MBA - Concentration in Project Management
High achievement usually begins with high expectations and great ambition. AIU Online student Scott ("Scotty") Ward is a good example. With eleven years of military experience, ten years of civil service and a management position at the Pentagon, Scotty decided attaining a Master's degree might help him further advance in his career. He thought that might be difficult to fit into his schedule, however, because he is also a Minister and Sunday school superintendent, a cameraman, on the board of directors of a non-profit civic support corporation, on the planning committee for his high school reunion and a father of five and grandfather of six. How can someone have time for all that and work on earning a Master's degree? According to Scotty, the answer is online learning at AIU Online. "AIU Online is an excellent choice for me because it allows me to continue everything I've been doing and still pursue higher education."
While currently employed in a project management position, Scotty has chosen to pursue a MBA with a concentration in Project Management at AIU Online because he feels it could create even more career opportunities for him without interfering with his ongoing work. Having a flexible learning schedule is extremely important to someone as busy as Scotty. "I think the flexible class schedule is the best thing about AIU Online. It is very easily adaptable to my hectic work environment."
In addition to the flexibility of being able to log on to the Virtual Campus anytime and anywhere he has internet access, there is a structure within each course which enables Scotty to plan around his busy schedule. "The schedule of assignments is nearly identical, regardless of the class I'm taking, and that allows me to plan my schedule weeks in advance." Scotty has demonstrated the value and flexibility of online learning at his office and has even recommended AIU Online to other members of his team. "I am able to do my Wednesday afternoon live class session at my desk, with the approval of management, and have shared class materials with my team members"
Scotty is currently employed as an information technology help desk manager for a contractor in an internal Pentagon office that supports staff within the office of the Secretary of Defense. He has been able to immediately apply materials from his classes at AIU Online in his work center. The course in Leadership and Ethics was particularly useful. "It helped me realize what style of leader I am and helped reinforce the positive aspects of my leadership skills by reviewing research that supports some of the things I knew intuitively." Scotty's career goals are to maximize the positive aspects of his current employment contract and to ultimately get promoted to a senior position within the company. He feels AIU Online fits in well with his goals. "Not only am I able to apply what I learn at AIU Online on a tactical level, I am positioning myself strategically to achieve my career goals."
"I'm extremely pleased with AIU Online. The classes are extremely current and immediately valuable in my career. The instructors continue to challenge and lead the students, and are by far the finest asset to the university." Students can develop practical, marketable skills at AIU Online and there are other benefits as well. According to Scotty, "the class projects allow the opportunity for students to communicate and correlate their research and findings outside the classroom. The group projects are also very helpful for me psychologically as well as academically because they remind me of the social undergraduate setting in traditional universities."
Scotty feels that online learning at AIU Online is particularly appropriate for graduate level studies. "Graduate level study is a transition from the highly social nature of undergraduate learning to self-study and I feel the online format is very appropriate for that." While graduate programs at AIU Online encourage self-study, Scotty also feels that his instructors are readily accessible. "Every instructor at AIU Online has stressed their availability through email, office hours and if I have any questions after hours I can call them. Every time I had a question I got a response within the day."
Scotty's success story began well before enrolling in AIU Online and continues today. He has these words of advice for other AIU Online students: "Don't stop; press through. True, it can be tough at times, but when you finish, you'll look back with pride on your accomplishment." Thanks to his personal initiative and AIU Online, even greater achievements are on the horizon for Scotty Ward.
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