Many of us have a dream to advance our careers. Getting a better job with higher pay and greater responsibility can have such a positive impact on so many aspects of our lives, from enhancing personal value and self-esteem, to improving our lifestyle, to supporting our families, so they can achieve all they desire from life.
The challenge then, is how does one formulate the goal for a more successful career, prepare for opportunity, and make that goal a reality? How does one find the right combination of inspiration and determination, and acquire the training, tools, and support to develop a realistic action plan and see it through to success? And, how does one do all this amidst a busy life—working full time, supporting a family, maintaining a household, and having a personal life and some fun along the way?
Career-minded professionals, Tia Hall and Timothy Roberts, found their solution to this challenge here at Peirce College. Both Hall and Roberts are preparing for new career opportunities by pursuing a Master of Science degree in Organizational Leadership and Management (MSOLM), which offers working adults a versatile set of real-world leadership and management skills, while providing the convenience and flexibility to fit college into a busy lifestyle.
Hall works full-time as the Program Manager, Philadelphia Scholars Program, for the Philadelphia Education Fund. She is a single parent, raising a family of three children. Roberts is a Budget Analyst and Program Manager for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Behavioral Health. He is married, with two children. Like many working adults with families, Hall and Roberts had to weigh the time and commitment required to return to college against current responsibilities. This made the decision to get started on a master’s degree track a challenge of its own.
“For me, this started a while ago,” says Hall. “I’ve always wanted to pursue a master’s degree, but life detoured me in a different direction, and I wasn’t able to do it right after getting my bachelor’s degree (from Indiana University of Pennsylvania). It took some time to realize that I needed to make this a priority; things were not going to get less busy in my life. I recognized that it was critical to advancing my career. I felt Peirce could give me the push I needed … Peirce College is made for the working adult.”
Roberts, who earned his bachelor’s degree at Peirce, says that his inspiration for returning to college came from seeing his wife’s success with a graduate degree. “My wife has her master’s degree, and she motivated me to do it too,” Roberts relates. “I saw new positions opening [at work], with a lot of potential, and I knew I needed the right education to achieve them. The Peirce College MSOLM program suited my needs.”
Today, there is a broad range of choices for individuals planning for a graduate degree, or advanced career training. Convenience and flexibility, backed by a practical, career-oriented curriculum and a supportive staff, have made the Peirce Graduate Studies Program a standout choice in the greater Philadelphia area.
“I looked at a lot of schools and a lot of programs. I went to a lot of open houses before making the decision to come to Peirce,” says Hall. “I maintain a full-time work schedule, and I’m a single mother of three. I wanted something that was convenient for me. And that included being able to take courses on campus, or online. A lot of schools I looked at offered online courses exclusively, and that made me nervous.”
Hall explains that during her undergraduate studies she had only taken on-campus courses, so she wanted to start where she was familiar and then move to online classes. It was this flexibility that made Peirce a viable and valuable choice for her.
Roberts says, “The flexibility [that Peirce offers] is perfect for me with my job and family responsibilities. I use both options; online and on-campus classes.”
While Peirce’s online classes offer extra convenience to easily incorporate college courses into a busy lifestyle, both Hall and Roberts have also found value in the Peirce on-campus experience.
“I was also looking for something small and intimate. I didn’t want to go into a setting where I was being lost,” says Hall. “I can also take a lot of things that I do at work into the classroom and that helps me process through the work I do day-to-day. There are a lot of moments where you can really dig in and take away information and skills you can apply immediately.”
Roberts finds similar benefits in the Peirce graduate program courses. He talks about the value of diversity within the Peirce College classes, in both learning environments: “We have people from marketing, finance, human resources, and management. You learn a lot from people with different perspectives.”
“In the Peirce MSOLM program, you are not just being taught leadership; you are being groomed for leadership,” says Roberts. “Learning about my leadership behaviors has helped me see clearly the things I was doing wrong. It has helped me deal with change, and has improved my communications and productivity on the job.”
Robert’s participation in the MSOLM program has already led to a promotion at work. A position, he says, that would not have been available to him had he not been on track for his master’s degree at Peirce.
“I would recommend the program to anyone who has a busy life,” agrees Hall.
“Everyone I’ve met, from professors, to classmates, to administrators and staff, has been helpful and willing to lend support. Whenever I felt I couldn’t do it, there was someone there to say, you’ve got this! You can do this!”
Tia and Timothy found a way to make their dreams reality and advance their careers. How can Peirce College help you prepare for your next opportunity?