Taking Your Career to the Next Degree


No matter our age or circumstances, continuing to challenge ourselves to achieve new goals is important in keeping our lives from stagnating. For many, going back to school can provide that positive forward momentum in life. In fact, students at American National University, like Adam Brown and Rupali Patel, often find that while they pursue their degrees, they not only advance their education and career, but set a foundation upon which they build future degrees and goals.

Rupali Patel first earned her associate’s degree and then went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in business administration – management at ANU’s Roanoke Valley Campus in Salem, Virginia while she was working as a flight attendant. With such an irregular work schedule, the flexibility she found at ANU was helpful. “The fact that ANU had a block schedule with once a week classes worked perfectly,” she said. After putting her degree to work in hospitality management, Rupali decided that she wanted to continue on to earn her master’s degree in business administration. Since she had already obtained her associate’s and bachelor’s degrees at ANU, she was able to complete the MBA program in just one year. “It went by so quickly,” she said, marveling. “It’s the best thing I could have done.”

Information technology graduate Adam Brown had a similar experience in easily transitioning from one degree to the next, as he earned both his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees from ANU. As a U.S. Navy veteran, Adam was able to apply the educational benefits he earned from his time in service toward his education. He graduated from the Florence, Kentucky Campus with his associate’s degree and received his certification in CompTIA A+. “I really enjoyed all the instructors that I had,” he said fondly. “They’re very knowledgeable in their fields.” Not wanting to waste time, he then immediately enrolled in ANU Online to pursue his bachelor’s degree in information technology. “I knew having my bachelor’s would open up more employment opportunities for me,” he explained of his decision to continue his education.

Adam was glad that with his hard work and dedication, the degree pathway at ANU allowed him to quickly obtain his associate’s and bachelor’s degrees and get started working sooner. “I did it all in three years,” he stated proudly. He now works as a computer analyst with a company that serves as an IT service helpdesk and field support center for several large businesses.

Rupali also found that her degrees from ANU opened new doors for her. After graduating with her MBA, she started working as marketing director for a local management firm that operates several businesses in the area. She loves putting her MBA to work at her job, and one day dreams of opening her own bed and breakfast with the skills and knowledge she gained at ANU. “With accounting and management and human resource classes that I’ve taken, I think that I can use all those tools,” she said with confidence.

“These days if you want a decent job and want to progress, you have to have a degree,” Adam stated with conviction. Rupali echoes that in her own experience, hiring managers aren’t just looking for bachelor’s degrees for leadership positions — now they are looking for master’s degrees. At ANU, both students found they could build upon each level of their education and finish more quickly than if they had gone through a larger state university. The small class structure built a supportive community that helped them as they juggled work, school, and family. “It means a lot to me that a college like National is very caring about the students,” Rupali said, citing her teachers and classmates as sources of inspiration and encouragement.

At ANU, we know that when you’re going to school you aren’t just pursuing your degree—you’re building towards your future. Laying solid foundations and removing obstacles allows our students to apply what they’ve already learned in pursuit of their degree and keep moving forward towards taking the next step in their career. “[Getting my degree] has changed my life big time because it’s given me more opportunities,” Adam shared. “It’s really helped my family in providing a better life.” As someone who knows from first-hand experience the challenge and reward that pursuing your degree can be, Rupali strongly encourages ANU students: “Don’t look back – Keep going!”


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