For Joshua Lippincott, the daily struggle of balancing life and school extends beyond the average college student’s life of classwork and football games. As an officer in the United States Army, his challenges lie in completing his degree while engaging in warfare and raising a family.
Struck by young love, Lippincott married his high school sweetheart and began starting a family in California. But as a high school drop out he soon began to realize that the job opportunities for someone without a diploma were slim. With bills piling up and a family to provide for, he made the decision join the Army.
With 14 years-experience working as a transportation officer, the now student at Arizona State University, decided to take advantage of the incentives offered by the military and further his education. The journey led him to the University of Texas where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in Operations and Supply Chain Management.
From there, Lippincott set his sights on the W. P. Carey Online MBA at ASU.
“I chose the MBA program because I was looking for a school whose name has national recognition. The online aspect of the MBA program allowed me to attend graduate school regardless of what location I’m at. I can earn a degree while being deployed to a war zone in Afghanistan,” he said.
Although Lippincott says there were times when he struggled, tools such as Skype and Blackboard were integral in helping him communicate with his fellow peers. The interaction helped him gain a civilian perspective on the supply chain management projects he was working on.
“I’ve tried to apply the concepts I’ve learned in classes within a military context. I get a lot of information from my peers that I can tweak based on different military tasks. I’ve really enjoyed that,” he said.
Another attractive feature for Lippincott at ASU was the Pat Tillman Veterans Center located in the Memorial Union on the Tempe campus.
“ASU has been absolutely fantastic working with me as a vet. The Veterans Center made my life incredibly easy. They dealt with all of my paperwork, contacted the VA (Dept. of Veterans Affairs) and helped me maximize my time here,” he said.
Lippincott will receive his degree this December and says he is already thinking about working toward a Ph.D. and other professional certifications. He feels that additional training will make him a more appealing candidate in the competitive job market.