nellow williams in store with friend

What is your motivation for obtaining your degree?

I’ve been asked several times about my motivation for obtaining my degree. What I’ve found is that there are several factors in bringing me to where I am today. The first is to finish what I started so many years ago. While my listed major was politics, I gave myself an unofficial double major of women and beer, which was admittedly a blast (from what I can remember). In short, I failed the first time around. I ended up in a career path that I found success in, but I found myself wanting more…to choose my path and take myself where I want to be. Secondly, I want to provide better for my family. My wife has an advanced degree and earns far more than I ever have. With that comes the stress of being the main provider and I am determined to change that and ease her burden. Lastly, I want to be an example to my children, that while mistakes are made, they can be overcome…even 25 years later. Every day, I open my laptop and look at a picture of them, reminding me of why I’m working so hard to be the best I can be.

Why did you choose Averett’s Graduate & Professional Studies Program?   

I chose Averett’s GPS program over other schools for a couple of reasons. I really like that there is an actual brick and mortar school to be part of. While I have yet to visit or attend a game, knowing that it’s there provides a great reminder of what I’m a part of. The GPS program is perfect for me because it fits into my lifestyle. When comparing to actually going to a campus daily versus GPS, I saw that working remotely would allow me to continue working and maintain my family life with far less disruption. I especially liked the aspect of taking only one class at a time, allowing complete focus on the one subject. It’s been an excellent experience and one that I highly recommend for those in similar situations.

Please share one tip for your fellow classmates and future AU students:

If I had to share one tip, it is to organize, organize, organize! Set a space dedicated to school, away from as many distractions as possible. Schedule your school time and don’t deviate…treat it just like going to class. Dress as if you are going to class. For giggles one day, I decided to “go to class” in my underwear and have an adult beverage, but I found that I was not as focused on what I was there for and haven’t done it since. It is so important to organize your life and make school a priority to you and your family. My family learned that when I’m “in school” to leave me alone. Even if the house is on fire, don’t bother me…I can smell the smoke too, but I have a paper due and I don’t want to lose this train of thought.

What helps to keep you motivated while you are in the program?

There are days when I just don’t want to read, write, or watch anything having to do with school. On those days, all it usually takes is a look at my family or in a mirror to remind me of why I’m working so hard in the program. I can look at the times that I’ve called my daughter (a junior at JMU) with a question on how to cite something or the feeling when I got my first “A”. The joy I have when someone asks me what I do and I reply “I’m back in school full-time” or the pride I feel when I tell my wife my grades, gets me fired up to keep moving one step closer to my goals.

What is your anticipated Date of Graduation?

Averett University, Class of 2019!

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