Fanny Jacobo’s passion is athletic training, which is what she initially enrolled in at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
But as a working student, Jacobo found herself in a precarious position.
“I was caught between being able to sustain myself financially — paying bills, taking care of my cat, being able to buy food and have a roof over my head — and going to school full time,” she says.
Her advisor suggested Jacobo shift gears and change her major to the online Health Promotion and Wellness degree program so she could stay enrolled full time and continue working.
Even though it wasn’t her initial plan, Jacobo says, “It became something amazing.”
“Switching over to online was so much better for me,” she says. “I’ve been living on my own since I was 18, and I’ve pretty much been working full time the entire time I’ve been in college. So, having online courses really helped me balance my schoolwork.”
Jacobo says even though online courses made the logistics easier, she still had to carefully plan to stay on top of three jobs, schoolwork, and all the deadlines for things like tuition and financial aid.
“I rely heavily on my agendas and my calendars; I have three separate calendars and an agenda that helped me stay on track," she says.
Jacobo would start the semester by adding all the assignment due dates to her planner and would add more details once she better understood the course expectations.
"I would write in my planner and my agenda when I should begin the assignments,” she says. “So, if I knew I had a larger project, I would write on my calendar to begin the assignment two weeks ahead of time, just so that I knew it would be completed in time.”
The soon-to-be graduate says she was even able to fit travel into her schedule, visiting Costa Rica among other locales while pursuing her bachelor’s degree online.
Through the Health Promotion and Wellness Program, Jacobo was also able to connect with local clinics and health facilities for hands-on experience.
“Health Promotion and Wellness is all about program organization, fundraising and being able to educate the community," she says. “So, when I was able to work with a company and use that in an integrative way with my coursework, I really enjoyed those classes.”
Jacobo is now working with an integrative healthcare clinic in Las Vegas, Nevada, and preparing to enroll in an athletic training graduate program with the knowledge gained from UL Lafayette.
“The material I learned is helping me a lot here, especially within the clinic,” she says. “One of the biggest takeaways from the Health Promotion and Wellness Program is that it's about working with people and working with teams.
“It really does prepare you to work in the community or even continue your education. It’s all about how much you put into it.”
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