Jessica Williams recently finished her first semester as an Online MBA student. Jessica
is from Mobile, Alabama and graduated from Auburn University in 2010 with her undergraduate
degree in Health Services Administration. She currently works at AltaPointe Health
Systems, as the Director of Patient Accounting.
Jessica wanted to advance her career and knew that an MBA was the right choice for her. We asked to share her view on what she thought an online graduate program would be like versus what her experience actually was.
“I heard about the program online,” said Jessica, “and knew I needed to be able to continue my career while enrolled in an MBA program. Putting my career on hold to attend an on campus degree program was not an option for me. I needed a degree program that was going to allow me to complete it on the weekends and evenings.”
While trying to make a decision on where to apply, Jessica’s decision came down to the quality of education, flexibility and affordability. “Being an Auburn alumnus I knew that the quality of education you receive at Auburn is superior to other institutions. I have seen firsthand how my Auburn undergraduate degree set me above my peers and know that an Auburn MBA is going to do the same for me. Also, Auburn’s program is extremely affordable when compared to other top ranked MBA programs.”
Like anyone entering an online graduate program for the first time, Jessica had certain fears and apprehensions. “My biggest fear is that I wouldn’t be able to do it all; I feared I wouldn’t be able to balance school, career, and personal responsibilities.” said Jessica, “I worried that my life would be nothing but school and work for the next 2 or so years.” She explained that although the worry is still there, she has learned the learned the importance of scheduling and planning [Although, she says resisting the urge to procrastinate is still a daily struggle].
Jessica believed the biggest thing she learned in her first semester that changed her second semester was her study habits. “When I first started the program I tried to do everything in the evenings after working all day. Although, I know this works well for a lot of students I find that early mornings are best for me. By the end of the day not only am I exhausted but there is always another responsibility that comes up. I also had to learn the importance of never getting behind in watching the lectures the hard way. Binge watching lectures is not like binging on Netflix. It is no fun! Don’t do it!” said Jessica.
Binge watching lectures is not like binging on Netflix. It is no fun!
Along with adjustments, Jessica has also had some unexpected enjoyments; “I do not feel like I am just an “online” student! My favorite thing about the program is that it piggy backs off the on campus program. Unlike other online degrees, Auburn’s program is the exact same as the full time students on campus,” said Jessica. “I often forget that I am watching recorded videos and have more than once tried to answer a professor’s question out loud!”
When asked what advice Jessica would give to someone considering the Auburn University Online MBA program, Jessica suggested, “Attend the on campus orientation in the fall! It will enable you to network with other online students and meet the professors. My experience would be completely different if I had not attended the on campus orientation. Having a network of online students to connect with has been invaluable to my personal success in this program.”
You can learn more about Auburn's Online MBA program by checking out the website