Back To School – Again

School Busses Coming and Going
School Buses Coming and Going

So I’m back to school again, this time for a long-term adventure. My first semester of a Graduate Program in “Instructional Design and Technology” at our local George Mason University starts Tuesday January 22. This will be a big leap for me.

Part of my admissions package included a “personal goals statement;” a write-up on why I wanted to earn a degree and what I hoped to gain by it. When reading the requirements, I took a leap of faith that my natural inclination to respond “why do you f*%#!^g care as long as I pay the money?” wasn’t necessarily the correct answer. So I spent some time writing up my statement. With a little help from a colleague I think I turned out a pretty good paper. Apparently, the school admissions board also thought so, as they accepted me into the program. I’m going to re-post here just because. And I’m not sure how much posting I’ll be doing over the next months while dealing with balancing work-life-school. 

Admissions Goals Statement

I am applying to George Mason’s Graduate Program in Instructional Design and Technology to continue my education and advance my career as a logistician.  As demonstrated in my accompanying resume, I am a life-long learner in and out of the classroom.  I enjoy training and mentoring young people, as well as helping mid-career professionals develop their competencies. 

I enlisted in the U.S. Navy in January 1974 during my senior year of High School.  Upon graduation I left for basic training with a strong desire to never again see the inside of a classroom.  The Navy had different plans for me and after basic training sent me to school for 15 months to learn electronics technology.  After completing training, I was assigned to the “fleet” and experienced Navy life in all its sea-going glory. 

Seven years later – while on my first shore-duty assignment as a technical trainer – I decided it was time to resume my formal education.  I enrolled in one of the few colleges in San Diego, California, then catering to education for working adults.  I chose Associates in Applied Sciences (Business Administration) as I felt business administration would balance out my technical background in electronics technology.  I earned my AAS degree, then completed the core courses for an undergraduate degree in marketing.  I chose marketing as I enjoyed the academic focus on research, analysis, and technical writing.  Unfortunately, soon after finishing marketing core courses in the mid-1980s, life events required that I put formal education on hold. 

While earning my Associates degree, I excelled in my professional career as a navy technical trainer.  I earned certification as a Navy Master Training Specialist; recognition awarded to only the top ten percent instructors in a training center. 

Six years after earning my AAS, I resumed my undergraduate studies while on shore-duty in Naples, Italy.  I chose a non-residency marketing program offered through New York State Regents College (now known as Excelsior College).  I completed my undergraduate program five years later during my final sea-duty tour and was awarded my BS Marketing diploma shortly before retiring from active-duty service in 1996. 

After Navy retirement, I completed my Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) with the intention of continuing to a MBA program.  However, once again life events required I put formal education on hold. 

My first job out of the Navy was in the field of logistics, managing a Navy-owned spare parts warehouse.  I subsequently followed what became a rewarding career in integrated logistics support (ILS) as practiced by the U.S. Department of Defense, focused on the maritime industry, which has taken me into a leadership role as a Senior Logistician with a top international consulting firm headquartered in the Northern Virginia region.  I’ve expanded my area of expertise into the ILS-related field of configuration management and worked on numerous projects for several government agencies. 

As I grew into my logistics career I felt a need to continue formal education.  Over the past ten years I’ve participated in certification-level training programs as opportunities became available.  However, like my senior logistician peers, most of my learning has been through on-the-job training due to a lack of formal educational programs in ILS. 

Two years ago, I earned a certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) and began teaching English as Second Language (ESL) to adult learners as part-time work.  This experience has convinced me to pursue education for adult learners as my post-retirement career. 

I feel I am now ready to continue my formal education at a graduate level.  My goal is to develop my instructional design competencies so that I can build workforce development programs focused in the areas of ILS and configuration management.  I believe that training the next generation of logisticians is a natural progression of my chosen career, and my way of giving back to my community.

George Mason’s Instructional Design and Technology program appears to offer the educational tools I need to expand my career.  I believe learning should be enjoyable and available to anyone who wishes to make the effort to learn, at any time in a person’s life. I would like to be part of this learning environment for as long as I am able. 

I sincerely request consideration for admissions into the Instructional Design and Technology program. 

This is just another new adventure.

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