Grad Adapts to Earn her Degree Online
Heidi Viator completed her bachelor’s degree in May 2020. Already she’s demonstrated the qualities of a business leader — adaptability, time management, and determination.
Viator was pursuing her degree in Thibodaux when she found out she was pregnant. To move forward, she needed to adapt. She moved back to her hometown of New Iberia and started looking for an online degree program to stay on track.
She found the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s online bachelor’s in management offered through the B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration. The accredited online degree program allowed her to transfer her college credit and continue using her Pell grants.
“I really, really liked it,” she says. “It wasn’t difficult to find everything I needed. If I did have questions, I was able to find the answers on the website or ask my teachers. The whole program was very organized.”
Viator needed nine courses to complete her bachelor’s degree in management. She finished her degree in two semesters, welcoming her son during her first semester with UL Lafayette.
Because the program offers accelerated, 8-week courses Viator was able to focus on two or three courses per term while taking a full-time course load each semester.
She says she’d taken some online courses before enrolling in the fully online degree program so she had an idea of what to expect and how to prepare.
“The transition was pretty easy for me,” she says. “I like that I can do online courses at my own pace and get everything done without going to campus.”
As with all online programs, completing coursework required time management and — with a newborn — a good deal of family support.
Viator says she’s good at organizing her time and tasks. Because her online courses allowed her to see her assignments and due dates for the full semester, she was able to look ahead and plan.
"I knew what I had to do; I knew what coursework was due when,” she says. “After the first assignment I was able to determine how much time I’d need for others going forward and plan.”
UL Lafayette’s Enrollment Support Team and Academic Success Center recommend several strategies for managing online coursework, including block scheduling, using the Pomodoro technique, and creating a support network.
Viator says her strategy was to set aside time to exclusively work on her courses.
“I did a lot of block work. I would schedule classwork in five-hour spans to get it done during those times,” Viator says. “It was hard, but I had a lot of family that helped out. When (my son) was sleeping, I’d do homework, or I’d have someone watch him while he was awake.”
As a recent graduate, Viator is on the hunt for a role that matches her skills and will allow her to grow to a management position. She says she’s drawn heavily from the lessons learned in Dr. Valerie McGehee's professional writing course as she navigates the job market.
“Everything in that class was applicable and helpful – writing emails, building a resume, writing a cover letter,” she says. “As I’m trying to find a job, having that knowledge has been helpful.”
Develop practical skills and the knowledge to adapt in today’s business world. Request information today about the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management.