Alumni Spotlight: John Eric DeFeo '12
Director, COO Projects
My Widener Experience
why did you decide to return to school and major in professional studies?
I was a call center manager for an insurance company without much opportunity to progress in my career and decided it was time for a change. Fortunately, my professional network afforded me the opportunity to speak with a director that eventually led to an employment opportunity as a business analyst, thus reinventing my career. This pushed me to go back to school to learn about my new profession and complete my degree. Although I started in the information systems program, I finished in professional studies, which allowed me the opportunity to diversify my education as my career continued to evolve.
what made you choose widener?
I chose Widener based on factors that were important to me as an adult learner with family responsibilities. The factors I considered were: overall academic reputation, program and coursework availability, flexibility in scheduling, courses that met my needs as a professional with the ability to customize my program as my career evolved, personal feel of a small school, convenient locations, access to professors and advisers, and the Widener family I met during my initial conversations there. Widener cares for its students, and the longer I was there, the closer we became.
My Professional Experience
how has widener prepared you for life after college?
Widener taught me skills I did not expect to receive: critical thinking, new levels of comprehension, leadership, networking, perseverance, and timeliness. All of these skills are and continue to be critical to my success after college, in my career, and my personal life.
what advice would you give a prospective student considering your major or the extended learning program?
Take time to evaluate your ability to make this commitment to yourself, for yourself, and anyone else in your life. Consider your priorities, goals, and what you seek to achieve and write them down as a constant reminder to yourself as to why you began this journey. It won't be easy, but you will look at the document occasionally when doubt occurs. Is this worth it? Yes it is! I view the adult learner as someone involved in a marathon; it may be a long distance in front of you, but each step brings you closer to the finish line!