Outstanding Islander Graduate Jeffrey West ’22 Earns Master of Business Administration

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The juggling act of attending graduate school, holding a full-time job, and raising a family can be a heavy load to bear. For Jeffrey West ’22, the experience of earning his Master of Business Administration from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi not only strengthened his personal dedication to the importance of higher education, but also increased his desire to share the benefits of education with others. West’s academic performance and can-do attitude are just two of the reasons he was chosen by the TAMU-CC Office of the Provost as the Outstanding Islander Graduate for the College of Business.

Originally from Puerto Rico, West moved to Texas at the age of 17 and eventually found his home in Corpus Christi, where he later earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of the Incarnate Word-Corpus Christi Center. West’s career path led him from the private sector to his current role at the local nonprofit organization Education to Employment Partners (E2E), whose mission is to bring together people, information, and resources to increase educational and job attainment in the Coastal Bend. West has worked at E2E since 2019, working his way up from program coordinator to now executive director.

“Going through this experience – earning my master’s degree – has strengthened my resolve for supporting nontraditional and adult learners,” West said. “I’ve always had a passion for those folks because I am one of them. Even though it’s a difficult road, with finances, and life, and kids sometimes getting in the way, lifelong prosperity through education is at the end of the tunnel.”

When it came to selecting a university for graduate school, West said the choice was an easy one.

“I selected TAMU-CC because I wanted to be an Islander,” West said. “As the premiere local institution of higher education in Corpus Christi, there was no other choice for me. Through my role at E2E, I’ve been able to work very closely with many of the TAMU-CC departments and staff members. TAMU-CC is an outstanding institution with high-quality professionals. In addition, the cost of tuition and online programming made it the best option for me.”

Through his MBA program, West also had the opportunity to pursue research into topics relevant to his career.

“My degree plan gave me the opportunity to work on several research projects that I found rewarding,” West said. “I had the opportunity to do research on regional ‘promise’ programs, similar to TAMU-CC’s Islander Guarantee, but with a deeper connection to the local independent school districts. What I found inspired me to work toward developing a local version of that program which can make a difference for future generations in this area.”

Through the trials and hardships of balancing school, professional life, and home life, West found strength in his family, including his wife Stephanie and their four children, Alyssa, 22; Jacobe, 16; Jonathan, 14; and Caleb, 13.

“Stephanie is an amazing woman who supported me throughout this journey,” West said. “The late nights, burning the midnight oil, taking care of our home, making dinner, and shuttling the kids here and there when I couldn’t do it – this honor and degree are as much hers as they are mine.”

West looks forward to having his family in the stands during commencement and shares a piece of wisdom with current and future Islanders.

“If I was able to do it, I know that you can do it,” West said. “It’s not easy; in fact, it’s a huge challenge. But with the right support – with persistence and resilience – we can do it because it’s worth it in the end.”