New Chapters

New chapters in life many times involve a catalyst. Having been in between engagements for the past two months many topics have crossed my mind, so this has been a change driving event for many new chapters, along with reflection on old chapters.

I have considered going back to school many times over the years, however it has always been hard to find the time or opportunity. I seriously considered this a few years ago as the company I was working for offered tuition reimbursement.

I reviewed the documentation and started to ask some questions for clarification. According to their tuition reimbursement policy one had to pay out of pocket and would be reimbursed once a grade of C or better was achieved. This seemed doable, yet the HR department said I needed to discuss with my manager ahead of time as I would need sign-off.

I followed up accordingly and my direct manager retorted that the only way they would reimburse tuition for me was if it was technology training geared toward certifications. Flatly, tuition reimbursement would only be paid if it was geared toward my position. I was a Director, which is essentially the bottom rung of executive management, and was considering a Business Management Degree, which they refused to reimburse. The reimbursement program was not portrayed in this light as an enticement for employment nor was it portrayed in this light as documented by the company. Interesting interpretation at the least.

I have never thought much of certifications. I have successfully fulfilled many functions in technology over almost two decades without having any sort of certification. I have also worked with many individuals that had certifications, yet fell largely short on application and true conceptual understanding.

Do not take this as a slight on anyone who has become certified. It has its place and I have worked with many who first learned the technology, by working with it and applying the concepts, and then pursued certifications as an augmentation to validate their knowledge. This is the positive side of certifications.

I was exceedingly busy and fighting too many other battles to pursue this any further, so I tabled continuing my education. I had already started to come to the realization that my time with this organization was becoming finite, and this response was just another catalyst of many that were adding up to propagate my departure.

I have finally reached the time in my life to make continuing my education a priority, with my current state of job hunting being the catalyst for this new chapter. Spending some time reviewing Universities in the eastern portion of Missouri, I reside just outside the Saint Louis Metropolitan area, I chose to apply to Webster University.

I am very excited to begin this new chapter, thus initiating a new life journey. The excitement of starting a new chapter is never relegated to just the beginning, but to the wonderment of where it will lead.

I applied while projecting a specific start time frame to allow finding a new employment opportunity after the first of the year. Most organizations are hesitant to hire this time of year, much less with the current economic state. I plan to pay out of pocket as I go, thus investing in myself and not allowing for indebtedness to any employer or entity to come into play.

After significant research, I felt that Webster University would augment that investment with a quality education from a great University. They have a wide array of coursework and degree programs that garnered my interest.

I am both happy and excited to proclaim in this blog entry that I have been accepted to Webster University!

It is now time to get back to the job search. I also have some home remodeling projects to wrap up before starting school as I foresee myself becoming quite busy.

Busy is good, just as new chapters are good, arbitrary of catalyst.

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