Study.comer of the Month: David Nugent updates

David Nugent, a facilities coordinator at Mountain View, CA law firm Fenwick & West, has been named as Study.comer of the Month. David's success in earning a bachelor's degree through's Working Scholars program and subsequently earning a work promotion makes him an inspiration to other Study.comers.

Forging a New Path

Like many people who follow the expected path from high school to college, David Nugent's career aspirations had changed considerably since he decided on his original major.

Right after high school, David had attended Louisiana State University, where he earned a degree in communications studies. He then started working in facilities management. David saw his new career path as essential to efficient corporate operations. Speaking about his work, David says, ''Basically, when facilities people are doing everything right, you don't even know that they're there, because you don't have any complaints.''

David recognized that business management studies would serve him better in his current field than his original degree in communications. Although, pursuing another college degree would typically mean taking on considerable cost the Working Scholars program changed all that.

The Working Scholars program from provided David Nugent a way to earn a more relevant bachelor

Opportunity Knocks

Sometimes, opportunity knocks unexpectedly, and it seems too good to be true. David was reading the news online when he learned about the educational opportunity offered by's Working Scholars program. Like many who learn about the program, David was skeptical at first, saying ''It's one of those things that when I first heard about it…I thought, There's no way. There's got to be a catch.'' Yet David came to realize that his concerns were unfounded.

The Working Scholars program allows participants to earn a degree with no out-of-pocket cost--and without the burden of student loan debt. ''It really is as advertised,'' David says, ''You don't have to spend any money; you just have to be dedicated, and you have to put in the time.''

Time for a Change

As a full-time employee, David had to budget his time and balance his studies with his workload and his personal life. The flexibility of the studying his degree entirely on made it possible for David to use small intervals of available time to advance in his lessons. ''I loved that I could do it on my schedule. If I had a slow day at work, I could do three chapters,'' David said.

The Working Scholars program gave David more than just a flexible way to take courses online. The support of the program's coaches also helped him navigate the work/life/study balance.

''I like the versatility of the program, but I also like that there is someone there to kind of keep you on track. When I was falling behind, the coaches were very supportive. [They] would reach out and...keep me on schedule,'' he said

A number of years had passed since he'd earned his first bachelor's degree. ''When I was 18 to 21 [years old] and earned the degree at the state college,'' David explains. ''I kind of had other priorities. So, while I did well and passed and earned a degree…I feel like I got a lot more out of [the Working Scholars experience].''

The structure of the Working Scholars program gave David a more beneficial learning experience than he'd had previously. ''When I was younger, I would cram on the last day before [an exam], and know that I could just regurgitate it,'' he reveals. But in ''with actually having to do each chapter, and actually having to do every single lesson before you could take the test, it really made you…learn it and be thorough with each chapter and each course.'' David found the tests in the Working Scholars program ''fair but difficult.''

From the Online Classroom to Career Success

David met the academic challenges of the Working Scholars program and completed his business degree in general management. He now finds that the concepts he learned online can be implemented in his real-life work in facilities management. ''Our firm is currently growing quite a bit, and we're opening new offices, so the culture is changing,'' David said. ''And with studies, some of them spoke to other companies--like, Southwest Airlines was one of the papers I had to do--and how they really focus on company culture. So, I was able to…bring information from that to my boss.''

David has no doubts about the relevance of the lessons he learned while pursuing his business management degree. ''The degree [itself] was not a ticket to advancement or success,'' he emphasizes, ''but I think the knowledge that comes from it is definitely put to use on a regular basis. I carry the lessons that I learned every day.''

Further, studying to earn the degree increased David's confidence at his job. David said, ''I have an understanding of what management is looking for and someone that they're going to advance within the ranks.'' Indeed, the degree he earned through the Working Scholars program is helping David get closer to his goal of being a supervisor in the facilities department.

The Path to a Bright Future

How does David characterize his outlook for the future? ''Bright!'' he reports -optimism in his voice. ''I'm happy where I work. I received a review a couple of months ago, and a promotion. I am now the senior facilities project and sustainability coordinator.''

Knowing how much it has supported his career, David Nugent hopes that others will take advantage of the Working Scholars program. ''I have told many, many people that I work with that they should do this,'' David says. ''It's a great program. It kind of removes the excuse in that 'I don't have the money for a degree,' because if you're willing to put in the time, you will…earn a degree.''

David earned his degree through

After earning his credits on, David transferred them to Thomas Edison State University where he completed the degree requirements. David is part of the first cohort of graduates from's Working Scholars program and will graduate on August 15, 2019.

To learn more about the Working Scholars program, powered by, go to:

By Michelle Baumgartner
August 2019 updates working scholars

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