While working toward her Bachelor of Commerce Degree (with an accounting major) from Medicine Hat, Kayli Tellman also works at a pharmacy, and recently spent some time speaking with The Voice Magazine.
Could you provide a brief introduction of yourself? Who are you, where are you from?
My name is Kayli Tellman, I am nineteen years old, and I am in my second year at Athabasca University. I am working part-time at a pharmacy while completing my degree. I was born and raised in Medicine Hat, Alberta and I still am living there now.
What program are you currently enrolled in?
I am in the Bachelor of Commerce program with a major in accounting and I am really enjoying my program!
Describe the path that led you to Athabasca University. What was it that made you realize you wanted to go back to school, and what pushed you into the program you’ve signed up for?
After I graduated high school, I went into a science program at a local college, though I was not enjoying the program and I felt like I did not have a lot of options for school if I wanted to stay in Medicine Hat. That’s when I found AU, and it checked off everything I wanted out of a university. I have never wanted to move away from home, and I liked my job too much to quit so that I could do school full-time. Also, math has always been one of my favourite subjects in school, so accounting seemed like a great fit for me.
What do you like to do when you are not studying? Any hobbies?
When I’m not studying or working (which does not leave me with a lot of spare time) I enjoy playing video games or reading books. I also like to get together with my friends quite often.
What are your plans for this education once you finish? What would be your dream job?
I plan to work as an accountant once I graduate. Ideally, I would like to become a CPA, so that would probably be my dream job.
Who in your life had the greatest influence on your desire to learn?
My parents have probably had the biggest influence on my desire to learn. My parents have always encouraged me to do my best in school and they have supported me and helped me become the first person in my family to go to university.
Describe your experience with online learning so far. What do you like?
So far, I have really enjoyed online learning. I have always been an independent learner in school so teaching myself the course material has not been too challenging. I really like the freedom and flexibility that AU has given me. One of my favourite parts is not having to leave my house to do school.
Is there anything you dislike about online learning?
One thing I dislike is that I feel different than my friends who are not doing online school. Sometimes, I compare my progress in my degree with people who are not doing online school and feel like I am very behind compared to them. I know that is not exactly true, but it is one of the downsides that I find.
Have you ever waivered about continuing your schooling? What caused it and what got you through it?
I wavered the most with continuing school while I was in the science program. It was not a good fit for me, and I wasn’t sure what other options I had that did not involve moving away on my own. I spent a lot of time looking at different career options and universities until I found AU. The excitement of finding a schooling option that fit my life perfectly gave me the motivation to keep pursuing a degree. My first year at AU has been very positive and I haven’t wavered with school since.
What’s your favorite AU course that you have taken so far, and why? Would you recommend the course to others?
I would have to say ACCT 253 (Introductory Financial Accounting). This course was my first accounting course and I absolutely loved it. Before I took this course, I had very little experience with accounting, so I knew that my first accounting course would let me know if this degree would be right for me. I loved everything I learned in ACCT 253 and that’s when I knew I had picked the right degree. Since I was always so uncertain with what I wanted to do with my life, figuring out what I liked was a great feeling for me! Yes, I would absolutely recommend this course to others.
What have you given up to go to AU that you regret the most? Was it worth it?
My free time is what I have given up the most to go to AU. I rarely have time to relax, so I do regret that, but I am sure it will all be worth it in the end when I am done my degree.
How do you find communications with your course tutors?
Communication with my tutors has been great so far. All the tutors I have had have been quick to mark my assignments and answer my questions. Because I have had good experiences with them, I have not missed having a traditional teacher.
What is your biggest pet peeve, if you have one?
My biggest pet peeve is probably bad drivers. Especially people who drive way too close behind me.
Describe the proudest moment in your life.
My proudest moment so far would probably be when I graduated high school. I felt like I had accomplished a lot at that time. But I am sure I will feel prouder to graduate from AU, so I know I will have prouder moments in my life going forward.
Please tell us something that few people know about you.
One thing that distinguishes me from other people is that I love to write creative stories! I wrote a novella when I was fifteen and the people who read it have liked it. I have not shared my passion for writing with many people, so it is not very known about me.
Have you written anything more recently?
I have not had much time to write any new stories because of school and work, but I hoping to have more time one day.
What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in life?
I think the most valuable thing I have learned is to fix what is making you unhappy in life. If you are unhappy with the situation you are in, there are ways you can change it. I do not think there is much point in putting up with the things that are making you unhappy, just because you are used to living with them.
Have you traveled? Where has life taken you so far?
The farthest I have travelled is to Disneyworld in Orlando when I was eleven and Maui when I was thirteen.
Out of the places you have been to, which was your favorite and why?
Going to Orlando was so amazing because I got to go to the Harry Potter park in Universal Studios! It was definitely the coolest place I have ever been!
Are you reading any non-AU books right now?
I have not been reading many non-AU books lately, but I have started reading Harry Potter again. I have read the series many times but this time I am reading the books to my boyfriend so he can experience the magic too!