This is the third of a three-part Voice series featuring interviews with some of AU’s 2009 graduates.
For many graduates, convocation weekend was the first time they had seen the beautiful grounds and buildings of the AU campus, and they attended the ceremonies from places near and far, including Peace River, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario.
The Voice would like to offer its sincere congratulations to all this year’s graduates, and knows that their accomplishments will encourage all those students who are still completing their studies at AU.
Bachelor of Administration
Huma travelled from Waterloo, Ontario, to attend convocation but it wasn’t her first trip to AU; She’s visited the campus before in her role as an AUSU councillor.
She enjoyed the whole experience of earning her Bachelor of Administration degree, and says that distance learning brings unique challenges.
?I think you have to be more disciplined because there’s no one there to push you through. You are the master of your own destiny, so you have to set your deadlines, you have to set your goals, and you are the one who will be meeting them.?
For students still in the program, Huma offers this advice: ?There will be times where you feel no motivation whatsoever. Let them pass and just keep your eyes on the bigger picture and you’ll reach it. If you have to take one day at a time, don’t rush yourself [and] don’t give up. Keep working, keep pushing yourself, and you will reach your goals.?
When it comes to pursuing goals, Huma already has the next one in sight: after a short break from studies, she plans to start working on her MBA.
Master of Business Administration
If there’s one grad who can tell prospective students all about AU, It’s Tim?he was an AU staff member for 20 years, and took part in the university’s move from Edmonton to Athabasca.
One of the most enjoyable parts of the program was being able to apply those real-life experiences to his assignments.
?Being an employee of the university and then taking part [as a] student, that was very rewarding and interesting.?
For students who’ve been accepted into the MBA program, one of the most important things to ensure success is to plan ahead, he offers.
?Think about the end result up front,? Tim says. ?Plan your project, start thinking about your project right from the very first course. That would be my advice.?
Bachelor of Commerce
Norman travelled from Toronto to attend convocation, graduating with distinction from the Bachelor of Commerce program. One of the most memorable parts of the experience was the independence required for distance learning.
?This was . . . an individual journey,? he notes. ?It made me grow.?
Managing time well was another important part of Norman’s success in the program. ?A surprising aspect was how accountable you are for your own time. You don’t get that in a [traditional] university.?
While peer support can provide motivation in a traditional setting, Norman sees the independence of distance learning as a strength. ?I’m not looking at it as a negative, I’m looking at it as a positive. It made me more self-reliant.?
Norman says his degree will continue to open doors, and he’s already been accepted into an MBA program. ?I would not be able to continue at the master’s level if not for AU,? he says, noting that AU’s flexibility played a large part in planning his grad studies.