Student Spotlight: Hewlett Packard’s Kyle Martarello

Kyle Martarello was on a traditional path a decade ago. After graduating from high school, he went to college and about a year into his journey, was doing well. But like so many others, life got in the way of his education.

For Martarello it was when his grandmother fell ill, and he decided to move back home to help support his family. In the meantime, his family continued to grow to include his wife Danielle and their 18-month-old daughter Penelope. And of course the family’s passel of miniature dachshunds – Chako, Mongo, Stella and Luci. Although he always wanted to complete his degree, Martarello continued to focus on them first.

It was only recently that the northern California resident found the opportunity he needed to achieve his long-held goal while continuing to fully support his family and work full-time in Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s business programs and planning division. The company’s partnership with Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) allowed Martarello to study online through the university’s College for America program at his own pace and earn his bachelor’s in communication in November 2018.

“It was always hard for me to get back into things as work and family always came first,” Martarello said. “Now that (College for America) gave me the ability to work at my own pace through online learning, I was able to complete what I started. Like people have said, it’s never too late to go back to school and get your degree.”

The College for America program was specifically designed for busy, working adults like Martarello and thousands like him. The program allows learners to demonstrate their mastery of a series of competencies by completing online projects. The format is ideal for busy adults because they can work at any time of the day or night as quickly, or slowly, as their schedule demands.

“The ability to work at my own pace was really important to me,” Martarello said. “That would either be me working on two assignments at once or pushing … a more challenging assignment out for a week or two.”

Projects are also designed to apply directly to adult learners’ jobs right away. For instance, Martarello said he experienced that relevance in a business accounting course – an area he lacked experience. “Once I completed that course, I was assigned a task at work that incorporated the material I just learned in the class, and I was easily able to apply what I learned to the project,” he said.

The flexibility and relevancy of the College for America program – along with the support of his family and employers – allowed Martarello to finish a degree he’d long desired, and he urged others to take advantage of the opportunity as well.

“Go for it,” he said. “Everyone will come up with excuses as to why they can’t complete their degree. I encourage everyone to try and keep pushing through it.”

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