"The best part was having my kids watch me graduate."
''I needed to do something better for my kids,'' says Kevin Petriel, explaining why he enrolled in the master's degree program in operations and project management. Kevin had worked as a software engineer in the aerospace industry for years when hiring a new engineer helped him to re-evaluate his career.
''We hired someone with a Ph.D who didn't put it on his application or resume because he had so little experience and thought the lack of experience would hurt him,'' Kevin remembers. ''I got to know the gentleman, and I said to myself, ‘Gee, whiz. If I don't do something, I'll be working for him in a couple of years.'
''It has been 25 years since Kevin was a student. So he started back slowly, taking one course at a time and setting his sights on earning a graduate certificate in project management. After completing the graduate certificate and passing the Project Management Professional and Six Sigma Green Belt certification exams, he decided to continue on for the MS in Operations and Project Management.
''I'm halfway there,'' he thought.
It took motivation, organization, discipline and the support of his wife and four children, now 18, 17, 13 and 12, to succeed.
''I attended class one night a week and did my homework on Saturdays, and on Sundays after church,'' Kevin says. Kevin graduated with a 4.0 GPA and was inducted into the Delta Honor Society. On graduation day, he led the procession of business school students.
''The best part was having my kids watch me graduate,'' he says.