Like many military veterans, Andy Glenn – a regional sales coordinator for Aflac – did not have a traditional educational trajectory. Glenn started his undergraduate education after he completed his military training and stopped after earning his associate’s degree, eager to join the workforce. After graduating, he got married, had children, and started a good corporate career. As his life took shape around him, he wasn’t sure if there was any room left for going back to school and earning his bachelor’s degree — but Glenn still felt a pull towards continuing his education.
“I had everything that I had wanted early in my career,” Glenn said. “But there was this lingering question, should I go back and finish school? It was a question that kept popping up, and eventually I decided that, yes, I did want to take that leap.”
As a veteran and a full-time professional, Glenn knew that to make going back to school work for him, he would need to find a program that was supportive of veterans and flexible enough to accommodate full-time workers. When he came across Purdue University, he was instantly impressed by the school’s rich legacy, history of innovative research, and award-winning academic programs. But he had been out of school too long to jump right back into an on-campus degree program – he needed a good steppingstone to ease himself back into the experience.
Glenn found the perfect starting point at Purdue Global, Purdue’s fully online university for working adults who want to start or finish college degree programs. Through Purdue Global, Glenn was able to complete his undergraduate degree on a flexible schedule and figure out his goals for the future. As a member of the Purdue educational system, he became familiar with the Purdue community and the opportunities that Purdue offers its students. After graduating with a bachelor’s in business administration with a concentration in marketing, he decided he wanted to continue his education at Purdue – but this time through Purdue University’s prestigious flagship campus in West Lafayette.
“Being familiar with the Purdue system, it seemed like the next logical step would be to challenge myself with a rigorous graduate program,” said Glenn. “I knew going to Purdue’s flagship campus would challenge me to grow, so I started looking into programs.”
Because Glenn was still working, he needed to find a graduate program at Purdue University that he could complete fully online. When he found Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication, it seemed like the perfect fit – a rigorous, challenging degree, taught by some of the same faculty as the campus program, that would fit his busy schedule and help him achieve his career goals.
“Communication is a huge part of what I do in sales,” Glenn said. “Good communication is often the difference between success and failure when making a sales pitch, so I figured that developing my communication skills more would make me a more valuable asset – having an advanced degree can also open new doors.”
No stranger to completing courses online, Glenn adjusted quickly to his online graduate studies. He was blown away by the quality of Purdue’s online courses, and getting to work directly with Purdue’s experienced and accomplished faculty was a highlight. Though he wasn’t studying on campus, he still had the opportunity to visit West Lafayette to meet with his cohort and attend a football game. The experience, he said, solidified for him what makes Purdue so special.
“Good communication is often the difference between success and failure when making a sales pitch, so I figured that developing my communication skills more would make me a more valuable asset – having an advanced degree can also open new doors.”
Glenn also appreciated how customizable his degree was. As a Marine, Glenn has long been interested in the intersection between communication and leadership, and how leaders can use communication to foster a transformative relationship with their teams. At Purdue, Glenn was able to add a Communication and Leadership concentration to his degree program and learn new skills like crisis communication.
“Even something as simple as writing an email, I think about more deeply and intentionally now because of the program at Purdue,” Glenn said. “Communication is something that’s so common people take it for granted but being skilled at it – especially as a leader – is actually very challenging. My studies helped me appreciate that and really push myself to communicate in a transformative way.”
Through Purdue University, Glenn also developed a renewed interest in continuing his education. At the start of his academic journey, he figured he would stop after completing his bachelor’s degree, but the positive experiences he’s had with the Purdue system have inspired a change of heart. Now that he’s completed his master’s degree at Purdue, he hopes to start another graduate program this fall.
“I really want to continue and get an MBA degree, so I’m looking at schools where I could complete that,” Glenn said. “My company, Aflac, has offered to sponsor my next degree, so I’m in a good place – I know getting these advanced degrees will open a lot of new doors in the future. A decade ago, I didn’t think I would be here, so committed to going back to school, but Purdue has shown me the value in continuing your education, and what’s possible on the other side of that.”
To learn more about Purdue’s online Master of Science in Communication, please visit the program’s webpage.