Campus Student Panel Feature: Meet Karina O. from Illinois

Campus Student Panel Feature: Meet Karina O. from Illinois
Recruiting students from across the U.S., Campus is the new alternative to online community college. We’re on a mission to maximize access to a world-class education to set students up for success no matter what their next step is. Read on to learn about our students’ unique experiences.

Back in March, we gathered a few Campus Scholars to talk about their journey to Campus and their overall experience as online business students. Karina O., one of our scholars working to earn an associate in business degree, had some standout answers that we thought would resonate with individuals out there who are still looking for the right program for them and their busy lives.

Let’s dive in.

What were your initial thoughts when you came across the online Campus program?

Responses have been edited for clarity and length.

Karina: I originally applied to a college in Chicago, looking for an opportunity in business administration. Unfortunately, they made me take an assessment but I failed it by two points or so. I also initially had to pay $60 to get through to that point with them, so for me, it was really discouraging. I’m 31 – I’m young but not young anymore – I was just looking for opportunities. I hadn’t been in college for a long time, so it was really challenging for me to go and take an assessment just like that.

I searched on Google and found Campus. Everything they said was so convenient for me. Everything was online. They told me they didn’t need me to do any assessment like that. They said they don’t think it’s fair for anybody to have an assessment stop them from attending college. That, to me, was a lifesaver. I thought, “Oh my god. You’re not telling me I don’t deserve an opportunity just because I didn’t pass a test.”

How do you balance attending school online with other aspects of your life?

Karina: I work seven days a week. I have a child who’s 13 years old now. What has been helping a lot is that we don’t have school on Fridays. Every Friday evening I focus a lot on my homework. Friday evening, Saturday evening, Sunday evening. That’s my focus time. So, as long as you are able to dedicate a little bit of your time to completing your assignments, you’ll be in good hands.

Another thing I like about Campus is that they gave me a hotspot for my phone. Normally, my son does wrestling during the week, so I have to take him to practice right after work. Once I get out of work, I log in at home for a bit, and then I’ll go pick him up after school and I’ll just take my computer with me at all times wherever I go and continue listening to what the teachers have to say.

Tell us about a class or teacher that has made a great impression on you.

Karina: One of my teachers from my first quarter – she was phenomenal, I love her, I wish I could always have her next to me – her name is Dr. Theresa Walsh and she teaches English Composition. She made me love English. She made me get into my reading and my critical thinking, and she even made me discover things I didn’t even know about myself.

It was the way she explained everything detail to detail and she always used examples to make you understand what she wanted you to get out of an assignment. She made us feel supported. You don’t really see that a lot with many professors. They can get passionate about their class, but sometimes they lose sight of their students and what they actually need. I’m always going to remember her forever and ever.

What are you aspiring to do with Campus?

Karina: I feel like with Campus I outgrew my current job and I want more. Because I don’t have the skills yet, which is what I’m trying to build, it’s been challenging for me at work. I’m trying to stay in school and be encouraged to use all my skills already and get out there and show the world what I’m capable of. It frustrates me, but at the same time, I know I have to be patient. I know once I graduate, I’m going to be ready for the opportunity to find the proper job that makes me happy.

Before I started Campus, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to do some administrative work in business but I wasn’t sure where to go. My business skills class had us open up our personal brand and dig in with questions about who you are as an employee and as a person. It made me open a whole different door that I never discovered on my own. Everything just opened my whole mind and now I’m eager. Yes, maybe I’m being a little impatient, but it’s a good impatient!

Learn More About the Campus Experience

If Karina’s story resonates with you, or her words about Campus have caught your attention, be sure to check out our online associate degree in business program yourself!

You can join inspiring students just like Karina by applying to become a Campus Scholar today!

Want to learn more about Campus?

Our admissions advisors can answer your questions.