Alumni Testimonials

Christopher Albrycht

Master of Science in Organizational Leadership
, Class of 2014
This program gave me the confidence to be a leader of leaders. When I face challenges now, I know I am not going into it alone. I have the confidence to step out and be out on my own.
Christopher Albrycht, Class of 2014
Master of Science in Organizational Leadership

Q: “Tell us a bit about yourself, Christopher.”
A:  “I live in Santa Rosa Beach, which is in the Florida Panhandle. My wife and I met while working together at the Pentagon. We have a 19-year-old daughter, who is currently attending the University of Florida, a two-year-old son, and one on the way. I’m a foodie and I love to travel, but my big thing is doing things together as a family. I come from a military family. My father is a Vietnam Vet, and both my sister and I were commissioned. I am originally from Vermont.”

Q: “Briefly describe your professional life.”
A:  “I am currently a program manager at SRA International, an IT and professional services firm that contracts with government (defense and civilian). I started my career as an Army officer, however, and moved into a position as a defense civilian analyst with 10 years in counter-terrorism support. My goal is to become a leadership development consultant. The Norwich program gave me the confidence to start my own company.”

Q: “What was your motivation for pursuing your degree?”
A: “First, after taking my daughter to college and stressing to her the importance of it, I looked at myself and thought, “I’m not doing it myself.”  I was delaying my education because of family and career. So I decided to go back. I looked inside my company and saw that it was a business partner with Norwich. Even though I am in IT, I thought the leadership program would be a better path since I could focus on leadership. I was a Vermonter and part of the military, and I wanted to stay close to that. It was awesome.”

Q: “What makes Norwich unique?”
A: “Norwich provides a fine-tuned combination of military and civilian perspectives. For those of us with a military background, it provides the perfect bridge between leading in the military and leading in the civilian world. The faculty are intent on coaching and guiding to help you reach your objectives. They provide critical analysis in a way that is both positive and constructive. The level of one-on-one attention is much higher than I expected. I was weary of the asynchronous format of most online learning, but for the Norwich program, the way it was done was spot on. I got into the program right away and found it was easy to use the online classroom.”

Q: “How have you grown personally or professionally as a result of your education?”
A: “With this specific degree, you’re living the degree as you learn it. Many of us are leaders. The discussion posts about how colleagues faced challenges open up the thought process. I enjoyed working with my cohort to find solutions to complex problems. I applied what I learned the next day. Personally, my communication and writing skills have improved. The faculty wanted me to up my game, which forced me to be better.

I now have improved confidence. I knew I was a decent leader, but I didn’t believe in myself. I didn’t think I had the knowledge to take on additional challenges. This program gave me the confidence to be a leader of leaders. When I face challenges now, I know I am not going into it alone. I have the confidence to step out and be out on my own.”

Q: “What aspects of your Norwich experience will you carry most strongly with you?”
A: “I have renewed my dedication to lifelong learning. I will also take with me the relationships I developed with my peers in my cohort and my professors.

I recommend this program to anyone who wants to earn a master’s degree. The entire process, from applying to financial aid to registering for classes, runs like a well-oiled machine. There was nothing distracting me as I went through the program. Everything that was done here enabled me to learn and achieve. The residency piece of the program is fantastic, in part because it encourages you to collaborate with people from other programs.”