Online Study Programs Help UL Students Achieve Professional Success and Personal Growth | Sponsored: University of Louisiana
Amanda Terry loved her undergraduate experience at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Initially studying at the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions, Terry decided to change course after about two years and pursue an online bachelor’s degree in health services administration. The program was new to college, but Terry immediately thought it would be an ideal avenue for her to combine her medical and business interests.
“I loved nursing school, but through personal reflection I thought I could have more impact and help people in a different way by working on the operations side,” said Terry. “The people at UL Lafayette were very supportive, especially since the administration of health services was also part of the College of Nursing and Allied Professions. They definitely helped me feel like I wasn’t giving up nursing.
When Terry decided to continue her education by pursuing a Masters of Business Administration, she opted for UL’s online MBA program.
“I knew I wasn’t finished,” said Terry. “I knew I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of business and leadership. What was great about the online program was that I was able to work full time while still getting my MBA. The flexibility was excellent. I could take several courses in a semester or take only one or two courses. “
Eventually, Terry received his MBA with a concentration in Sales Leadership. Working at her own pace, she was done in about 18 months.
Today, Terry is the Director of Contracts and Supply Chain Utilization at Ochsner Health. Every day, she applies the lessons learned from her online MBA program to her work. She has also found that her colleagues and others in her field recognize the great value of her degree.
“I would tell people to take away any stigma attached to getting an online degree,” she said. “In the real world, an MBA is an MBA, whether you earn it online or in person. You get out of it what you put in it. I learned a lot from my classes, but I also learned about self-discipline, self-motivation and time management which is extremely valuable in the real world.
Terry is not the only student who has succeeded and thrived upon graduating from an online study program at UL Lafayette. Julie Chambers isn’t sure what she would do if it weren’t for the opportunity to both complete her undergraduate degree online and earn a master’s degree.
Chambers first attended college in the 1980s, but struggled academically. She entered the workforce instead, where she ended up in sales. The work was lucrative but exhausting and Chambers did not feel fulfilled.
“Because I didn’t have a degree, my options were limited and I didn’t believe in myself,” she said.
For Chambers, the following years brought many personal challenges and medical issues. Over time, she realized that the job she really wanted to do was counseling. Since living in Crowley, there were no in-person programs immediately available and her health issues made a daily commute nearly impossible. It was then that someone told her that she could graduate through an online program at UL Lafayette.
“I called and the first thing they explained to me was that I needed to finish my undergraduate degree,” Chambers said. “School was starting in about a week, but they put everything together and let me in. They figured it out and I was able to complete my first cycle in a year. I finished at the end of the summer and entered the masters program that same August.
Ultimately, Chambers earned his bachelor’s degree in general online studies and a master’s degree in counseling through in-person classes.
Chambers said taking classes online is ideal. As an older student who lived outside of Lafayette, she was able to receive the education and guidance she needed without having to deal with regular commutes or navigating campus every day. She also found it easy to contact teachers to ask them questions about homework or lessons.
“It was a little scary coming in because I had no idea what it would be like,” Chambers said. “But the staff and professors trusted me so much. They really allowed me to continue. I can’t say enough about them and how willing they were to work with me and support me.
Today Chambers works as a mental health counselor in private practice.
“It took a while, but now I feel like I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be and doing what I’m supposed to do,” she says. “I wake up all the time and am amazed that I got here.
The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers five online bachelor’s degrees and eight online or hybrid graduate programs. For more information on programs, admissions, registration and more, visit online.louisiana.edu.