After 26 years of marriage, I’ve learned that the best things in life are worth working for. As department manager for a major U.S. food retailer, I realized to continue driving my success, I’d need to raise my value to the company. To do this, I’d have to go back to school.
But how? My managerial position requires 50+ hours per week; along with my family and personal interests, this leaves little time for a traditional, in-class program.
Then I came across the online Bachelor’s degree program at Patten, and that was just what I needed. It was fully accreditated like traditional college but online. So class time is based upon my schedule and timetable. Allowing me to leverage my spare time, like lunch hours and days off to efficiently pursue my educational goals. And without interfering with the rest of my life.
Excited and nervous at the same time, I wondered if would I would be able to keep myself focused and motivated. But after completing the first course, this quickly disappeared. As an adult student, there is something about seeing a class checked off on the degree map that makes you want to see the next one checked off. The positive encouragement from the school advisors certainly helps, too.
As a working adult with a family, if I was going to make this happen, I needed to utilize best the little time that I had available. Right off the bat, I found 5 hours a week at work. Typically, my lunch hours were spent just surfing the web. Now that’s my class time. I log in on my tablet during my lunch break and do the majority of my reading assignments. Keeping me actively engaged and momentum rolling.
Currently, I am on track to earn my Bachelor of Arts in Management by the end of 2016/beginning of 2017. After that, I will pursue an MBA in Strategic Management. It is not easy by any means, but the attentiveness of the professors and support structure gives me the confidence to succeed. And without the heavy burden of student loan debt. I will truly own my degree when I graduate.
The biggest piece of advice I offer working students like me: You will find the time if you want it!
As someone who is earning a degree later in life – and far removed from a classroom setting – Patten is the best place to earn your degree.
-Jimmie Maricle | Bachelor of Arts – Management Leadership