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WGU Indiana Student Spotlight: Josh Turner

Meet Josh, a student, parent, full-time employee and newly elected city council member.

Feb 6, 2020

In June of 2018, Josh Turner decided he was ready to make the journey back to college. He turned to WGU Indiana in hopes of furthering his education, all while continuing to work at his current job, taking care of his two children and getting involved in his local government. He was recently elected to New Albany’s Fifth District City Council and will soon complete his Bachelor’s of Science (B.S.) in cybersecurity from WGU Indiana’s Cybersecurity and Information Assurance program.

Meet Josh and learn more about how WGU’s program has made it possible for him to continue to thrive as a parent, in his career and in his community all while opening up new professional opportunities:

What led you to pursue a cybersecurity degree with WGU Indiana?

Computer Science in general is absolutely booming right now. Getting into CSIA is both a good move for the future but also a career field I am passionate about.

Describe your new role within New Albany City Council and what drove you to get involved.

I was fortunate enough last November to win the election for the New Albany Fifth District City Council. City Council is the legislative body of the local government and the liaison for the people of the district to communicate with various officials and departments in the city. The reason I was motivated to get involved with the City Council is because I love the city I live in. When I see opportunities for improvement, not just in the community, but in daily life as well, I try to be that agent of change. I am raising my family in this community and I want the best for them. I want to show them that hard work pays off and you can make a positive impact on a community through dedication. 

What was your experience like serving in the Air Force from 2000-2006? Did your experience of serving our country prompt you to want to serve your community locally?

I was in a LO Troop, which stands for Low Observables, and my jet was the B-2 Stealth Bomber. During those years we were a very active military which meant I was deployed a couple times. Overall, the experience was very rewarding and shaped me into who I am today. I left the service with several lifelong friends. The passion to serve and becoming a father made me realize I needed to take a step up in my community and make a positive impact for the future. 

What company do you work for? Can you describe your current role? 

I currently work at Samtec, a global connector manufacturing company that was founded and is headquartered in New Albany. I am the one and only SCCM Administrator which falls right in line with IT Security in respects to its ability to patch, manage assets, and deploy applications and configuration baselines. 

What’s it like being a full-time parent and student? 

It is not easy, but the flexibility that is offered through WGU’s programs has helped a great deal. It is definitely a constant grind, but the nontraditional class hours work better alongside my daily responsibilities than what other universities can offer.

How has your mentor Gregory Cole helped you achieve your goals at WGU Indiana? 

The minute Greg Cole became my mentor, we immediately hit it off. We both served our country and anytime you get two veterans together there is an instant connection. Having a mentor like Cole makes a tough schedule much easier to handle. He is a solid resource for his students and a true asset to WGU.

What advice would you give to someone that’s working full time and considering going back to school? 

I advise all adults considering going back to school to dive in! Do not wait for the “right time” because there is never a right time. It is important to embrace new opportunities and take it one class at a time. 

What are your goals after graduating from WGU Indiana? 

I would like to move into a security role within my company. It is a field I enjoy and I believe I could really excel. 

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