UHV student to achieve dream of obtaining master's degree

Jeremy Janak will find himself with a lot more time on his hands after this weekend.

Jeremy Janak
Jeremy Janak

The 24-year-old University of Houston-Victoria graduate student has been going straight through school since kindergarten and will graduate with a Master of Business Administration with an accounting concentration on Saturday.

“I guess the only thing I can do is start studying for my Certified Public Accountant exam,” he said as he laughed.

Janak grew up in a country home outside of Victoria and graduated from St. Joseph High School in 2003. He was a good student and was on the basketball and baseball teams at the high school. During his spare time, he was involved in a 4-H Club and showed lambs.

It was his parents, Tammy and Victoria County Commissioner Kevin Janak, who encouraged him to follow his heart after graduation and pursue his dreams.

“I definitely would not be where I am today without the support of my parents, and that’s the truth,” Jeremy said.

Janak decided getting a higher education was his top priority, but he knew he didn’t want to move away from the area that he loves.

“I’ve always wanted to stay in Victoria because of two reasons,” he said. “The first is my family is here, and the second is I feel most comfortable here.”

So Janak enrolled at The Victoria College. While in his first year there, he figured out he wanted to be an accountant after taking a couple of accounting classes. After that, he never looked back on his journey to get his MBA in accounting.

“I’ve always loved math,” he said. “Accounting just fits me. I love playing with numbers.”

Janak enrolled at UHV in 2005 and started working on his Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in accounting. He took both face-to-face and online classes at UHV to work around his job as the boy’s basketball and baseball coach at St. Joseph.

Janak received his BBA in the summer of 2007 and decided to continue going to school to get his master’s degree so that he would have more job opportunities. That decision paid off when Janak was hired in February as a part-time staff accountant at Bumgardner, Morrison & Co. in Victoria. He was promoted in May to a full time staff accountant.

“The online MBA classes at UHV were great because they gave me the opportunity to work full time and go to school,” he said.

Rhiannon Smith, senior student services coordinator for the UHV School of Business Administration, saw firsthand how dedicated Janak was to completing his education because they took some of the same classes while they both were working toward their bachelor’s degrees, and she was his class adviser while she was in a previous UHV job.

“He’s always been very hard working,” she said. “In classes, he put forth the very best academic performance he could to succeed.”

That work ethic has served Janak well at UHV. Sometimes Janak would get a little stressed out about everything he had to do, but he would just remind himself about his goal of becoming a CPA, he said. He now is planning on taking the CPA exam in the spring.

“If I had any advice for other students, it would be to continue to strive hard and don’t give up,” Janak said. “Just remind yourself of the goals you set out to accomplish.”

Janak will achieve another of his goals on Saturday when he walks across the stage during UHV’s fall graduation ceremonies in the Leonard E. Merrell Center in Katy. There to cheer him on will be his parents and his older brother, Jamey.

“His mom, brother, grandparents and I are very proud of him,” said Kevin, Jeremy’s father. “We’re a close family, and we stepped in whenever we needed to and reminded him that he could accomplish any goal he set out for himself.”

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.

Paula Cobler