One Adult Student’s Story: Finding Passion

Becky Morehouse

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Every Adult Student Has a Story

This story is based on a real student.

No adult student follows the same path, yet, there are patterns: how adult students choose education, how they parse their options, what matters, and what will keep them engaged enough to finish the next chapter.

Robert knew he could do better. When Robert was in his teens he’d worked part time for his father in the mill’s rolls and sheets division, helping transform the raw material into cardboard shipping boxes. He went to college with no interest in business and ended up studying literature and Spanish.

After a decade of job hopping, Robert was struggling to find his passion and his father offered him a job in the office of the family business. This time, instead of working on the factory floor, he assisted his father and managed sales for the next 14 years. A year ago, his father, due to declining health, had to step down as the managing CEO. Robert was next in line for the job. He officially accepted the position at the end of 2012.

The business was struggling despite an increased need world-wide for shipping and packaging materials. It was Robert’s own daughter who encouraged him to consider the benefits of an online MBA. What could he learn about today’s business needs that maybe even his own experienced father didn’t know?

Robert worried about how much time he would be able to commit to the coursework since he didn’t want to leave the business during office hours. Online degrees were not even an option when he had been in college—there were a lot of questions he wanted answered before he could make that kind of financial and time commitment.

He began his research online, starting with the website of his alma mater. The answers to his questions were difficult to find, and he started noticing a lot of online ads from other schools. He created a spreadsheet to compare different programs from across the country, and eventually picked a school in a state he has never been to based on the information on their website and a series of phone calls.

Today, the mill is distributing more products than ever before and is one of the largest employers in the community. Robert has hired his daughter, who has already earned her MBA, as the future leader of the company.

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