Alumni Spotlight: Jared Heatwole, class of 2017

Jared Heatwole of Penn State Brandywine

Jared Heatwole, Penn State class of 2017.

Credit: Mel Epps/Third Eye Productions, Inc.

MEDIA, Pa. — Jared Heatwole might be one of Penn State’s most newly minted alumni, but he is taking his degree into a well-established record of commitment and success in the working world.

The 2017 graduate, currently a full-time buyer for a distribution company in the oil and gas industry, came to Penn State with several years of career experience. For him, seeking a four-year degree was not about finding employment, but the opportunity to enhance his marketability as a current working professional.

Heatwole met this goal through continuing education at Penn State Brandywine, a program that allows adult learners to earn a bachelor of science in business management through an accelerated, work-friendly schedule.

“While job growth is predicted to increase in 2018, a recent report issued by the Brookings Institution noted that 71 percent of the net new jobs in the last five years require a college education,” said Margie Bacheler, director of continuing education at Brandywine. “Adult learners seeking advanced opportunities with their current employer, or those wishing to change careers, will need to possess an undergraduate degree to become competitive in the future job market.”

Through continuing education, Heatwole gained access to a network of not only professors, but also classmates who were similarly connected to full-time careers. He also gained new software skills, learned about various management styles and learned how to interpret and make decisions based off of financial reports.

According to Heatwole, these experiences have already made him a stronger employee.

“Having my degree has not only helped me now as a graduate, but it helped me while I was earning it as well,” he said. “While working full time, the program helped me build the skills necessary to move my career towards a management position.”

Heatwole also anticipates seeing a long-term, positive impact from his newly earned degree — especially a new ability to move up in his career.

“I have learned and created a better foundation as a leader, both in my understanding of personal skills and technical stills,” he said. “That’s been critical to me growing in my career.”

For more information about continuing education, see the Brandywine website.