Jenkins MMA Student and U.S. Air Force Technician Balances Work, School and Family

Even though his working hours are vastly different from the average student, Kyle Lucas is making the most of his time at NC State.

After graduating from the University of Mount Olive with his bachelor’s degree in accounting, Lucas sought out a challenging yet intriguing master’s program to complete during his time with the United States Air Force.

“I loved marketing while taking undergraduate courses, and data analytics was the challenge that I was looking for,” Lucas said.

By night, Lucas works as an U.S. Air Force armament load crew chief and online Master of Management, Marketing Analytics (MMA) concentration student. Instead of rising early and clocking in during the morning and afternoon hours, he sleeps through most of the day and wakes up in the late afternoon, wrapping up homework before he heads to work.

“I usually get off around 8 a.m., go home and get some sleep, and then I wake up,” Lucas said. “When I wake up, I’ll play with my daughter and eat dinner with my wife and daughter.”

From there, he spends three to four nights per week chipping away at his coursework before heading off to his day — or rather, night — job. This has been Lucas’ schedule for six months. Although he has time for little else outside of his family, work and school, he’s been enjoying NC State’s MMA program so far.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting out of my comfort zone and challenging myself with the different materials,” Lucas said.

With his wife also in school, Lucas stressed that balancing everything was challenging at times. However, his wife and daughter are bright spots in an otherwise jam-packed schedule.

“I wouldn’t be able to do any of it without the support of my wife,” he said. “We both make sure that each of us has ample amount of time for us both to complete our schoolwork.”

Despite the long, unconventional hours between his job and schoolwork, Lucas credits the MMA program with helping him narrow down his post-graduate career. “This degree has helped me focus on what I want to do in the future when I’m no longer a service member.”

Although his situation is unique, Lucas encourages other working professionals to take an online program such as NC State’s MMA. From his encouraging classmates to the flexibility the program offers, even someone as busy as Lucas can find time to fit in NC State’s invaluable online coursework.

“Working on something like a graduate degree is no easy task and may be nerve-wracking to some, but it’s worth it,” he said. “Professionals are able to deepen their knowledge on whatever subject they choose, and in the end, you may meet some great people.”

Are you interested in pursuing your master’s degree in management and marketing analytics from a distance? Explore the online Master of Management, Marketing Analytics concentration program.