During the pandemic, Michael Pettyjohn took the opportunity to finish his degree by enrolling in Ducere Global Business School
As the COVID-19 pandemic shut down businesses around the world, Michael Pettyjohn, like many, found himself working from home. Instead of dwelling in the negative, he decided to view his job’s closure in a positive light; it was an opportunity to tackle his goal of finishing his degree by enrolling in Ducere Global Business School.
Michael now works as a Regional Manager for Aristocrat Technologies. Though his company works in casino gaming technology, he always wanted to pursue a career in education. He had initially started a bachelor’s in secondary education at Saint Edward’s University in Texas, but then, like the experience of many others, life happened. Ultimately, he put his degree and student teaching on hold until the right time to finish it came along.
Years later, the right time ironically presented itself during a period of unknowns. A few months into the pandemic, Ducere’s former Vice President of Enterprise contacted Michael. “When Dan got in touch with me I thought, ‘Why not?’ I’m not doing anything else because Las Vegas is closed and there are only so many Netflix shows. I have always wanted to go back and finish my degree.” With that, he decided to take on the role of ‘student’ before he retired from the corporate world to ‘teacher.’
This time around, he would not be going to Texas; he would be accelerating his career while not actually leaving the comfort of his house. Among several choices of accredited Ducere university partners, he chose the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.
Ducere’s MBA programs allow students without a bachelor’s degree to pursue a master’s if they meet the minimum qualifications, so he did not have to repeat the years he spent working on his undergraduate degree.
Though this made life easier for Michael, he said the program itself is definitely not anything short of a challenge. “It isn’t just pay and get your degree,” he pointed out. “It forces you to get organized and be the driver of your education. Instead of being in the classroom and being pushed by others, I am in competition with myself.”
Not only does Michael love a challenge, but he also has an affinity for leadership (which happens to be a guiding principle in Ducere’s curriculum). His hope to become a teacher has been driven by his passion for coaching, mentoring and leading.
In the modules that Michael has completed, he has been able to pair this passion with his current job and apply it to his course work. According to Michael, in the Human Resource Management module, he wrote about what people leaders should be aware of in the workplace.
“I feel like I'm sharper than I was a year ago. I am using my brain more and my research and writing has improved a lot,” he shared.
When he isn’t doing his course work, Michael balances his time between work and family. He noted that it helps being able to plan his classes and assignments around everything else.
Still, “Ducere takes organization and time investment.” Michael shared that going to school can be difficult when you have other priorities, but ultimately, it is worth it. The time he puts into his degree is not only paying off in his professional life, but also in his personal life.
“One of my two daughters is a freshman in high school and she is on Canvas too, so there is more opportunity to understand the challenges she faces,” he says. Canvas is the online tool that many schools have teachers use to administer and communicate courses to students.
Michael also noted that the same daughter asked him why he wants to do his program when it seems so hard. He answered her saying, “I have always wanted to do this and it will help me with my future goals.” The example he has set for his daughter as he excels with Ducere has been in itself a quintessence of leadership.
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