By Andre Duclos
Editor’s note: From time to time in this space, we want to share stories from our alumni as they relate their experiences with APUS and how they have impacted their careers and personal lives. This week, we feature Transportation and Logistics graduate Andre Duclos, who recently shared and was recognized for his story as part of the APUS Open Challenge, in partnership with Portfolium. We encourage you to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your own APUS journey with us.
I was an over-the-road truck driver for 12 years, mainly traveling from Minneapolis to Detroit on a dedicated run. Sometimes, I would finish my day at 2:00 or 3:00 in the afternoon with nothing else to do. While other drivers would go watch TV or play video games in their truck, I decided to go back to school. Since I could download the books onto either my iPad or laptop, I always had something to read while waiting for customers to load or unload me. When I would get home on weekends, I would already have all of the research done for the classes and was able to knock out the classwork in nothing flat.
I was able to finish both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in transportation and logistics this way in about 3 ½ years. It took me only 14 months to complete my master’s degree, all while driving trucks. My hope was to be able to come off the road and have a college degree to fall back on. As soon as I retired, I was able to start a new job because of my education and experience. I applied for a position in which I would rescue other drivers who had broken down out on the road. During the interview, the head of human resources was especially impressed with my education, and the fact that I was able to get it all online. I was hired for the position with a good salary and benefits.
After I graduated with my master’s degree, my wife challenged me to apply for a doctorate to a prestigious school, one that only accepts 20% of the applicants. Imagine my surprise when I was accepted! All of my credits were quickly accepted and all because of AMU’s accreditation. The school spoke highly of the reputation of AMU and the quality of its graduates.
Because of my master’s degree and experience with AMU, the school invited me to teach. Since I had so much experience with online instruction, the program was pretty easy to figure out. Many of my AMU experiences enabled me to more effectively answer student questions and made me a better instructor. My former faculty at AMU helped teach me how to better understand student interaction, especially when it came to grading.
I am truly thankful for the opportunities that being an AMU alumnus has given me. My education has helped open many doors which might otherwise have been closed. My credentials have given me the confidence to ask for more money during interviews, along with other perks of the job. Having an AMU education helped make me stand out amid the mass of applicants also seeking to advance their careers.