I graduated from UAS with a Bachelors of Business Administration in marketing in May of 2008 and was commencement speaker. I continued onto Idaho State University to get my Masters of Business Administration in December of 2009. At 22, I am now taking PhD preparatory classes to begin a doctorate degree in marketing in the fall of 2010.
The mixture of classes at UAS, both in class and online, was great! It made it possible for me to work full time and also finish my bachelor’s degree in just 3 years, not to mention graduating as the top business management student. I think my education at UAS was better than I could have received at most other universities because the faculty had so much real life experience in the business fields, whereas many other universities have faculty purely from academia.
I’ve had the opportunity to put my business knowledge to use in many ways. I spent this past summer conducting research on national tourist bureaus in Western Europe. Once you have a good understanding of the foundations of business, your opportunities are virtually limitless – especially if you love to travel, like I do. I have another international trip planned this coming summer to Malaysia to present a paper at an academic conference. Such work!
One of the great organizations that I got involved with at UAS was SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), headed by professor Rick Wolk. I got to work with large towns and small villages in Southeast Alaska to improve entrepreneurship, share my business knowledge with others, and more. I presented at regional SIFE competitions, once in Seattle and another time in Honolulu! For me, involvement in campus activities turned an educational institution into a community.
I moved on from UAS to explore more that the world has to offer. Idaho State University offered me a graduate teaching assistantship to teach upper division business classes. It is scary the first time, of course, but I have definitely developed a love for teaching and decided to get my PhD in marketing. It’s hard to describe the feeling as I’ve fallen into a field I love and want to stay in for the rest of my life. Faced with homework, tests, grading, and more, I find it all play. When I started conducting research in the marketing aspects of travel and tourism, I found this love. Research and teaching is play for me.