Expectations of an Adult Degree Program

steven facker, adult degree graduateWe interviewed Steven Facker, Class Speaker at Linfield College’s Spring Commencement, about his expectations as he began a Management Degree through Linfield’s Adult Degree Program. Below, Steven shares his reflections on his expectations before he completed the program and now after graduating this Spring.

What were your expectations when you decided to complete your Management degree at Linfield?

I expected to be challenged with classes on subjects that I had very little exposure to, like management itself, financial stuff, statistics, and the topics like that.  My business acumen was relatively low before attending Linfield.  I also expected to have quite a bit of homework.

Were these expectations met? If so, how were they met?  If not, what was different from what you thought it would be?

Yes, my challenging expectations were definitely met.  I found myself spending many hours reading and re-reading textbooks, doing additional research, and asking questions.  As for homework…wow.  I knew I would have homework, but it sure seemed to be many hours of homework just about every week.  There were a handful of classes that didn’t have a metric ton of homework.  Those classes were definitely in the minority.

steven facker adult degree studentHave you changed in any way as a result of your experience of completing your degree at Linfield?

Organizing time comes much easier now.  I’ve learned to appreciate the bits of time here and there doing things fun, intertwined with the less desirable things, like work and cleaning.  =)

I also feel like I can contribute more intelligently to conversations with friends, and especially colleagues at work.  Knowing that I can complete a relatively long-term goal, like this degree, helps me to realize that perhaps I can do that with other tough goals.  The opportunity to publicly speak at the commencement, and following through with that opportunity, has contributed to my overall confidence level.

I don’t necessarily feel like having the degree will automatically open doors, of course.  I look at my degree as an additional tool that can help me, when/if I so choose.  Additionally, I’ve learned to critically assess and think through my decisions with more depth for the long term.  For example, when I’m researching an employee’s benefit issue at work, I don’t look just at the surface issues.  I also examine the reasoning behind it and advocate to my superiors for the employee, so that he/she can get his/her issue resolved with less stress and more satisfaction.

Overall, I feel grateful, not as much for the knowledge, but for the application of critical thinking towards life in general.  Yes, I still go with the flow, at times.  But now I also challenge the flow and strive towards more efficiency and enjoyment at home and work.