When I think of graduating from college, I see someone who is 22-years old. When I was 22 years old, I had seen more things than I care to remember. I had just left the Air Force where I was a medic in the first Gulf War. I spent most of my time in the Labor and Delivery unit of the base hospital. I loved assisting with the birth of a child. My time spent in the Labor and Delivery unit was the most wonderful and rewarding experience.
Before I left the Air Force, I started taking college courses working toward a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. My dream was to obtain a Master of Nursing degree in Midwifery. As a Certified Nurse Midwife I could care for pregnant women and help them bring their babies into this world.
Complete My Degree
When I left the military and returned to Austin, I continued to pursue a Nursing degree, but got side-tracked in college life. That would be the party side of college life. I was not focused on my studies.
I began a rewarding career by chance. I sold long distance telephone service for MCI as a part-time job. Over a very short period of time I was being promoted again and again. Eventually, I gave up on college since it did not seem I needed a degree to get ahead. While I learned a great deal through on-the-job training, I never felt like I had a complete understanding of my field. I had stumbled into a career in Information Technology and despite my lack of formal training, I continued to prove myself and to grow my career.
I have since learned that I enjoy the Information Technology field very much and would like to complete my degree in Business/Information Systems rather than nursing.
Learn About Business and Information Technology
Despite my progression to a senior level in my field, there are still aspects of my field that I do not fully understand. I have excelled as a Business Systems Analyst for many years; however, I hope to learn more about business to help me better understand the needs of my business partners. I also hope to learn more about the many facets of Information Technology so I can begin to move toward strategic solutions development.
Feel Better About Myself
I have always felt terrible about leaving college. I believe it was the right thing to do at the time since I was not taking it seriously but I have always regretted quitting. I believe I would have a much higher level of self-esteem and confidence if I could complete a degree.
I competed with my younger brother for a time and even made a bet with him that I would finish college before he did. He is eight years younger than me and has been out of college for almost four years. He is now in his second year of seminary school. I am so proud of him but I also feel like I don’t measure up to my own expectations.
It was shocking to discover that I earn more money than the average person with a master’s degree. My husband reminds of this constantly and wonders why I believe I need a degree at all. He does not understand how much I admire him for going to college. It should be obvious that I do not want a degree so I can make more money; I just need to finish what I started to feel truly comfortable in my career.
Set a Better Example for my Children
I have three children. They are 11, six and one-year-old. My 11-year-old daughter started middle school this year. She does not like school very much and I have a hard time finding ways to make it feel interesting and important. My husband always puts me on a pedestal for creating a successful career without completing college but I do not want my children to think that college is not necessary since I never finished and have done so well.
Compete for Management Positions
I recent years, I have reached a peak with my career skills and am looking forward to a position with more responsibility and accountability. It has become clear to me that I need this degree to compete for a management position. In the future, I would like to become the CIO for an Information Technology organization. I do not believe I can achieve this goal without a bachelor’s degree and an MBA. This is the next step toward my ultimate career goal.