Kevin McFadgen: Washington DC’s adult learner with a big heart
When the global pandemic happened, Kevin McFadgen knew his opportunity had arrived: earn the bachelor’s degree he has always dreamed of
While life has shifted irrevocably for many of us amid COVID-19, Kevin McFadgen, a 55-year-old based in Washington DC, in the US, has finally found the perfect opportunity to fulfill his dreams of earning his bachelor’s degree. “It’s always been a personal and professional goal of mine to finish my undergraduate degree,” he confides.
Kevin puts others first, so he put his pursuit of higher education on hold. But it didn’t dampen his desire for knowledge. He is active on LinkedIn, reads biographies of successful people and attends seminars. As a matter of fact, Kevin discovered Nexford University while earning his A+ Certificate – an exam designed to certify the competency of IT professionals.
Timing is everything
Kevin was attracted to Nexford because the programs are designed with flexibility in mind: “I can turn on my laptop, and I’m already in class. Nexford was the perfect choice. It’s self-paced and that’s one of the things I love about it.”
In August 2020, Kevin started his Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) program and was excited about the road ahead. “I had to put my education on hold just to make sure that the family was alright,” he shares. “But I always knew that I was going to do it – it was always in the back of my mind.”
No matter how exciting, a new start can also be scary. “As a returning student, there were certain things that I wasn’t sure about. So, having a meeting with my Success Advisor was like meeting with a friend. And when I had questions and didn’t want to talk about them in a larger group, I could ask them one-on-one. It was so helpful to chart my path.”
Kevin is a Gift Processing and Finance Coordinator – a fundraiser – at Children’s National, one of America’s top 10 pediatric hospitals, and has worked there for over 30 years. Since starting his degree, he’s gained skills from his courses that he can apply at work right away.
“I was hearing people in my organization talk about how we did a SWOT analysis. And I’m like, what are they talking about?” he laughs. “And it wasn’t until Nexford that I was like, oh, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. I’ve been able to use these skills. It’s like learning a foreign language. And then when you come across someone that speaks that language, and you can understand them.”
The art of transferable skills
But his newly gained skills didn’t just apply at work. “I’ve learned to take the skills that I’m learning and apply it to what I like to do.”
For example, when one of his BBA courses required him to do a flowchart, Kevin used the opportunity to apply it on his personal landscape gardening project: “I figured out, okay, who’s going to be responsible for what, and when I put it in that format, it was fun for me and the work got accomplished.”
Tips for success
Like many Nexford learners, Kevin is earning his degree while working full time. How has he coped? “One of the things I did was treat it like a job, I had certain time set up to study,” he notes.
Kevin emphasizes the importance of having a support system. “Find that support partner, whether it’s with your professor. Let them know what you’re trying to do, and they will definitely be your biggest cheerleaders.”
For Kevin, it’s his family and he’s grateful for them. “They always cheer me on when I share my grades with them.” His son, a film school graduate, shows his support by teaching him how to upload his video assignments, for example.
Now that he’s pursuing his degree, what’s next for him? “I’ve always wanted to own my own business,” he smiles. “It’s been my vision to incorporate what I love to do.”
Our programs are precisely designed to fit the lives of busy professionals like Kevin’s. Discover Nexford’s BBA
About the Author
Ling graduated with a BA in English Literature with Linguistics from the University of Westminster in 2017. She is currently a Marketing Executive at Nexford University. You can find her on LinkedIn