Adult Continuing Education Online Changes Lives

 

Having completed various adult continuing education programs online that enabled me to continue to work full-time while completing degree programs, I’ve come to appreciate the value of life-long learning and of appreciating my story.  Through my experience I’ve learned how powerful stories can be.  Stories connect and motivate us.  How connected or motivated we become is influenced by how deeply a story resonates with us.

If you were given two minutes to offer remarks about something meaningful to you, what would you say? How would you say it? How would you try to connect with or motivate others by sharing your story?

Having recently participated in a celebration of the 40th anniversary of The Woods Online at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, I was once again reminded of the importance of stories—including my own.  I’m sharing my remarks with you and must say that it was such a humbling experience to be invited to represent the graduates of this program.

Good Afternoon.  What an honor to be part of this special day.

I’d like to share a little of my Saint Mary’s story with you.

I received my undergraduate degree in HRM through the WED Program in 2003.

I didn’t know it when I began the program but that experience:

– being able to continue my education while working full-time

– being supported by caring faculty and staff

Inspired me to believe in myself

Empowered me to continue my education.

 

While you may expect results like these from such a program.

For me, Saint Mary’s has been life changing.

You see, I was a drop out at age 15, I never completed high school.

The WED Program provided me with a foundation that paved the way for me to continue my education.

After Saint Mary’s I received three master’s degrees.

I am proof positive that the “Woods Online” changes lives.

 

I learned so much more than what was in the curriculum.

I learned that no matter your circumstances,

no matter where you’ve been,

no matter who you are —

it doesn’t define where you are going.

Thank you.

I’m forever grateful to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College for providing this life-changing program.  I’m also grateful to the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University and to the IU Alumni Association for offering a program that taught me how to communicate my story.

While there are plenty of recommendations and tools available to help you create your elevator pitch including Harvard University’s “elevator pitch” creator, I recommend being able to articulate your story so well that you can adapt it to situations, audiences, and mediums with different time constraints.  By developing your story you will be able to use it to connect with others in person and online.  You can adapt it to create online profiles, your elevator pitch and talking points that will help you communicate clearly in a variety of settings.

For professionals and job seekers, being able to tell your story matters because:

– The market necessitates it given economic conditions and the pace of change

– You are competing to remain employed, directly or indirectly

– Your story can help you attract the attention of recruiters

Being able to your story will help others relate to and understand how you may add value to their organization.  Remember, all relationships have an emotional component at their center.  To successfully tell your story, you should strive to keep your story in context and tell your story in a positive tone.  If you are ready to continue your development, you may want to consider if adult continuing education programs are right for you.

 

To find out more about The Woods Online, click here.

To read more about The Woods Online 40th Anniversary Celebration in the Tribune Star, click here.

For more information about my story, click here.

 

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