American InterContinental University
Business development executive for Bizzuka
Class of 2005, associate degree in business administration
Class of 2007, bachelor’s degree in marketing
American InterContinental University
Rodlyn Cochran is a business development executive for Bizzuka in Lafeyette, La. She credits her success to two factors: life experience and an education from American InterContinental University. When she was 34 years old, Cochran enrolled in AIU and earned her associate degree in business administration in 2005. A mere two years later, she had earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing.
Her newfound college education earned Cochran nothing but positive reactions, as her success in earning a degree online showed that she was self-motivated and self-disciplined, she said. “It means that I am a well-rounded person with a lot of experience,” she said. “When I set out to accomplish a goal, I formulate a plan, and I stick with it until it’s completed.”
Shortly after completing her bachelor’s degree program, she began a new career in telecommunications. “I was hired by tw telecom — a Fortune 500 company and telecommunications networking leader — to be the account executive for my area,” Cochran said. “I did that for four years and was recognized nationally as a leader in my field, with a rank [in the] top ten in the company.”
Cochran wanted to make sure she chose the right school for her, so she looked into several big-name online schools. The assistance she received from the staff at AIU set it apart from the other schools she was considering. In addition, Cochran did some research into AIU and found that it met her criteria, such as the fact that it was a fully accredited learning institution. She also asked if she could interview a recent graduate in order to learn about the school from a student’s perspective, and AIU made all of the arrangements. She was able to meet with a graduate and ask all the questions she wanted. Overall, Cochran said that out of all the other schools she looked into, AIU was the most responsive to her questions and requests.
The help AIU provided didn’t end with the enrollment process, either. “A financial counselor helped me to get the financial assistance that I needed to achieve my goals,” Cochran said. “An advisor helped me to decide on the major that I wanted.” Her ultimate choice was to enroll into a business administration and marketing program.
Prior to this, over a span of about 20 years, Cochran had taken classes at trade schools, community colleges, and universities. But even though she passed her classes, she never stayed and earned a degree. However, AIU gave her the good news that she could earn a degree in less time than it would take at a traditional college. “I was told that I could earn my associate degree in 13 months, and my bachelor’s degree in another 13 months,” Cochran said.
In order to complete the degree programs in such a short amount of time, Cochran had to work fast and hard to keep up with the pace that was set in each class. Every class required her to read 100-150 pages from her textbook each week. She would then have to write reports and essays about the readings. She also had to write discussion posts and respond to posts written by other students. In addition to this, there was a group assignment for each class, which required her to collaborate with other students. While all of this may seem overwhelming, it didn’t take Cochran long to find a rhythm and learn how to manage school, work, and family.
She balanced her responsibilities as a wife, a mother of three, a full-time employee, and a student through discipline and organization. “I had set days and times where all I would do was my homework,” Cochran said. “For instance, reading assignments were done during my lunch hour and in the evenings from Sunday to Wednesday. I completed written homework from Thursday to Saturday of each week. My homework was due by midnight on Saturdays, so I literally locked myself in my office all day every Saturday.”
But even though Cochran was taking classes online, she was not alone throughout the learning process. She was able to communicate and interact with fellow students through email, chat rooms, and a discussion forum. She could contact her professors through email, and they would always respond within a certain amount of time. Her advisor was just a phone call away as well, and the school provided online resources for additional help. In fact, any time she needed assistance, advice, or an answer to a question, AIU made sure she was able to get it, which is what makes AIU one of the best online colleges, Cochran said.