Nate O’Neel

No one in his family had ever attended college before Nate. Nate remembers the advisors in high school talking to him about college. “I just wasn’t ready to listen at that time. You know that blank face you put on when someone is talking and you just don’t think it pertains to you.” Living paycheck to paycheck with his wife and newborn in Walla Walla, Nate knew he had to create a new path. The saying, ‘The future is so far away, the past so close’ struck a chord with Nate. He started attending the local community college and his journey took him all the way to the MBA program at EWU.

“I want to say that the student family housing at Eastern made a huge difference in my success. Not only did we have a comfortable place to live, but we also had a network of support built in, with the other families, all the kids living there,” Nate says with gratitude. Now Nate’s wife is attending college and he has convinced his brother to pursue a college degree as well. There is little doubt that Nate will have his children thinking about college from a young age.

When Nate was searching for his path, he found himself drawn to electricity. “There was a magic to it. You can’t see it, but get in its way and you sure can feel it.” He realized he was good at details, breaking problems down into manageable chunks, he had a technical, analytical mind. He earned his undergraduate degree in engineering. With his engineering background, he knew if he was to get ahead in the private sector, an MBA was the way to go. Nate is currently employed as a Project Manager, where his persistence and methodical nature are put to excellent use.