One of the most important things about higher education is that everyone learns in different ways. Even though most talks of college involve the SATs, parties and dorm rooms, there are many people who choose to take a different path to their education. StudentAdvisor wants to highlight students that have done things a little differently, and had massive success. We talked to Brian Boudreau, of Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire, who achieved his goal of returning to college to finish his degree.
I had an AA from McIntosh College in Dover, NH. Through the years I have also attend many function specific conferences and workshops. I like to know and certainly need to keep up with current events in my field.
Why did you choose to return to college as adults?
It was a personal goal for me. I have been with the same company for 38 years and have a very good, stable position in Human Resource and Risk Management. So, this was not about leaving my current employer armed with a new degree for something bigger and better. I had thought about going back to school for a while and I finally made the commitment. I enjoy continuing education of all types but felt that a B. S. would be something to be proud of. And to that end, I am proud of my accomplishment.
What degrees are you pursuing?
For me a B. S. in Management most closely fit the work I do in my career. While we all have other interests I felt like it made the most sense to apply myself to the Management B. S. program. The other factor that played into my choice was the Learning Experience Assessment Process (LEAP) program at FPU. I felt confident enough that in my life and career I had gained the competency and could demonstrate that the body of knowledge had been learned in several areas. The life and career skills learned were used to build my LEAP portfolio which fortunately proved to be successful.
What has been the most challenging thing about being in college as an adult?
The time commitment. Full time employment in many instances is enough but when you add on the studies necessary to be successful in a degree program it adds a new dimension to “full time”. The morning began earlier and the evenings went later. With that said I knew there would be plenty of work ahead of me and I simply had to dig in and get it done.
Have you had a mentor during your process? If so, how did this mentor help you during your education?
I would have to say my mentor was most definitely my advisor, Katie Winton. Katie was wonderful to work with. When I began my selection process for schools I found two other institutions that were not seeing solutions, just more problems (mostly due to credit transfers). That was not the case with Katie as she saw solutions, not problems. It is refreshing in life to work with someone like Katie that was determined to make this work for me.
What are your top three tips for adults who want to return to school?
If you are thinking about going back to school to begin or finish a degree make sure you are fully committed to completing the task. If you wake up one morning and decide that day to enroll it might not be as successful as taking the time to be sure you have the time to commit. Earning a degree is a lot of work but the personal reward is worth it. Be confident once you do decide to do it. Your confidence will take you to the finish line. While it looks like a very long distance to travel to the finish it goes by quickly. Lastly, once you commit (after making sure you want to do and building confidence) do not look in the rear view mirror. Keep your eyes on the goal because if you don’t you will see obstacles.