Exceeding His Potential: Jeremy Lampley

Jeremy Lampley has always been motivated to accomplish his goals. So far, he’s marked a lot off his list: joining the military, earning two—soon to be three—degrees with Excelsior College and starting the process to pursue a fourth.

Originally from St. Louis, MO, Lampley attended the University of Missouri-Columbia where he studied Sports Venue Management as a student athlete, but decided the traditional college route wasn’t for him. In 2012 he joined the U.S. Navy and in 2014 and 2015 he was deployed to serve in the AFRICOM tours.

While in service, Lampley heard about Excelsior’s online learning model from his mentor and thought it was right for him. He enrolled in the Associate in Applied Science and Administrative/Management Studies program in 2014 and earned his degree the following year. But he wasn’t finished. The very same August, in 2015, Lampley began working toward his bachelor’s and in 2016, he earned a Bachelor of Professional Studies– Business and Management. Lampley says of the experience at Excelsior College, “A small school like Excelsior showed me that if you want anything bad enough, you’ll have to work day and night for it.”

Lampley’s academic advisor was with him every step of the way, too, he says. “It was kind of like having a champion guide, prepping you for the greatest success,” he says of the one-on-one support he received. It helped that Lampley’s academic advisor was a recent graduate of the Master’s of Science in Management degree program and could relate to what he was going through. When Lampley finished his bachelor’s degree, she was the first person he called to say he was ready to go for his master’s.

Lampley made a personal goal to earn a 4.0 GPA for his master’s in management degree. It was difficult, he says, especially since the courses were hard and sometimes he bumped heads with the faculty. Now he realizes they helped him persevere. “They truly pushed me; they told me to write better, to think more critically…they were forcing me to be the best version of me, and so I did just that. I’ll never forget that motivational push,” he says. He also notes the courses opened his eyes and changed his perspective on the norm: “Every course was different and readjusted my mindset on a lot of things happening in HR that is overdue for change.”

During the year he spent pursuing his master’s degree, Lampley took the opportunity to volunteer instead of working full-time. He has helped out at his church, worked on peoples’ cars, and lent a hand in his community. This has helped him stay humbled and focused on his school work, but the real support and source of focus for Lampley, he says, has been the unwavering support of his girlfriend. Without her, he says he doesn’t think he could have made it through the courses.

His time spent in his master’s classes also prepared him for his next big step. The work he put into his papers, and interacting with classmates and faculty on the discussion boards prepared him for his interview with law enforcement. “Do not get me wrong, law enforcement is very intimidating; however, BUS 523 is more intimidating. It’s just something about having a 25-page paper due by Sunday,” he jokes, recalling the experiences of writing a master’s paper and interviewing for his next career. It has paid off, though; this year, Lampley will be in a new law enforcement field serving his country again.

He says if it wasn’t for this time in the military, he wouldn’t be as confident to have a badge and when he thinks about his long-term prospects for career growth, he thinks his master’s degree will be a plus.

Lampley says servicemembers have to think ahead to what’s after the military. That’s exactly what he did. Now, he is encouraging other servicemembers to pursue their degrees, too. “I tell every servicemember I come across that your wildest dreams are possible but it’s up to you to make them come to life,” he says and notes that education is not to be wasted. He says, “It may not be for everyone, but everyone that tries will learn something.”

Lampley believes places like Excelsior help people go after their education with confidence. “Excelsior is building [up] people to live out their dreams, I kid you not; every advisor, every financial aid representative is there to help you on the path of completion of your schooling,” he says. He notes, though, that it’s important to remember why you’re on your journey; your “why” is critical in what you do. Lampley says his why is, “I was put on this earth to fulfill a purpose that only I can fulfill, to serve and shine my light as brightly as possible” and he is determined to show the world just what he has to offer.