The main hurdle for many adults who contemplate pursuing a college degree for the first time, or going back to school after a long hiatus, is taking that leap of faith.  

A Disciplined Approach: Bobby Adkins

Wed May 27, 2020 at 02:04 PM

The main hurdle for many adults who contemplate pursuing a college degree for the first time, or going back to school after a long hiatus, is taking that leap of faith. Thinking about juggling coursework, full-time employment, and family commitments can seem daunting. That was certainly the case for Bobby Adkins.

“Honestly taking that first step was the biggest challenge,” says Bobby. “Over the years, I gave myself every reason not to go back to school. But I think anybody can do it if you have confidence and stay motivated.”

Growing up, higher education seemed unachievable. The overwhelming thought of student debt pushed Bobby towards trade school where he studied Machining. After working his way to Production Control Supervisor at PlyGem, Bobby realized his career was as high as it would go without further education. He took a job at ComSonics where he is currently a Manufacturing Engineering Technician and started taking classes at BRCC pursuing a Business Administration degree. “I started my college career by taking a few Mechatronics classes; these classes gave me a better understanding of my current job. While I enjoyed the Mechatronics classes, my goal is to be more on the management side of operations, so I switched my degree to the College Transfer: Business Administration.”

“I enjoy learning about making things more efficient and improving processes,” says Bobby. “In my job, I do a mixture of relating technical questions to customers or vendors, programming machines, and interpreting data to look for opportunities for improvement.”

By taking a combination of seated and online classes, Bobby says he is able to strike the right balance between work, school, and home life, making steady progress without being overwhelmed.

“I knew that if I was going to take the time to do it, I was going to be 100 percent invested,” says the member of Phi Theta Kappa, an academic honor society for two-year colleges. “I take it seriously and set the bar high for myself.” He says he likes the flexibility of online classes, but appreciates the interaction and participation aspects of the classroom.

“I always take something away from every class,” explains Bobby. “The different perspectives are important. With the online classes, you have to be disciplined and figure out what works best for you.”

Getting a bachelor’s degree is definitely part of his 10-year plan. “I’m already seeing the positive effects of [education] at work.” Bobby understands that a 10-year plan can easily be set off course. “It’s important to me to take at least one class a semester,” he notes. “I don’t want to give myself an excuse not to go back. More importantly, with a goal this big, you have to find little victories to keep you going. Earning a certificate in your studies is a great motivator!”