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OPWL testimonial: Ann Pechloff, class of 2017

Ann Pechloff
Ann Pechloff

Senior Training Specialist at Aon Risk Solutions

My name is Ann Pechloff, I have just graduated from the Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning (OPWL) program and I wanted to take a moment to inspire future students to start the journey, but more important to finish it.

I chose Boise State University and the OPWL program because it was most aligned with my position as a corporate trainer. I had transitioned from an insurance professional to a corporate trainer In 2012. I realized I had a passion for all aspects of the job, but I did not have any idea of what I was doing or acquire the knowledge and skills that I needed to excel in my new career.

Through a lot of research I chose the OPWL program. I can honestly say that it never occurred to me that I would not graduate. I wanted to share a few of the obstacles that would have made most reconsider that commitment:

  • 2014 – 2015 – I traveled 75% of the time for work, instead of going out after training, I returned to my hotel room and did my reading and homework
  • 2014 then again in 2015 – My 20 something son was diagnosed with testicular cancer, the second time he had to go through three months of chemotherapy, I was there with him during chemo with my computer up working with my project teams doing my homework
  • 2014 and 2017 – We moved
  • 2016 – I was hit by a car on my way home from the library after working on a project
  • 2015 – 2016 – My father was seriously ill for a year, then died

Anyone one of these events could have caused me to quit the program. I feel that the knowledge that I was learning and the support of the instructors and fellow students is what kept me going during these extremely dark days. My husband and son were my main supporters; they loved to hear about what I was learning and were my cheerleaders. I was able to bring back to my training team all that I learned and immediately apply the skills and knowledge.

I am a lifetime learner and proud of it. Continuous formal education requires personal sacrifice. I spent long hours after work and on the weekend when I could have been with my family. I traded these short-term opportunities for a long-term accomplishment. No one will ever be able to take away my degree, but more than that I know I am more than I was when I began the program. Graduating is not the end of a journey it is just another step in my lifetime of learning journey. I challenge you to take that first step, commit to it and open your mind to the world of opportunities that await you.