AIU is proud to announce Nellie L. Gibson as the first AIU graduate to have an Alumni Referral Scholarship awarded in her name. Nellie graduated from AIU in 2008 with a Master of Education degree (M.Ed.).
How did you hear about AIU?
I originally heard about AIU as I was looking for an online option for furthering my education. AIU was one of many I discerned in that search.
What made you choose AIU?
There were several factors that encouraged my decision when opting for AIU. The number one reason was my ability to accomplish my degree from home. My ex-husband was an abusive man and he wouldn’t allow me to work outside of our home. He would however, allow for me to go to school as long as I could do it without leaving the house. AIU made that possible for me.
What inspired you to earn your degree?
The decision to complete my degree mostly lies within my children. I would preach to them the importance of an education and hold high standards for them. My one rule which could never be broke was no sex before marriage and no marriage before a bachelor’s degree. How could I preach that to my children if I did not even achieve what I asked of them? Therefore, I decided to go back to school and earn my degree.
What challenges have you overcome to earn your degree?
In life we are faced with many challenges. For me, earning my degree was something I had to accomplish while in an abusive marriage, raising two children, and holding onto the hope that earning my degree would help me provide a life for my children on my own outside of the abuse we endured.
What was your time at AIU like?
I enjoyed my time at AIU. My professors were always willing to help me accomplish my greatest potential. They were always an email, sometimes even an instant message away and most of the time were extremely quick to respond. Their goal was my success. I cannot express how vital that was for me to accomplish what I did.
What was your most memorable experience at AIU?
The thing I recall most vividly about my time at AIU was after my general education requirements were met and started on my degree specific courses. I felt like I was getting more than what I was paying for. I had so much fun earning my degree that it didn’t even feel like work to me. The assignments made me want to learn more. That’s how I knew I was on the right path for me.
Was there any specific AIU department that really helped you?
My admissions advisor was there for me throughout my entire career at AIU. I understand that has changed now, which I truly feel is a shame. Having my admission advisor available whenever I needed assistance allowed for my transition and any hurdles I encountered to become merely tiny speed bumps. I knew that I could count on my admissions advisor to ensure I was right on track with not only my degree but my financial aid, my paperwork, my schedule, and everything else. I knew there was no way I was going to ‘fall through the cracks.’
What job do you have now?
I currently work for Dell as a sales representative.
What are the most important skills that helped you get to where you are?
Confidence. I think more than anything, the one thing I walked away from AIU with was more confidence in myself, my skills, and my ability to accomplish great things.
Why did you refer someone to AIU?
I have referred multiple people to AIU, and Tony is the fourth person to decide I knew what I was talking about. I believe in AIU. I know it was the best choice for me, and I will continue to encourage it for others. Some people need the brick and mortar setting, and being a person who have attended both online and brick and mortar, I understand the importance of the learning environment. AIU tries, and I think very successfully, to bridge that gap between the online and brick and mortar experience. As long as someone has the determination and self-discipline, I will always recommend AIU.
How do you feel knowing that AIU has a scholarship under your name?
It’s nice to be recognized for inspiring others to expand their horizons and choosing AIU to do so.