Making a Degree Her Business

Posted: April 24, 2018 10:00:00 AM CDT

Krista Wilson photoWhile growing up in Virginia, Krista Wilson hadn’t given much thought to a college degree. Through minimal interaction from her high school to prepare for college, she was unsure of her options and began working at an early age. Now, she proudly holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Nebraska at Kearney that will secure her career, no matter where it leads.

“Today there is a much larger focus on getting kids ready for college, but at the time, I didn't really have a lot of guidance,” she said. “Neither of my parents had gone to college, so they weren't really clear on what paths I could take. I wasn't really familiar with student loans and financial aid.”

Wilson, now in Bethesda, Maryland, had become a project manager for a small government contracting company. But as time progressed, she knew a degree would be key if she ever wanted to change her career or join a larger company.

“I'm pretty lucky because I sort of fell into my career and networks that I had established with people who were also in the industry, and that doesn't always happen,” she said. “But if I were to go to a larger company, if I send a resume without a degree, it’s not even going to get through the process. So even though I’m qualified as far as the work is concerned, that degree is a big deal for future employment.”

She began her college search, hoping to be admitted to a university where she could finish a degree quickly and affordably while continuing to work. She discovered UNK through an article from U.S. News and World Report, which ranked the university among the best in the country for quality and cost.

Wilson, a first-generation student, applied to UNK’s online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, a 120-credit-hour undergraduate degree ideal for working adults. She knew the credits she already had from a community college in her area would transfer into the program, getting her to a bachelor’s degree faster. Additionally, UNK’s business programs are accredited through AACSB International, a prestigious designation held by less than 5 percent of business schools worldwide.

“The business degree will work in any of the directions that I could foresee myself going,” Wilson said. “I have an interest in being an entrepreneur and having my own company. I have an interest in law. I have an interest in lots of different facets, but they all sort of circle back to business.”

The online program provides a foundational base of business practices while incorporating areas of managerial performance within the workplace—something that has come in handy for Wilson during the jobs or roles she’s held while completing her degree.

“I'd always done business, but I had just done pieces of it. Then I was doing all of it,” she said. “I was involved in human resources, hiring, recruiting, training, all of the onboarding, and then managing employees through the life cycle. I had to send reports back to the government on all of their metrics and things they have done. It wasn’t just making sure I knew how to keep books or manage benefits—it was more operational, making a business run, and I can do all of it.”

The program pairs core courses with an online minor, with students choosing between marketing/management, accounting, or a new minor in entrepreneurship beginning this fall. Wilson started with an accounting minor but switched to marketing/management to better fit her goals. UNK’s online B.S. in Business Administration program coordinator guided Wilson every step of the way.

“My advisor has been very helpful to me,” Wilson said. “Any time that I’ve needed questions answered or if I’ve been confused about something, she’s helped me try to figure out my schedule, especially the last semester. She’s been really helpful.”

As an online student, Wilson also wanted to be sure she would feel a sense of belonging at her university and come as close as she could to having a true college experience—all while maintaining her full-time job.

“I wanted to be a part of something, and I think I got that from UNK,” she said. “I've told people that as an online student, I have felt very included. That was one of the things I wanted—to attend a school where I would really feel like an alumna. Now I can look back and say that I did it, that I accomplished it.”

Wilson received her B.S. in Business Administration in Fall 2017 and is currently considering pursuing UNK’s blended MBA program.

Prepare for what’s next in your business career by starting the online B.S. in Business Administration.

By: Alyssa Wyant

Category: eCampus, General

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