AIU Blog

The AIU blog shares ideas, information and tips aimed at helping you get ahead personally and professionally, with topics ranging from online learning success to career development.

AIU Student Blog: Three Weeks In and Going Strong

Image: AIU student Ebonie Townsend
To help share what it’s really like to pursue a degree while keeping up with the demands of a busy personal and professional life, new student Ebonie Townsend agreed to document her experience with regular posts on the AIU blog. Ebonie is pursuing an online business degree at AIU and currently works for Harrington College of Design, a member of the Career Education network of universities, colleges and schools. Read her latest blog post below.

I’m feeling a lot more comfortable with my coursework at this point. It usually takes me a few weeks to settle into a new routine, but with sessions being only five weeks long, I had to make a special effort to create and stick to a system.

I’m learning time management is less about adhering to a strict schedule and more about an effective strategy. My new mantra is to get things done now. The problem with schedules is real life. Things come up. If I find myself with unaccounted time, I contribute it to my school work. Who knows what will happen tomorrow! Between intellipath sessions and research for my Individual Project, I fed my husband takeout three times last week!

Initially I was approaching intellipath as a regular assignment -- I would read through the content and answer the questions in one sitting. Then I realized that since intellipath is a study tool designed to help you understand concepts,  I was better prepared for Discussion Board posts and my Individual Projects when I completed my intellipath sessions first. By the time I had gotten through a few intellipath sessions coupled with MUSE learning materials, I was very confident going into my assignments.

For my Unit 3 Individual Project, I had to choose a product I was familiar with and talk about marketing strategies used to sell the product. I chose my favorite mascara from Maybelline, Great Lash mascara. It’s a classic, 40-year-old product that makeup professionals and everyday consumers use alike. I was very excited to work on a project that included both marketing and cosmetics.

I’ve always made an effort to stay cognizant of the social media campaigns and marketing strategies some of my favorite cosmetic brands use, but this was my first time having to research and dig behind the pretty colors and glam. I was a bit intimidated at first because I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to find academic sources on mascara. I emailed the AIU Library explaining my assignment and the product I needed to research. To my surprise, a librarian emailed me shortly after with an article about the 40th Anniversary of Maybelline’s Great Lash Mascara. I was able to use that article to discuss a promotional campaign Maybelline created in which the company offered limited-edition tubes of Great Lash.

I believe I’ve adjusted well and that I’m doing well in my first business course so far. I make sure to check the comments my professor leaves on my assignments. Even if I’ve gotten an A, he always leaves feedback. I took some time this past weekend to read through all of the comments to find a common area for improvement. This way, I can make sure my remaining assignments are solid.

There is an article featured on Forbes’s website listing “25 Working Moms to Follow on Twitter.” Real-estate tycoon Barbara Corcoran urges busy women to "feel free to let go of the concept that you can actually have balance in your life, it's a phantom chase." The work-life balance has definitely been a phantom chase, but with a lot of determination and a supportive spouse, I’m confident I’ll finish my first session strongly!