It’s been almost a decade since I left school to work full time at WhippleHill. Back then if you’d asked me if I’d ever go back to school and finish my degree I would have said “Why bother, I’m getting paid and I love my work.” Now it’s 2019 and I find myself in a position to finish my degree and I’m really happy I’m doing it.
Let me take a step back and review how I got here. I graduated from NHTI in concord NH in 2003, I was working two jobs and going to school full time at UNH Manchester. I didn’t have to take out a student loan so the two jobs. I did this for a full year until one day opportunity came knocking.
In the fall of 2004 I was taking a business ethics class at UNH Manchester. One of the students in that class was a former NHTI classmate of mine and he was working at WhippleHill at the time. We started talking one night and he said “Hey my company is hiring you should totally apply.” That night I submitted my resume and I woke up to a phone call from the hiring manager to come in for an interview. I left the interview and went to class the next night, and just before class started I received an offer that would begin my career.
I began working for WhippleHill in October 25th, 2004. It’s been almost 15 years and one acquisition but I’m still here. I’m not doing the same job I started with but I love my work. At the end of the day developing software is all about problem solving and I love every minute of it (except time tracking, nobody loves that).
Cut to 2009 and I’m nearing the end of the line at UNH Manchester. The only thing I have left is an internship at a company and I’ll have my degree. Should be easy right, I already work for a great company! Well here is where the fun begins.
The head of the program at the time said to me “You can’t do your internship with a company you already work for.”
That’s right, I had to do an internship to graduate, but to do the internship I would have to take every Friday off for several months and do unpaid work for someone else. Sounds crazy doesn’t it?
So I decided to leave school and began working full time. Ten years have passed and I’ve grown in my career, bought a condo, and built a good life for myself. Eventually things left unfinished tend to naw at me though, and in 2018 I started looking into going back to finish my degree, and here we are.
Now for the Capstone Project. Both UNH Manchester and Blackbaud are working with me to do my project for Blackbaud so I can finish my degree and still keep working. I am building what we call a support portal, or Supportal, for our legacy education management software. I plan to add a blog post once a week or so to give an update on my progress and talk about my experiences with the Capstone Project.
That’s all I’ve got for now. My next post will hopefully go into the project and how I actually got started.