Support is critical to success as an online student.
For online BSBA in Management alum Caleb Robinson, that support came from within the program itself.
“I don’t say this lightly – I wouldn’t have earned my degree without Dr. Dione Davis,” says Robinson, who graduated with his bachelor’s in Spring 2023.
Davis served as advisor for the online BSBA in Management program from its inception in 2019 until stepping into her current role as Director of Assurance of Learning for the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration in 2021.
“To see that the BSBA in Management had grown to the point of being offered fully online was very exciting and I wanted to be a part of that,” she says. “A lot of these students already in the workforce have worked their way up through the trenches and learned as they’ve gone. But our program gives them the opportunity to get the degree and make sure they have the tools in their toolbox to be successful and continue growing in their jobs and fields.”
And that’s what she told Robinson when the two ran into each other while Robinson was working relief efforts following Hurricane Laura in 2020.
Robinson left college in 2018 after only three semesters to work full time. Davis knew Robinson could finish his degree if he enrolled in the online format.
“She met with me at a coffee shop and helped me fill out my application and everything,” he says. "It was a huge blessing having her as both a teacher and my advisor throughout the majority of my online college career.”
Online Course Balance
Robinson adapted quickly to online coursework, scheduling time for his studies between 12-hour shifts at work.
“I would set reminders for myself, and I would chip away at it every day when I get off work until I got to the deadline,” he says. “I paced myself forwards that goal.”
Being able to enroll in 8-week and 16-week courses also helped Robinson find his pace. Usually, he was able to schedule one 16-week course each semester and two 8-week courses per term for a total of five classes a semester, allowing him to both work full time and be a full-time student.
|Class 1: Full semester, 16 weeks
A term, 8 weeks
A term, 8 weeks
B term, 8 weeks
B term, 8 weeks
"It was easier to stay on top of three classes at a time, instead of having to juggle five,” he says. “It's a lot of homework for those classes, but at least you're able to buckle down and focus on those subjects at one time.”
Robinson also found online courses aligned better with his independent learning style.
“Online worked so much better for me, because I can sit in a classroom and not get anything from it. But put me in a curriculum, tell me to go do the work for myself and do the reading, and I can pick up on it,” says Robinson. “But compared to in-person classes, you have to be a go getter, or it's just not going to come to you.”
New professional mindset
Better understanding his learning style was a huge takeaway of the program, says Robinson. And so was better understanding corporate culture and how to advocate for himself as an employee.
“I learned how to document everything I do to show what I’m doing,” he says. “I learned professionalism, which is one of my big takeaways.”
Robinson hopes to progress into a role where he’s able to use more from his degree. For now, he has some advice for this still working toward the finish line:
“Your classes are what you make of them, so put everything you’ve got into this.”