Brianna Phillips

Rock Springs, Wyoming

Distance Education helped turn her passion into a career

U.S. Army veteran Brianna Phillips started her own business in tactical equipment and safety training. Her new enterprise demanded she maintain customers' weapons – that's where Sonoran Desert Institute came in. SDI's online A.S. in Firearms Technology taught her the necessary skills when family responsibilities made traditional schooling impossible.

Brianna first graduated from SDI's Advanced Gunsmithing Certificate program at the top of her class, and went on to complete the Associate of Science in Firearms Technology with a cumulative GPA of 3.87. While balancing her studies with a busy home and professional life, she agreed to serve as "Student Ambassador," helping new students and fellow veterans adjust to the rigors of academic life by answering questions and providing guidance through their transitional experiences. Since graduating, Brianna and her husband have committed to expanding their small business and serving their community by providing elite training in the responsible and safe handling of firearms and tactical equipment.

Thanks to her training at SDI, Brianna has incorporated gunsmithing services into her business plan, making sure her customers' weapons function correctly and securely. Being ever mindful of the competitive nature of the industry, Brianna and her husband have also applied for their federal firearms manufacturer's license and have developed a plan to offer custom coatings at their soon-to-be expanded location.

"I love that the students come first [with SDI] and that it is so easy for a student to have so many resources at their fingertips. It is also very helpful that SDI provides online learning for those of us who cannot physically attend school for various other reasons."

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