Sunday, July 12

Brookdale Newsroom

Graduate Profile: Jonathan Scott
Picture of afternoon commencement speaker Jonathan Scott and Dr. David Stout.

Jonathan Scott encountered many changes and challenges on his Brookdale journey. While pursuing his degree full-time at 24, Scott also worked full-time as a bartender. He juggled the challenges of academics – classes, papers and exams – with long and often irregular hours at various establishments.

However, Scott’s life would soon experience another major transformation as he learned that he would become a father.

“I knew that it was up to me more than ever to persevere, get my associate’s degree and then my bachelor’s because others would now depend on me,” said Scott, a Freehold, NJ resident. He was eager to move on from the service industry to a career with more opportunities and greater financial prospects.

“I was worried that I was too young, ill prepared and that I would fail.”

-Jonathan Scott

Scott earned his associate’s degree and will transfer to the Rutgers Business School in New Brunswick this fall to earn his finance degree. He served on the board of Brookdale Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and earned second place honors in PTK’s extemporaneous speech competition.

Scott’s son, Chandler, is now 2. Scott said his presence each day motivates him to be the best parent, student and person he can be.

He recalled sitting in Dr. Eugene DeRobertis’s psychology class soon after learning he would become a father and admitted that his mind was elsewhere that day.

“I was worried that I was too young, ill prepared and that I would fail,” recalled Scott. Dr. DeRobertis mentioned during his lecture about how having a daughter later in life than some peers presented its own set of challenges and issues. Scott said that inadvertent moment gave him strength, realizing that parenthood presents its own set of challenges regardless of the timing.

“Professor Fencik believed in me before I believed in myself, and her support gave me the courage to make the leap.”

-Jonathan Scott

Scott also credits his anatomy professor Cheryl Fencik in instilling confidence when he opted to change his major from physical therapy to finance.

“She believed in me before I believed in myself, and her support gave me the courage to make the leap,” Scott remembered.

He also is grateful to President Dr. David Stout for his encouragement and advice. Scott was disappointed that he did not receive a scholarship he applied for and wondered what else he could have done to change the outcome.

“Dr. Stout told me that I was already setting myself up for success and that this one moment is not indicative of the final outcome,” said Scott. “He said there will always be someone who looks at our resume and capabilities for the value we can bring. I was feeling insufficient as a student and his words were very encouraging, reminding me that it’s a marathon and not a sprint.”

Scott plans on earning his degree in finance and mathematics and then a master’s in quantitative finance before starting a career in the corporate sector. His goal is to become an entrepreneur/investor.