Back to Blog From Doubt to Determination: One Student’s Experience with Online Learning Student Stories Share Share on FacebookFollow us on LinkedInShare on PinterestShare via Email Going back to school is a decision often accompanied by a spectrum of emotions. For Trina M., the educational journey started with initial worries and doubts, then shifted to a confident, determined approach to professional development. Trina initially had fears about returning to college. She was already balancing the responsibilities of being a full-time employee and a single mom. Her concerns faded when she discovered the solution — a fully online degree through the University of Cincinnati, the Associate of Applied Business in Business Management Technology program. “I always had it in the back of my head that I needed to get back to school,” Trina says. “But life kept taking me in different directions.” For many years, Trina’s primary focus was ensuring the success of her three children in their education and the pursuit of their dreams. Once her youngest child graduated from high school, she realized it was time for her to embark on her own educational journey. Balancing Doubts and Fears Trina serves as business manager for the Center for Clinical and Translational Science and Training (CCTST) in the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine Office of Accounting and Finance. Initially, she was hesitant to accept this role because she lacked an accounting background. However, Trina decided to embrace the challenge as an opportunity for growth and career advancement and hasn’t looked back. Trina’s role at UC entails managing budgets for grants associated with research and general research initiatives. Because her current position differs significantly from some of her previous jobs, Trina viewed it as an opportunity to broaden her skill set and make a more meaningful contribution to healthcare research. It was Trina’s desire to grow professionally, step out of her comfort zone, and perform well in her job that led her to UC’s associate in business management technology degree, “I never imagined I’d land a job in an Office of Accounting and Finance, yet here I am — working for and studying at UC. Trina M. is a student in the Associate of Applied Business in Business Management program. Courses Tie to Real-World Experiences Studying the business management coursework, Trina discovered that UC’s curriculum aligns nicely with her work as a supervisor and manager. The online courses reinforce lessons learned in the workplace and provide fresh perspectives and alternative approaches to everyday challenges. Trina’s exposure to the topics of conflict resolution and leadership styles tie to her work experiences and help her gain a greater understanding of the dynamics at play in professional situations. Considering the funding involved and the intricacies of managing grant budgets, Trina’s job demands attention to detail and a comprehensive understanding of financial processes. She says the business management curriculum prepares her to navigate the complexities of grant management, such as ensuring the allocation of funds and effectively tracking expenses. The related knowledge and skills she gains from her associate degree coursework prove invaluable in managing these day-to-day work responsibilities. Trina says the curriculum also prepares her to navigate the complexities of grant management, such as ensuring the allocation of funds and effectively tracking expenses. She finds the program’s problem-solving and human relations emphases also meaningful. The related knowledge and skills she gains from her associate degree coursework prove invaluable in managing these day-to-day work responsibilities. Trina recognizes the value of stepping out of her comfort zone, and one course that stretched her was microeconomics, Her UC studies enabled Trina to develop skills in a more unfamiliar business area. She finds the program-solving and human relations emphases also meaningful. The related knowledge and skills she gains from her associate degree coursework prove invaluable in managing these day-to-day work responsibilities. Watch this video about taking your skills to the next level with UC’s Business Management Associate program: Regret Led to a Return to School Trina’s decision to pursue education stems from a lingering regret of not completing her college studies earlier. As a mother who experienced divorce, she recognizes the importance of planning for the future and securing her retirement. Although Trina had doubts and was nervous about returning to an educational environment, she found ways to motivate herself for the challenge. By managing her time and energy, Trina boosted her confidence and empowered herself to pursue her associate degree. Trina believes neither age nor background should ever hinder anyone from embarking on a journey toward continuing education. She frequently shares her experiences as inspiration for others contemplating a similar path back to school. Trina emphasizes the significance of receiving support and resources to navigate the return to school. She credits UC staff with keeping her focused throughout the enrollment process and early weeks of school, saying: “I was an absolute nervous wreck when I first enrolled. I was paranoid I was missing something or that there was something else I should be doing. But once I got past that, I thought, ‘Wow, this is really happening’.” Eye on the Future Trina’s near-term objective is to complete her associate degree in business technology and then explore bachelor’s degree options. Her ultimate goal is to secure a director-level position in healthcare business management, using her education and experiences to make an impact. Trina’s journey serves as an inspiration for those seeking growth and professional development through education. Her story highlights how associate-level coursework intersects with real-life experiences. “The idea of going back to school can be overwhelming. I tell people it’s not as scary as it seems — and if I can do it, anybody can,” Trina says. Get Your Questions Answered If you see the potential in studying business management, as Trina did, why not take the first step? Connect online with a UC Enrollment Services Advisor. They’ll answer your questions about the associate program, explain tuition, financial aid, and more. To speak with a representative during business hours, call (833) 556-4428 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern.