By DeVry University
At his core, Ruiz has a passion for people and his goal – his "dream come true" – is to be able to merge his company with his passion to impact peoples’ lives. That’s why when his work hours end, he doesn't leave GameStop. He stays long into the night working toward his degree in business administration with a specialization in human resource management. "Education is what opens doors and more opportunities," said Ruiz, 38. "That's why I stay late at work. It's quiet, I can focus, and it allows me to execute my plan."
Ruiz plans his classes diligently, which is important when balancing work and school. That, along with flexible learning, allows him the occasional opportunity to compress his work into shorter periods if necessary, to get a little extra family time. "Doing what I do with the planning, and being able to take my classes with DeVry my way gives me the flexibility I need," Ruiz said. "I'm taking my son to a concert for his birthday on a day I typically designate for school. I can take the day off and not fall behind in class."
That family time is very important to Ruiz. It’s why he routinely sits down to dinner with his children to talk through all he and they are going through as he pursues his degree. "I tell them I miss them," Ruiz said. "I'd obviously rather be spending time with them than doing school work, but they understand. I hold them to a high standard in their school work. So I have to hold myself to the same standard. That's why I stay as late as I do. I could just get a B, but I want to get as close to 100% on everything I do."
That high standard extends to the promise he made to his mother, which was that he’d go back and finish school – something he'd put on hiatus while tending to her when she was sick. "When I get my degree, knowing that I did it for her and my family, it's going to feel great," Ruiz said. "It will be like a marathon runner crossing the finish line; that high you get. I'll know I'll have pushed myself, and I'll have made it."
This article was originally published in February 2018.