When Ralph Fortunato, Business Director for the Kent School District and Renton Technical College alumnus, talks about being a “non-traditional student,” he enjoys telling the story of when he overheard his fellow accounting students talking in the RTC cafeteria.
“I kept overhearing them refer to the ‘old guy’ in class, and after awhile I realized the old guy was me,” said Fortunato, who after 30 years in a successful sales career, decided it was time to do something different. “I arrived at RTC with computer skills that amounted to ‘hunt and peck’ with a single finger. I left with a great foundation in computer skills in Excel and Word.”
Fortunato had done his research and found that RTC fit the bill. They offered good value and the classes I needed to get my accounting credentials within one year,” Fortunato said.
After graduating from RTC, the “old guy” went on to get what he calls his dream job.
“It was RTC faculty member John Newcombe who showed me the budget analyst job description for the Kent School District,” said Fortunato, “That was 13 years ago and I still love coming to work every day.”
Fortunato added that as a student he benefitted from the level of professional networking and career counseling that RTC provided. “Now that I’m on the hiring side, I know firsthand the quality of instruction and career preparation that RTC provides. In fact, we recently hired someone from the RTC accounting program,” Fortunato said.
Over the past two years, Fortunato has enjoyed giving back to the college by serving on the business advisory committee, something he sees as helping to expand the program and keep it current.
So what advice would Fortunato give to potential students?
“Anyone wanting a career in accounting should look at the RTC program to see if it fits their needs,” said Fortunato, “RTC offers great value, a flexible schedule and excellent faculty.”