On the road to his bachelor’s degree, Isaiah Helaire moved from Lafayette to Georgia to Hammond and then back to Lafayette.
Helaire was working full time as an assistant branch manager for a loan company and ready to finish his degree. A friend recommended Helaire look into the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s B.I. Moody III College of Business Administration, which had just launched an online bachelor’s degree program.
Helaire was one of the first students to enroll in the online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management, with 36 hours between him and his degree. For many students, that’s the equivalent of three or four semesters.
He finished in two semesters as an honor student with a 3.64 GPA.
“It definitely was not easy. My advisor recommended taking two classes if you’re working full time. I took six while working full time, so it was definitely challenging,” Helaire says. “It’s definitely a balance to have fun but also realize you have to be dedicated. It has a lot to do with being determined to see this through and complete the degree.”
Helaire leveraged his progress toward his bachelor’s degree into a job offer for his current full-time position, which he says provided additional motivation to push through.
Earning a management degree through UL Lafayette meant Helaire was able to learn from faculty with years of industry experience and knowledge, along with specialized training in online teaching.
This semester, Helaire had to face additional challenges as more students moved online in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Helaire says faculty members like Catherine Chauvin made his time as a UL Lafayette online student positive.
“She was on top of her stuff. She always had everything from day one there and ready to go for us,” Helaire says. “She was one of the main instructors that incorporated group projects even though we were online, which I thought was amazing. She did an amazing job of making us feel connected to other students.”
Helaire had planned to walk with his fellow graduates during Spring 2020 commencement at the Cajundome. With the shift to a virtual commencement, Helaire says he’ll listen for his name remotely. He’ll hold on to his robes and cords to potentially walk later this summer.
“It’s tough because it’s not going to feel the same, but opportunities are presenting themselves,” he says. “I want to walk in the next one; I’m trying to stay positive for that. I do appreciate the virtual graduation, and I think that’s the closest thing we could have done.”
Learn more about UL Lafayette's online Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Management. Beginning Fall 2020, our online programs are offered with a flat-rate $380 per-credit-hour tuition for undergraduate programs and $480 per credit hour for graduate programs.