When Shira Taylor completed her BSBA in Management online at the end of the Summer 2022 term, she silenced a persistent insecurity at last.
For a long time, Taylor worried she wasn’t “smart enough to do 100% online” she says.
Nevertheless, earning her degree had been the goal for some time.
Taylor, of Baton Rouge, began taking classes at her local community college in the mid-2000s. She eventually needed to step away to focus on motherhood and supporting her family, but she remained motivated to earn her degree.
“I had made up my mind, once you start something, you have got to finish it,” she says.
As Taylor built a career in business administration and accounting, she imagined how she might return to in-person classes while maintaining her work schedule.
“I kept trying to think of ways I could work full-time and then go on campus,” says Taylor. “[Finally] I was like, ‘You know what? I want this degree, so I'm just going to step out and I'm going to try. I keep saying that I can't [do online], but how will I know if I never try?’”
Give It Your All
Taylor dove into online learning in October 2019.
She planned her weeks meticulously with study time split between the weekends and weeknights as needed. She set deadline reminders in her phone earlier than necessary to give herself little grace periods.
“I think it was just determination and being really hungry for it,” says Taylor. “I think if it’s something you want, you make time for it and you do it and you put your all into it.”
Taylor committed to working through holiday breaks to keep ahead of her workload.
“I used that time to kind of move ahead and stay on top of things, so the work wouldn’t pile up on me,” she says.
As Taylor headed into the home stretch of her studies, fresh challenges presented themselves. She was promoted from customer service representative to accounting clerk at Neighbor’s Federal Credit Union.
While she was excited for an opportunity to advance, Taylor had to balance a steep learning curve at work and in her classes.
“It was a little challenging learning something new at work, plus coming home and teaching yourself something online, but like I said, if you want it, you’re gonna do it,” says Taylor.
When the challenges got more intense, Taylor leaned on her mom for help and support.
“Thank God for my mom,” says Taylor. “She helped with my daughter. She picked her up from the bus and she helped her with homework and all that.”
Leading and Learning by Example
Even before she stepped in as a vital source of support and encouragement, Taylor’s mother had been her role model regarding higher education.
“My mom has a bachelor's degree and maybe that's why I wanted it really bad, because that's something she achieved,” says Taylor.
Now Taylor gets to serve that role.
Taylor knows her children and her close friends see the way she approached her studies, and her journey shows them what is possible when you refuse to give up on yourself.
“I have three kids; two are grown and my youngest is 10,” says Taylor. “I realize my son is 26 and he still looks at the things I do. He may not say, but I see in some of the actions he takes. They’re watching me so I always want to set a positive example.”
At the core of Taylor’s positive example is being honest about when she was really struggling, to show her family and loved ones she wasn’t perfect at everything, she was determined.
“People around me, I want them to see, you know, I don't get everything right, but I can do this,” says Taylor. “If you give it your all, there are no regrets at the end of the day.”
Are your goals on hold until you figure how to make life, work, and school fit together? Learn more about the University's B.S.B.A in Management program online.