Hot Springs, AR
B.S.B.A. in General Business
"You really dabble in all the aspects of business. I know that there are specialized degree plans, like supply chain or accounting, but this degree plan makes you take a class in every specialization just so you have a feel for everything."
At nineteen, Julia Moura has already accumulated a variety of online experiences relating to education and work. Originally from Hot Springs, AR, Moura completed high school at Arkansas Virtual Academy, where she graduated with 30 hours of college credit. She was able to enter college with a sophomore status. She used the Arkansas Course Transfer System (ACTS) to determine what classes to take that would transfer. Most of the classes were general education classes and they all transferred without any problem.
Moura explains why she selected the U of A, “I really liked that the University of Arkansas was sort of a bigger institution and it offered everything that I wanted, and it was in Arkansas. It's kind of a two for one deal. I really liked it and I still do. I think it's a great college.”
Although she originally intended to study international business on campus to give in person a shot, due to unforeseen COVID-19 related travel issues, she switched to the general business online program while in Brazil visiting family. She is currently in Brazil, working towards her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in General Business and expects to graduate Spring 2024.
Moura is glad she didn’t go the in-person route after talking with friends because she prefers the do-it-yourself pace, where you do not have to wait on everyone else to complete the unit. “I think I've really done well online, and I think online is the way to go for me personally. For my learning style.”
She admits being an online student is “challenging sometimes because people think oh, it's online…but you have to be really disciplined. It takes a lot more of a person to do online than to do in-person on-campus because you go to class, you are forced to listen to the professor speak, whereas online there's no synchronous classes. They post the recordings. It's at your leisure. It’s up to you to watch the recordings and read the books, or not. You do the work as you please, submit it by the deadlines and you're good to go. That's been really great because I work 20 hours a week, even though it's online, I have to do 20 hours. And also, I have a family here and I would like to have a social life as well. In the beginning it was really hard to balance when do I study, when do I work and when do I go out and live my life? But I think I've got it down really well now, and it's great because I'm not in classes all day. I have a different way of studying than my friends do in person. It's just been a lifesaver more than I even think about.”
To help her be successful in classes, Moura utilizes various university resources including, “The library certainly quite a bit, and the tutoring services for math. Math is not a good subject for me. I've also used a little bit of the writing service, but not a whole too, too much. The IT department has been very well used.” To stay in touch with classmates and professors, Moura said “usually someone will create a GroupMe group chat and then for professors really just email. They've all been really good about responding and getting back. I don't really like using like Zoom or Teams. Usually they'll have virtual office hours, but I don't really want to bother them. So, I just send an email because they can respond whenever they're free.”
Moura would give the following advice to someone who might be considering studying online, “Definitely get your time management in order. Because that is probably the thing that will crush you if you put it off until an hour or two before things are due, or you don't watch the lectures. You really need to treat this like an in-person on-campus class. Make it so you force yourself to watch the lectures, read the book, and do your homework just as you would if you were going into class…because if you don't, it will not go well. Not at all.”
She is currently working remotely for the U of A, assisting a graduate student with data analysis. Receiving the W.E. Manning Memorial Scholarship for Moura was truly a “make or break everything, it really made a huge difference.” She will be able to graduate without student loans. As a first-generation college student, whose parents came to the U.S. as immigrants, she says “my parents instilled in us that we need to do something, not necessarily college, but something, and for me it was college.” She felt that the way she could really grow in life would be to get her degree, start a career, and hopefully do something meaningful.
Moura recommends the degree program because of the program’s well roundedness. “You really dabble in all the aspects of business. I know that there are specialized degree plans, like supply chain or accounting, but this degree plan makes you take a class in every specialization just so you have a feel for everything. If you're not quite sure of what you want to do, you know maybe take this as your bachelor’s. You would take a class in every specialization and then get your master’s in whatever you liked or don't, but at least you would have a little experience in everything.”
While Moura does not yet have concrete plans about what she will do upon graduation, she hopes to find a job in data analysis. Taking a variety of general business classes for her degree program allowed her to solidify the field in which she wants to pursue. She wants to take one step at a time, one class at a time, and see where life goes. With all the uncertainty lately, she is open to anything.