Eddie Talbot is celebrating some big milestones this year.
The Lafayette native recently marked the beginning of a new decade, turning 50, and will soon hold a bachelor’s degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Talbot has had a solid 25-year career in advertising, working with notable organizations, including the Quick Quarter, Pixus Digital Printing, The Daily Advertiser, and — for the last 14 years — BBR Creative, where he’s the IT and digital production director.
But Talbot still had one box unchecked on his to-do list: finish his bachelor’s degree.
Talbot studied applied arts at the University in the ‘90s but says he ended up having to prioritize rent and other expenses over finishing his degree. He says he was only missing some electives and foundation courses.
In 2016, he decided to enroll in UL Lafayette’s on-campus General Studies degree program to finish what he’d started. However, working full time made it difficult to schedule courses.
“I had taken a couple of classes that were offered after 5, but I quickly ran out of options,” he says. “To continue my degree, I would have had to start attending during business hours.”
Then, in 2017, the University launched its General Studies Online program, tapping BBR Creative to help get the word out.
The online program was just the right fit for Talbot.
With the support of his wife and his employer, he moved into the online General Studies degree program.
Adapting to online coursework wasn’t a hurdle for Talbot. But taking a math class after 20 years? That was another story.
"The coursework, for the most part, wasn’t intrusive,” he says. “The only class that really ate my time up was statistics class. That one took a whole lot of after-hours and weekend work. I had to retrain my brain for that type of thinking.”
Surprisingly, Talbot says that was also one of his favorite courses.
“That was very handy, and I wanted to continue that study enough that I bought a couple of extra books to keep up with that and learn a little bit more,” he says. “The different types of thinking and logic involved really sharpens you up.”
He says it was important to him not to take out loans, so he took fewer classes each semester so he and his wife could cover the costs. It took a little longer, but Talbot is graduating without student debt.
Talbot says earning a bachelor’s degree means he’s better insulated against the unexpected.
“I’ve got a very stable job, so my goal was just to go back and finish what I started,” he says. “But if I would have any sort of employment issues in the future, this degree could be really good to have because a lot of employers won’t even look at you if you don’t have a degree. I’ve got 25 years of industry experience, but that wouldn’t get me in the door some places if I didn’t have a degree.”
Request information today about UL Lafayette's General Studies online bachelor's degree program to earn the skills and credentials you need to advance.