By Morgan Geyer, ’19, and Julia Straka, ’21

After spending eleven years as the sole proprietor of an independent insurance practice, University of Richmond School of Professional & Continuing Studies student Brian Krach, C’20, decided to return to higher education to personally challenge himself and experience “professional metamorphosis.” 

Krach felt the insurance industry no longer provided the fulfillment he was looking for in his career. He discovered a hunger for “personal challenge and fulfillment” within himself, Krach said. He credits his life experience, family, knowledge and daughter as playing a role in his aspiration for professional gratification.

With the help of an SPCS scholarship, Krach was able to begin pursuing a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies at UR in the summer of 2018 after learning about SPCS from an information session at Reynolds Community College.

Krach explains why he chose SPCS: “I like that the school is designed with working professionals in mind, yet is not focused on an online heavy curriculum."

Richmond’s campus-based programs also contributed to his decision, noting, “I love coming to campus for class. For me, it enriches my overall experience." 

Krach also identified student support as a factor in continuing his education at UR. “The support system within the SPCS network was also a big selling point,” he said.

He has taken advantage of many resources on campus: free guest lectures, shows at the Modlin Center for the Arts, exhibits at the museum and, of course, the library. His own curiosity, which is encouraged by faculty, has contributed to his positive experience. 

Though the SPCS curriculum is designed for working professionals, Krach enjoys the opportunity to explore subjects outside of paralegal students. “Being able to take history, art, and even IT has kept everything fresh and exciting,” he said.

Taking classes outside of his comfort zone has proved to be the “personal challenge” that Krach wanted from his education.  

Earning a degree later in life is a balancing act that requires a lot of sacrifice. However, Krach has been surprised with how inspiring his experience has been. “It doesn’t feel like a chore; it isn’t a grind to simply check the ‘having a degree’ box,” he said. 

Adult students who would like to return to school must also consider the financial risk. To alleviate some of this financial stress, Krach was awarded a SPCS scholarship that has allowed him to continue pursuing his degree. 

Krach's educational momentum will push him beyond his bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. After earning his undergraduate degree, he plans to attend law school in order to "maximize [his] contribution to society."

He traces his enthusiasm for law and justice back to his childhood. "A part of that appeal is because I am bothered by inequity, especially when an injustice originates from the act of a bully," Krach said. 

In addition to his long-term career plans, the SPCS scholarship motivates Krach to cross the "finish line with determination and zeal," he said. 

The scholarship means more to Krach than just money. He sees it as an investment in his success. His desire to maximize his contribution to society, which inspired him to pursue law in the first place, is strengthened by the scholarship.

"Most of all, I will remember to turn around and give back as well, so I can play a part in helping another SPCS student complete their journey," he said.  

Krach believes that because of his mindset, he is able to overcome the challenge of balancing work, family, and school commitments with financial pressures. With the support of his family and the SPCS network, he is confident that he will achieve his professional goals.