Online BBA Graduate
Kaci Maire was born to be an entrepreneur, so applying for the online Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) in Entrepreneurial Management seemed like the logical next step. Kaci says,"I recall being very young, sitting at home brainstorming ways to hold a neighborhood carnival in order to fill a void and make a few extra dollars. Although this carnival never took place, my brainstorming sessions have never stopped. Hundreds of ideas later, I decided that a bit of formal entrepreneurial education might be the domino to put in place before things really get moving for me."
Kaci's goal is to obtain a BBA from the University of Iowa in order to be taken seriously in the business world as a consultant. Additionally, she wanted to gain confidence from various business experiences she'd be exposed to in the program and knew that the networking opportunities she has gained within the program would serve her well after she'd completed the BBA.
Like many of the students who choose to complete their degrees online, Kaci juggles many responsibilities, working and raising children. Though Kaci started Iowa as an on-campus student, her daughter was born 14 weeks premature weighing only 1 pound 15 ounces. It was then Kaci took a break from school to take care of her daughter's needs as well as the needs of her son who has severe gluten intolerance
"I always intended to finish my degree but schedule-wise there was not a feasible option for our family until the UI began offering the online BBA program. I hope others will find it to be as beneficial for them as it has been for me."
For Kaci, statistics and financial management were the most challenging courses, but they also ended up being the most rewarding.
"I understood the principles but struggled with the computations. It was rewarding in the end to see how much I was able to learn and how well I was ultimately able to perform. One of the best aspects of the online BBA is the willingness of the professors to work with students to ensure course objectives can be met. As a new program, we all understand that there are always improvements to be made and having an open dialogue regarding what is working and what could be better within the program has been really great.
"The best course of all was my entrepreneurial internship. I contacted a company, successfully pitched my idea for the internship to them, and completed a challenging consulting project. I cannot imagine a better learning experience, or a better resume builder. The John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center (JPEC) is a great resource and full of interesting, innovative, and inspiring individuals."
Being a stay-at-home mother is at the top of Kaci's priority list right now; however, she'll continue to look for freelance consulting jobs and keep an eye out for business opportunities that fit her interests and skillset.
"Having my degree will allow me to focus on the next chapter of my life; no more worrying about financing school, fitting in schedules, homework, or finals!"
Distance education technology allows the online experience to be very much like the classroom experience, but Kaci shares this with future students taking online courses: "Treat online classes that utilize a typing "chat" feature as you would a face-to-face class; if you wouldn't say it aloud in a classroom, don't type it into a chat window. Nothing is more distracting during online classes than to read random comments typed into a chat window.
"Ultimately the online program has been a convenient, effective means of learning for me. Online courses allow me to fulfill many commitments to my family, church, and community while also being free to travel and work without worrying about missing class. The online management program has been a blessing for our family, and I hope others will find it to be as beneficial for them as it has been for me."