Student Stories


Information Systems & Technologies, '17

If Tarl can do it, anyone can do it! Tarl grew up on the run, literally.  His parents were bank robbers, he ate pancakes for months and didn't always have a solid home life, "it wasn't that traditional of an upbringing, but it was my own," he recalls.  Somehow, he persevered through childhood and made a respectable 12-year career as an auto mechanic until one day, he knew he could do more...

Check out Tarl's full video story here.


"I have what I consider to be a unique childhood.  Where I came from was a very poor background. I started out where my parents got divorced and my mom, and her new guy started to rob banks.  Which was odly an exciting experience as a kid," Tarl recalls in jest.  "We got to see how fast we could get to Canada and then stayed there for about six months.  But when we came back, we were still very poor for most of my childhood.  I remember eating pancakes for three months straight and that's all I had during the summer.  So it wasn't that traditional of an upbringing, but it was my own.  After graduation, Tarl "being a mechanic was what I wanted to do with my life." Being a mechanic would provide him steady, respectable work, something he needed in life. Tarl ended up being a senior master mechanic for 12 years, but even as a senior mechanic, Tarl just wasn't making enough money to support his family in this economy and he realized he wasn't going anywhere, "I just wanted a change of pace, a change of environment and something to really challenge my brain and to learn how to succeed in life, so that's where I made the decision, hey, I've got to go back to college to figure out what to do with my life and Weber State seemed like a natural fit.  The Goddard Business School seemed to work well with my plans for the future and where I wanted to get to.  For me it was a no brainer."


"When I was about eight years old, I decided I wanted to either work with my hands or with my brain.  So it was either going to be car work, or computer work.  I had done my car work, I was a senior master mechanic for 12 years and I really mastered that field so I just wanted another challenge, so I said let's go back to college and we'll do computers and see how far we can get there. I actually had a change of major in the very beginning where I thought I wanted to be a computer networking administrator and I had talked with the associate dean (Seokwoo Song), and he had helped to clarify what was in my mind and where I wanted to go.  Definitely, information systems and technologies would allow me to not only work in computer administration, but also to further into management, therefore I didn't have to take school again to get any higher and this degree would allow me to look forward into the future years more than what I was thinking."   


Tarl was initially nervous to get involved in student activities because he was a non-traditional student who was quite a bit older, but he decided to go for it and and join the Student Senate.  There he was active with multiple different committees which eventually gave him the combined experience to go farther than he ever thought possible.  "I was the president of the Golden Key Honor's Society here, I worked with the Faculty Senate as well, did research opportunities with Dr. Boyle and was eventually able to get into Carnegie Mellon University with all of that help."


Tarl had some exceptional experiences with direct access to professors, "I think the faculty here at Goddard really do care about the student's success.  In my particular instance was Dr. Randy Boyle, he really stands out to me.  I remember in our first class, he was talking about all of the new innovations and the things that you can do in this field, it got me so excited that first day, I couldn't stop smiling because he really lit a fire inside of me and showed me what we really can accomplish here at Goddard."

"It's not just a school where you come and get a job.  It's one where you really can affect the course of your field and to really get involved.  He introduced me to the possibilities of going to Carnegie Mellon University and at the time, I thought it would be just almost out of reach. In our future interactions while doing research for him and being involved in his classes I found out that it was a real possibility for me. We worked towards everything we needed in order to go. He helped me in countless ways as far as being able to prepare for the GMAT and the grades that were required to get into CMU. Finally, on the plane ride out there (CMU) for the visitation, he not only helped pay for the plane ticket, but also he helped me while I was there to calm down my nerves and we got through it together.  I was more than grateful for that."

"The day that I found out that I got accepted to Carnegie Mellon, it was extreme elation. It was within the first nine seconds that I called him (Randy Boyle) and told him that I got in and we both celebrated together. That was really eye-opening to the possibility of really how far you can go."


"You can come to school at an affordable price and get an amazing education, the biggest thing is you have the opportunity to really grow yourself here, which I think is unique to the Goddard School. I think when you go to school in a university setting, you don't really expect to develop yourself, there's more like, there is a learning piece I'm going to learn the skills that I need and then I'm going to move on and I'll never think about my college again, but that has not been the case for me.  For me it has been an environment that I can sit down with a bunch of amazingly smart people, people that are willing to help you, there is no one here who is wanting to see you fail."  

"University is not an experience that is an easy one, but in all honesty, I think if a poor kid from Layton, Utah would be able to aspire to his goals and his dreams and go to CMU, then I think anyone can do it."


Tarl was accepted to CMU Master of Information Systems management, with a scholarship, and will be completing the accelerated program starting in the Fall of 2017.