I’m a double degree holder from Norwich University (NU). Having served 14 years in the United States Army, I have seen firsthand the value of a NU education and the expected/assumed value that it carries to an organization. Today, I'm the Director of Operations for the 46th Civil Support Team - Weapons of Mass Destruction (Alabama).
I was very concerned about the online format being able to hold my attention for 15-18 months, and not letting apathy and “life” get in the way of my education. I am proud to say that the Moodle format, engagement from the professors, NU staff, and constant feeling of support greatly assisted with my success. As it relates to the distance learning experience and the support NU provided me – during my graduate experience, I was challenged with the rigors of class attendance, full-time military service, marital responsibilities, parenting responsibilities, and independent business ownership/management. NU was there for every step of the way providing flexible options that best fit my schedule and real-world responsibilities. Professors often worked out my military obligations yet never wavered from the academic value/experience or the famed NU standards.
The Motivation for Pursuing a Degree
Obviously obtaining a Master’s degree has certain tangible benefits i.e. hiring/promotion/advancement opportunities, career stabilization, competitive positioning and posturing in an aggressive market, but my driving force was much simpler. Norwich instilled the notion of leading from the front and setting the example for those within your sphere of influence. As a new(ish) parent – I wanted to ensure that I was raising a child who understood the value of education in today’s society and had parents who set a positive example and expectation of success. Norwich provided me with the opportunity to advance my career, set me up for success with post-military employment, and challenge my kid to think – “Hey – Dad did it, Dad was able to balance life and improve himself – I’m going to be like or BETTER than Dad.”
I have had the opportunity to work with some amazing young men and women over the course of my enrollment – often those individuals I doubt I would have had the opportunity to work in other settings. The exchange of ideas and perspectives lead to some internal growth that I wasn’t expecting. I have been able to proudly look around my office and witness the inaudible shame and regret that comes from your fellow coworkers who do not possess an advanced degree and are jealous for making the time and getting something done, while they make excuses.
The Residency Experience
Come into campus with an open mind and a desire to engage those around you. You are part of the family and tradition – enjoy the experience! Network! And go to The Rustic [a local restaurant and sports bar], ask for Mark – tell him “Ben sent you."