Graduation Journey: Amanda Scheldt

When we start a new beginning in life, we never know where that journey may take us. Many of us look to higher education as a means to better our career opportunities, but the lesser realized part of the journey is how it also includes a lot of personal growth. My journey towards obtaining my degree is one of many personal trials and tribulations. In January of 2017, I started this educational journey with Webster and little did I know the life changing experience I would endure. When I look back, I was nervous, but excited, to start the Master’s in Cybersecurity program. I looked for months for a program that would allow me the chance to manage a solid work, life, and school balance. Webster University was the perfect choice to balance all three of those aspects. My first half of my Spring 2017 semester went off well and I walked away with an A in class. I felt like I was well on my way to a good start. During the second half of that Spring semester is when my personal situation began to change for me. The beginning of April 2017, I lost a beloved family member. Later that month, I was let go from my job of nearly 3 years. To top it all off before my Spring 2 semester concluded, I also had to say goodbye to my beloved family pet.

Aside from all those personal tragedies, I kept with the program and going into that summer, I acquired a renowned internship for a privately-owned national security investigation agency. From there things continued to look up, where I started a new career more geared towards the IT field by the end of summer. Things continued to go well, and I continued to do well in the program still balancing work, life, and school simultaneously. I thought that my trials from 2017 were far past me as I continued to grow and learn while at Webster. In late 2017 I began having medical issues while still juggling everything with work and school. In Spring of 2018, I was diagnosed with a severe case of endometriosis. Due to the nature of my condition, I was forced to undergo a moderately invasive surgery that May that would eliminate much of my medical issues related to the endometriosis. All the while, I continued to learn, grow, and thrive within the Cybersecurity program at Webster.

Fast forwarding to 2019, life has gotten much better and balanced since I began my education in 2017. Despite what life threw at me in my first two years at Webster, I persisted. Webster ended up being the perfect choice for me. The Cybersecurity program has not only allowed me to gain the knowledge and skills to grow my career for the future but also apply those concepts to my current role. In addition, the program allowed me to manage all of life’s challenges and continue to thrive within the program. The degree programs and instructors at Webster want to help you and see you succeed in whatever degree program you choose. I am proud to tell people I am a Webster University graduate this May.