Administrator gains management skills through BASTL
Robert Madigan was midway through the secondyear of law school when he realized he couldn’t square his notion of right and wrong with the legal profession’s emphasis on tweaking the system to get the desired outcome.
“They were talking about how to manipulate juries and witness testimony and how to discredit victims,” the 48-year-old Allentown resident recalled. “Everyone in the class would say ‘great tip’ and ‘I’m going to write that down,’and I was asking myself, ‘What’s wrong with you people?’ ”
Despite having a bachelor’s degree from Juniata College, Madigan spent a decade in customer service, unable to advance with his political science degree. He was always interested in computers and technology, and after moving to Allentown in 2006, he enrolled in Lehigh Carbon Community College’s Computer Networking program.
But in 2008, Madigan put his LCCC studies on hold to relocate to Harrisburg and work for a small, family-owned computer services company. While he was in his chosen career, Madigan realized he lacked essentialproject-management skills. Meanwhile, he reconnected with his high school sweetheart, Lauren, who was still living in Allentown.
After landing his current junior network administrator job with Allentown-based Computer Aid Inc., Madigan moved back to Lehigh County in 2013. He married Lauren and resumed his LCCC classes. He also learned about Bloomsburg University’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Technical Leadership (BASTL) program.
Not only would BASTL satisfy his need for management training, but just as significantly, it would accept credits he’d earned, offered classes online and at LCCC that he could fit around his job, and would let him enroll as he completed his associate degree. He earned his associate in Computer Networkingfrom LCCC in spring 2018 and his BASTL degree in December 2018.
“The BASTL program takes people with technical skills and gives them soft skills to be successful at the management level, and that was exactlywhat I needed,” he said.
The classes immediately helped at work.
“BASTL’s instructional design helped me to come up with better training for our clients, and the communication classes helped me learn how to break down ideas into chunks of information that are easily received by your audience,” he noted.
Once, after struggling to get his team onboard with a solution to an issue, he drew on his consensus-building studies in BASTL’s project-management classes. At the next meeting,he had the team discuss various options and, by getting everyone engaged, erased the initial pushback.
“As I look at the next step up to project leader, I feel Bloomsburg gave me the skills I need,” said Madigan, who with Lauren has a 3-year-old son, Grayson. “I would recommend the BASTL program to anyone thinking about it. It teaches you what you need for not just the job you’re doing, but the next level up from your job.”