Nontraditional Student Juggles Work, School to Earn Degree

Paul Kelley recently earned his B.A. in Leadership in the Public Sector.  During his time as an undergraduate, he was selected as one of the students of the month by the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.  In this Q&A, he talked about his experiences at NC State.

What are some of your sample courses?

  • Essentials of Fundraising
  • Public Opinion Research Methods
  • President and Congress

What are some of your current activities?

  • Lead Correctional Officer, Orange Correctional Center (Hillsborough, NC)
  • State College National Wild Turkey Federation Chapter
  • Ducks Unlimited
  • College Republicans
  • NCSU Student Wolfpack Club

Previous Education: Associate of Arts Degree, Forsyth Technical Community College, Winston-Salem, NC, 2010

Postgraduate Plans: Become a probation/parole officer.  Eventually I would like to get into criminal law and be a prosecutor for the state of North Carolina.

Why did you select the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at NC State? The Leadership in the Public Sector program allowed me to work while I attended school. It was also a perfect degree for my career plan.

What have been your favorite courses? My favorite courses have been Human Response to Conflict and my LPS internship. And working with Dr. Tracy Appling-Biel has been a great experience. I have had her for two classes, making her my only repeat professor, but she has always been willing to answer any question that I have and she especially supported and praised the work that I did for my internship.

What do you enjoy most about the College of Humanities and Social Sciences? It offers all my classes online, which has been a major benefit for a non-traditional student.

What has been your biggest challenge at NCSU? My biggest challenge at NC State has been working while maintaining my GPA. Also, scheduling exams with my work schedule has taken a lot of time management.

What new doors has college opened for you? Being a student at NC State has gotten me involved with the National Wild Turkey Federation through the State College Chapter. I have met many new people and would consider working for this nonprofit organization in the future.

What advice would you give incoming students? Take advantage of every opportunity you can. Remember these will be the most memorable years of your life and you shouldn’t pass on an experience that will make you a more well-rounded person. The hard work you put in to school will definitely pay off in the future!

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