living happily ever after, attending TASFAA conferences at a discount rate………

Kind Regards.