When Wilmington, Ohio, native Scotty Gehlbach was a struggling student in high school, he wasn’t sure which career path he should follow or if even getting a college degree was something he should seriously consider pursuing.
He changed his mind on both topics once he heard about Hocking College’s long-standing reputation for providing students with hands-on education.
Driven by his dream of operating his own gym one day, Gehlbach decided to enroll in Hocking College’s Fitness Management program.
Gehlbach said his classes were “interesting, enjoyable and always provided me with the right mixture of knowledge and hands-on experience” he was looking for.
In particular, he appreciated the tough but fair teaching style of instructor Bill Finnearty — a style he felt would appeal to prospective students, regardless of their background or skill set.
Gehlbach also credits his instructor with doing “a great job at getting all his students involved and engaged with one another.”
“Bill gives 100% to every student and helps prepare them for success,” Gehlbach said. “But what tends to go unnoticed is his continuous guidance and life advice he’s always instilled into his students.”
For example, even though Gehlbach enjoyed his classes, he sometimes had problems staying focused and was easily distracted by things going on in his personal life.
However, Finnearty was always available to help his student overcome those obstacles. Specifically, he encouraged Gehlbach not to give up on his classes by reminding him about the importance of personal integrity and inviting him to adhere to his “less procrastination, more action” work ethic.
Thanks to Finnearty’s support and Gehlbach’s determination, Gehlbach graduated from the Fitness Management program in December 2018.
Two weeks after his graduation, Gehibach got a job working at Anytime Fitness in Jackson, Ohio.
Gehlbach found making the transition from student to employee to be “challenging but incredibly rewarding once you eliminate the distractions and focus on developing yourself.”
Gehlbach also credits the education he received at Hocking College with helping prepare him to enter the workforce.
“Not every class goes the way you expect it to,” he explained. “But what doesn’t change is your preparation. The same applies when you are working, and you need to showcase your knowledge. Always be ready, regardless of what the outcome will be.”
Overall, Gehlbach hopes the story of how he went from being someone with no direction in life to pursuing and living his dream will inspire other students to consider attending Hocking College.
“I’ve always struggled in school and with learning, and I used to think that college simply wasn’t for me,” he said. “But I found a program that prioritized hands-on learning at Hocking College, and I quickly realized that this is where I was meant to be.”
Gehlbach credits much of his success to Finnearty.
“Bill has inspired us to shoot for the stars and set high standards for ourselves,” he said. “He doesn’t give up on his students and he especially didn’t quit on me.”
You can find out more about Anytime Fitness in Jackson, Ohio, on their Facebook page.