Anna, a Pittsburgh native, says her interest in engineering evolved over time. She thought about pursuing a physics degree until she discovered that she prefers solving real-world problems and working with hands-on components more than producing abstract equations and theories.
Now Anna is pursuing an online bachelor’s degree in engineering management from Arizona State University while living in Indianapolis and working as a power systems consultant.
The flexible schedule of the online program allows her to work the full-time job needed to support her family. “At first, I tried to attend on-campus classes while working, but the schedule wouldn’t have allowed me to finish my degree in a reasonable timeframe,” she says.
On-campus classes also would have limited opportunities at her job such as, traveling to client sites around the country, attending training seminars, and working overtime hours. Anna also had the freedom to plan her wedding and get married — to an ASU electrical engineering alumnus — during the school year.
She picked ASU for her online education because it was the “most mature and well-organized program.” “All the other programs I looked into had limited degree options and lacked the program accreditation I wanted,” she says.
Anna says the curriculum and expectations have been just as challenging as any on-campus program, but learning online has made balancing school, work and leisure a little easier. “I had no time to exercise until I decided to get creative and start watching my class lectures while running on my treadmill,” she says – an option certainly not available to the average student.
The program’s organization and expert faculty have been the highlights of the engineering management program for her. “All of the objectives, expectations, lectures, and assignments are clearly laid out so that I know what to do for the whole semester at the very beginning of a class.” Most of her professors have worked in industry allowing her to gain the information needed “to succeed in a real corporate setting.”
Anna says her job has been her “most valuable educational experience” and wouldn’t have been possible without online classes. She’s grateful for ASU’s online program for allowing her to pursue career and personal interests without sacrificing a world-class engineering education.
She hopes to use her degree to manage large-scale projects for electrical power companies. She is also considering completing an online master’s degree in engineering management or business administration from ASU.