I graduated from high school in 1978. I always liked school, but sometimes life gets in the way. I was pushed by an attorney friend of mine to further my education in the past few years. Despite may age, I got the nerve up and applied to a few places. I was accepted to a university in the fall of 2011. I live in Sikeston, Missouri, so I went and toured the satellite campus I would be attending. I was older than every student and all but one professor, so I was nervous as can be. I took a lot of my core courses there. Because I was working and also taking care of my mom who had Alzheimer’s, I spoke with my advisor and she suggested I try online courses.
A lot of people have the misconception that online classes are easier, they are definitely not. You have to be more responsible and if you have a question and cannot get ahold of your professor, you find it out on your own.
I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Social Science. At one time I wasn’t even going to attend commencement, but my advisor at the time told me I would regret it if I didn’t. She was definitely right. In life you can lose your house, car and job, but no one can take away your diploma. I knew then that I wanted to go further than just my bachelors.
Pursuing further education online
I could have just as easily continued my education at my previous school, but after speaking with some of the students of William Woods, I knew I had to check out their programs. I knew if I wanted a better job I needed to go further than just my bachelor’s degree. I think as an individual you should pursue all options available to help improve your life.
I have always liked the business aspect of companies so I chose the Master of Business Administration. That includes the internal workings, accounting, financial decisions, human resources, etc. Being an older adult with a job, for me, the online approach was the only way to go. Studying online is more convenient, but it’s not necessarily the easiest. If I was younger I would have definitely chosen the on-campus lifestyle, but at 58 years old, online was the best fit for me. I chose William Woods because my company employed students from there, and I also had many friends who were alumni.
I found the course work challenging but very doable. As an older, non-traditional student, I know how to manage my time. As an online student, procrastination is not a good idea, and you always need to stay on top of the dates of when your assignments are due. If you can get improve your time management skills, you will feel less stress. Doing your work online, there are times when the technology could be down, which can be challenging. Since I had done some online classes for my Bachelor degree as well, however, I knew what to expect. Both staff and faculty were excellent about answering my questions in a timely manner even though I was an online student, I was really happy to see that.
Working and completing school
I worked as the executive director of the Warming Center in Sikeston while completing my degree. It’s a place for homeless people and those in need to come in for a good meal, shower, and a safe, secure place to sleep. I have also been offered a position by the government in the upcoming census now that I completed my degree. I want to continue to work for the federal government after the census is complete.
My professor experience at William Woods was different, and much more positive, than my experience with them at the college I attended for undergraduate. As an undergraduate I had some professors who made you feel inferior for asking a question, so you stopped asking. Professors at William Woods were always happy to help and answer any and all questions. Being older it’s very intimidating to even think about furthering your education. I felt comfortable at William Woods.
A lot of my friends cannot believe I now have an MBA, especially at almost 60. It was a satisfying experience at William Woods, and am looking forward to seeing the campus for my first time when I attend commencement this spring.