With advancing technology, it seems that engineering careers have become more important than ever. If you want to work in engineering technology, it is never too late to go back to school. This is what our very own electronics engineering technology student, Curt Dexter, chose to do. To achieve his personal career goals, Dexter decided to take the plunge into online education and get his degree.
We had a chance to chat with Dexter and learn a little bit about his experience with Grantham:
Grantham University: Why did you decide to pursue an online degree? What made you pick Grantham?
Curt Dexter: I wanted to learn about electronics, but there aren’t any colleges near where I live. The closest is almost two hours away. Grantham was the only option that provided the degree I was looking for in an online format. I have found online education a good choice for me. I am motivated and disciplined. These really are essential qualities to have to excel with online learning.
GU: What were you feeling prior to starting the program and why? After you started?
CD: I felt that I might be wasting my time and money as I am in my early forties. I decided to do it anyway. After I started, I felt pretty good that I could do well after so many years out of school. I finished my degree on July 26, 2016. I have a GPA of 3.97 as of today. I have worked very hard to keep my GPA as close to 4.0 as possible. I started at Grantham in November 2012. My total time from start to finish for my Bachelor's degree is 3 years and 8 months.
GU: Describe the support you have received from the faculty and staff at Grantham. Is there anyone specific who has been a particular help to you?
CD: The faculty and staff have been great. Emails have been answered promptly by either instructors or staff. I would like to give a special thanks to Mark Cappuzzo, my Physics I and II professor. He taught me much more than just physics, though—he gave me tools and strategies that have improved my learning at Grantham, as well as in my job.
GU: How do you stay motivated?
CD: I think about why I am doing this. I am working towards a promotion at work into engineering. I have always wanted to create and engineering is the perfect match. I also really love learning. I didn't know this until I started college. I want to understand as much as I can. I think about what I have learned to try to understand concepts better and how they relate to everything else.
GU: Describe your life and schedule outside of your schoolwork.
CD: There isn't much outside of schoolwork. I spend almost all of my time working on schoolwork. I don't mind because I learn so much. It is very hard to work full time and attend classes full time. Online makes it easier because I am not tied down to a schedule from a school. I can also work on schoolwork during any free time I have. I did have to sacrifice a lot of family time to be able to take classes full time. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and discipline to be able to handle it all. But if it's worth doing, you can always find a way. The professors at Grantham have been very helpful and willing to work with me. I have found this avenue for achieving my degree quite enjoyable.
GU: What is your proudest accomplishment?
CD: Finishing my first degree, AS in computer and electronics engineering with a 4.0.
GU: What are your goals after you complete your degree?
CD: I am working towards a promotion into manufacturing engineering. There is a deficiency of electrical engineers in my company, which makes electrical components. With this, and the ever-increasing automation and robotics being added to manufacturing, it makes sense that an electronics engineer will complement the current manufacturing engineers who are primarily mechanical engineers.
GU: Do you have any advice for someone who is thinking about going back to school?
CD: Be sure that you want it. I mean really want it. It will be very hard at times and the desire to push through and earn the degree is very important.
GU: If someone is telling the story of you, what’s the number one thing you want the listener to know about you?
CD: I love to create.
GU: Do you have a tip that could help other students like you?
CD: When you are faced with tasks that you don't want to do, suck it up and dive right in. The sooner the hard tasks are done, the easier the easy tasks will be.