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Angela Selden
Angela Selden
01:18

Angela Selden

American Public Education, Inc.

"If you have a dream, you absolutely have zero chance of achieving it if you don’t try."

Career Roadmap

Angela's work combines: Education, Technology, and Accomplishing Goals

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Day In The Life

CEO

I oversee and lead an adult learning platform.

Skills & Education

Advice for getting started

I grew up in a very small town with one high school and only a quarter of my small graduating class went to college. Not only was I not exposed to a broader scope of opportunity when it came to college, but I also just didn't really encourage myself to reach for more. I chose the comfortable route. Now, I'd encourage everyone else to reach for the stars. Seek opportunities and tell yourself that you can and should do more!

Here's the path I took:

  • High School

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Accounting

    University of St. Thomas

  • Bachelor's Degree

    Computer Science

    University of St. Thomas

Life & Career Milestones

My path in life took a while to figure out

  • 1.

    I grew up in a small town in central Wisconsin.

  • 2.

    Being from a small town, I didn’t have much exposure to the college admissions process, so I ended up enrolling at my father’s alma mater, the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.

  • 3.

    I saw that accounting had good job security and high earning potential, so I decided to study accounting in college.

  • 4.

    After trying a couple of accounting internships, I realized that I didn’t actually enjoy it, so I decided to add computer science as a double major.

  • 5.

    After graduating, I spent 18 years at a large technology consulting firm—my experience there really helped me develop an understanding of career development, promotion, and mentorship.

  • 6.

    Then I spent about a dozen years as CEO of three different private-equity backed businesses—these experiences gave me the confidence to eventually realize my dream of becoming CEO of a public company.

  • 7.

    While running a software company serving higher education institutions, I was offered the position of CEO of American Public Education, Inc—leaving was tough, but I had to pursue my long-time dream.

  • 8.

    Less than 10% of the CEOs of publicly traded companies are women—and now I'm one of those women!

Defining Moments

How I responded to discouragement

  • THE NOISE

    Messages from Myself:

    I don't need to reach for more. I'm comfortable here.

  • How I responded:

    I grew up in a very small town with one high school and only a quarter of my small graduating class went to college. Not only was I not exposed to a broader scope of opportunity when it came to college, but I also just didn't really encourage myself to reach for more. I chose the comfortable route. Now, I'd encourage everyone else to reach for the stars. Seek opportunities and tell yourself that you can and should do more!

Experiences and challenges that shaped me

Click to expand

  • I still deal with imposter syndrome today. I'll question if I said something the right way or made the right decision. But over time, you gain confidence in experiences. So even if you question a decision you made, you know it was the right decision.