Maria-Teresa King was born in the Philippines and grew up in California, but fate — in the form of the U.S. military — brought her to Louisiana.
“Thank God,” she says.
In Louisiana, King met her husband and found a community at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette that was as close-knit as what she had come to know first in the Navy and then as an Air Force medic.
“In the military, you have this bond, but in the civilian world, it’s rare,” King says. “But you can have it here in Louisiana at UL Lafayette.”
Achieving Personally, Professionally
King moved to Washington, Louisiana, with her husband and started looking into local opportunities to complete her bachelor’s degree. King needed to consider her commute and her schedule as she worked as a funeral coordinator, organizing military honors.
The bachelor’s in Health Services Administration fit the bill. The program’s online coursework allowed her to maintain her full-time job and, later, care for a newborn daughter, as well.
“Everybody is so helpful,” King says. “I mean, they genuinely wanted to help you — the faculty, staff, and especially the professors. When they said, ‘I have an open-door policy,’ they meant it. It's a great program, which helped me explore my options and then helped me achieve my goals.”
As she neared the end of the health services administration degree program in 2015, professors helped her connect with employers and prepare for an interview with an area billing company.
“My current employer tried to hire me before I even graduated,” she says. “They were specifically looking for a quality coordinator, and I thought, ‘I can’t do that; I’m just starting.’ But I went to my professor and he helped prepare me for that interview.”
King is now a policy and incentive coordinator, working with multiple medical practices in and around St. Landry Parish.
Growing as a Ragin’ Cajun
When King decided she wanted more professional growth, her experience with the online bachelor’s program brought her back to UL Lafayette. She enrolled in the MBA online program with a concentration in Health Care Administration in January 2020.
As an online graduate student, King balances her full-time job, coursework, and everything that comes with parenting 11- and 4-year-old daughters.
“It's great because I can set my schedule. Family comes first — I have to tutor my child, I have to work, I have to do those daily activities. But at nighttime when everybody sleeps, I can pop open my computer and read and do my courses,” King says. “It’s very flexible.”
That flexibility requires students to be self-motivated to stay on task. King says having a military background has helped her stick to a consistent study schedule. Once it’s time for coursework, she says, she turns off her phone and puts everything else aside to focus.
“You have to motivate yourself, you have to pace yourself, and you’ll do well,” King says.
Interested in a career in healthcare? Request information today about UL Lafayette Bachelor of Science in Health Services Administration online degree program or our MBA online program with a concentration in Health Care Administration.