When it comes to getting your degree and working full time, students simply can’t underestimate the importance of family and educational support, says Cory Logan, who recently graduated from AIU with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.
“I was working full time, trying to finish my Bachelor of Science and getting ready to have a spinal fusion. I was absolutely beat every night, but the faces and encouraging words of my wonderful wife and beautiful daughter kept me motivated and ultimately got me ahead,” he says. “AIU offered a unique opportunity for me. My schedule didn’t provide me with the opportunity to travel to a traditional university. I was looking for a school where I could tailor my education around my life and family, and that is exactly what AIU offered.”
His hard work and perseverance paid off. Today, Cory works in his field as a hosting analyst for a leading e-discovery firm. “My degree helped me go from a dead-end job that I didn’t care for to an industry where the sky is the limit and a company that I love going to every day. As a family, we are excited about the potential opportunities that lie ahead.”
With a schedule packed full of school, work and family, Cory’s road wasn’t an easy one. He also faced a debilitating back injury and made the decision to undergo spinal fusion surgery during his degree program. “Simple things like sitting and standing were painful, so adding my back issue onto an already-full plate was difficult,” he says. But family support, as well as a supportive school environment, tipped the balance toward success. “Luckily my professors were accommodating —I had reached out to them before the surgery, letting them know what the situation was. Everyone was extremely understanding. This helped me to avoid any slips in my grades.
“What sealed the deal for me was my experience with my initial student advisor. He was wonderful in helping me through my initial enrollment process and through my entire AIU career.”
Cory graduated magna cum laude with his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice in September 2013. When asked about what advice he’d give to someone going back to school, he says, “Getting a degree isn’t the end of the process. You must work hard at creating your individual brand; you must make yourself marketable. Nothing will be handed to you.”
In order to get off on the right foot with his own job search, Cory enlisted another source of support: AIU’s Career Services Department, which coached him to develop a personal brand and a resume that properly showcased his skills. Even prior to graduation, Cory enlisted tools such as LinkedIn to help build his network and make contacts with businesses, groups and individuals in his industry. “There are going to be a lot of experiences and people who are going to help mold you along the way, no matter what your age or background.”