Josh Barkley already had worked full-time for his family's residential construction company for seven years when he first heard about the adult degree program
at Huntington University.
At the urging of his wife, Heather, he enrolled in HU’s adult degree program, studying business administration and organizational management.
The diversity and experience the program offered surprised him.
“The real-world experience of the class was not what I expected,” he said. “I was in my late 20s, but the age range was anywhere from mid-20s to people in their 50s or 60s who had already had careers for 30 years. Their experiences and the different perspectives of people who were well-versed in business and had worked in the field, provided opportunities to learn.”
Barkley also found that he appreciated the pace of the program.
“It was easy for me to keep going, because even if I didn’t particularly enjoy a class, it was only five weeks long,” he laughed. “And then the next five-week class would start, and it would be a completely different experience — everybody bringing something different to the table each time.”
Additionally, the 2010 graduate had someone that understood what it was like to balance working full-time while attending school — Barkley’s wife Heather was enrolled in HU’s master’s degree program at the same time. The pair graduated together in May 2010.
“It was fun to be in school at the same time as Heather,” he said. “We both worked so hard, and there was a new sense of accomplishment between us. To watch someone I love and will spend the rest of my life with succeed, and know she was doing the same thing for me — not a natural student like she is — was a success for us both.”
Since graduating, Barkley has become the owner of Barkley Builders. He noticed the changes in the way he runs his business since studying in the adult degree program.
“Through practical application in my business classes and the experience of the other students, I think more critically about how to run the company,” he said. “I already knew how to build a house, but adult programming showed me the importance of being efficient in running a successful business.”