Elonda Williams had more than a decade of experience working with numbers, including as a bank teller, accounts payable clerk and billing analyst. Even much of her current role as a senior project administrator for an energy savings company involves finance.
With dreams of one day starting her own business, however, Williams knew there was one particular asset missing from her own balance sheet: a college degree.
With tuition assistance available through her employer, Williams enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a Specialization in Accounting degree program offered 100% online by Florida Institute of Technology.
Why Florida Tech?
Williams was impressed by the prestige of the regionally accredited university, which has been repeatedly ranked among the nation’s best by U.S. News & World Report.
“After speaking with and experiencing the professionalism of several of the representatives, I knew it was the school for me,” she said.
“Obtaining a degree online is good not only for the working adult but for all who need flexibility with their studies,” said Williams, a single mom from Douglasville, Georgia, a city of 30,000 residents about 20 miles west of Atlanta. Originally known as Skint Chestnut for a large tree that had been stripped of its bark to serve as a landmark, the city was established a decade after the Civil War and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
In December 2014, Williams traveled south to receive her diploma during commencement ceremonies at Florida Tech’s main campus in Florida. Her family was there to celebrate her accomplishment.
“Obtaining my degree from a highly reputable academic institution provides the confidence needed when starting a business,” she said.
Williams spoke with us about her favorite class, the help she received from her professors and the importance of discipline and dedication in ensuring college success.
Q. Tell us a little bit about your background.
I currently work for an energy savings company as a senior project administrator. Although it is not evident in my title, much of my work involves financial aspects of the company; budgeting to be more precise. After working for more than 15 years in some form of accounting, and being employed by a company that offered tuition assistance, I decided to obtain a degree in the field to improve my chances for promotion and employability.
Q. Why did you decide to advance your education through a degree program offered online?
As a single parent of an honor student/athlete and full-time employee, flexibility with regard to my education so that I could continue to address other life requirements was high priority. Online courses offered the flexibility I needed to continue to be mom, team mom, employee and student without neglecting my responsibilities in any category.
Q. What were the most important factors in your decision to choose Florida Tech?
The most important factor impacting my decision to attend Florida Tech was its rankings of being one of the best universities by U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review and Forbes. In addition to its ranking, there was the ease in which I was able to request and obtain information. After speaking with and experiencing the professionalism of several of the representatives, I knew it was the school for me.
Q. What was your favorite class and why?
My favorite course was Psychology because it allowed me to see the viewpoints of others on some subjects that I felt strongly about. It helped me discuss points of view that may vary from my point of view and alter my way of thinking by seeing another side, illuminate my point of view or agree to disagree in an agreeable fashion.
Q. What surprised you most about taking an online program?
The most surprising facet of the online program was the involvement of many of the professors who contributed as much as I did to ensure my success.
Q. What was your most valuable takeaway from the program?
The successful completion of my bachelor’s degree would have to classify as the most valuable takeaway from the program. This and being able to show my daughter, Taylor, that hard work really does pay off.
Q. How will your Florida Tech degree make a difference in your career?
My Florida Tech degree will help me further my career as I embark on the road of entrepreneurship. Obtaining my degree from a highly reputable academic institution provides the confidence needed when starting a business.
Q. What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?
Obtaining a degree online is good not only for the working adult but for all who need flexibility with their studies. However, with that flexibility, one must also have discipline and dedication.
Q. Who or what inspires you to succeed?
For the most part, my daughter inspires my success as she begins her college career. Being able to be an example to her was my greatest inspiration. For times when I needed a little more, Cornelius Mays, my student services representative at Florida Tech, was always available to help me stay on track. He was more than an asset with the successful completion of my degree.
Q. What is one fun fact about you?
I can be very funny at times; sometimes because I am laughing at myself harder than anyone else. Yes, I crack myself up at times.
Are you a graduate of Florida Tech’s 100% online degree programs? We would love to share your success story in our Student Spotlight series. Contact us at StudentSpotlight@universityalliance.com for additional details.