Morgan Prince gave birth to her first child, a boy, in January 2018. It didn't take much longer than nine months for her to deliver a Master of Business Administration degree from Boise State University.
"I did the program in the fast track, in one year," she said. "It was double classes, which was a little bit stressful at times, but it was all about time management — spreading it out during the week and staying on top of everything. As long as I prioritized, wrote myself a list of things to do, put time aside for each thing and started early, it was fine. I could not wait until the last minute."
Prince, who also graduated with a bachelor's degree in information technology (IT) from Boise State in 2014, is an IT specialist at Boise Veterans Administration Hospital. She was in the Air Force for five years, where she worked as a computer technician and met her husband, Devin, who is still enlisted. She left with the rank of senior airman, E4.
"I went back for a master's degree for advancement," she said. "That's my goal. I wanted to do something a little more well-rounded rather than a computer science master's degree. That way, I could have multiple opportunities rather than locking into one area."
Prince had a very good reason to complete the online MBA program so quickly, along with the bonus of finishing before she gave birth.
"I was using my Post-9/11 GI Bill," she said. "I had 18 months to finish before tuition would come out-of-pocket. That was my biggest motivator to get it done in a year."
That rapid pace helped Prince remain focused on the task at hand.
"Having that as a goal rather than spreading it out over two years made me stay on top of everything and really made it a priority," she said. "I felt like taking it in one year was beneficial, although it is stressful for somebody working full-time on top of it. I had a pretty good handle on my job by then, so it wasn't that hard to integrate it into the online program."
Rank and File
Prince quickly developed a routine to balance everything she had on her plate with the help of the organizational skills she gained with her military background.
"After I finished all of my homework on Sundays, I would sit down and look at the schedule for the next week," she said. "I said, 'Okay, this is the reading I need to do.' I read for one class, then I did the discussion. I took the one that had less reading first. It was usually based on which ones I liked better — I usually tackled them first. Then, I got my responses in early. If you didn't give ample amount of time for another response, you hurt your grade a little bit. I would prioritize assignments."
Prince took an online course here and there before she enrolled in the Boise State online MBA program, so she felt prepared for the fully online experience.
"It was kind of what I expected," she said. "Each teacher was different with how they did things. It's nice to work at your own pace. I could pause a video, go back and watch it again. If I was really familiar with a topic, I didn't necessarily have to sit through a lecture. That flexibility is nice."
She was also impressed by the fact that the curriculum in the online MBA program was so applicable to her work.
"A lot of it took current things you were working on in your job or a project you did at your job and applied it," Prince said. "Like in the project management class, you took three projects you could apply at work and picked one.
"Even if it was not something that was actually happening, it was still cool to take those ideas and say, 'These are things I would love to fix.' It made the program a lot more interesting because I got to take things I had done or was going to do and apply them to the program. That was probably the coolest thing about the online program."
One of her favorite courses was BUSMBA 501: Design Thinking and Strategic Management.
"That class makes you want to re-evaluate your life," Prince said. "It makes you think you can do anything you want to do. It was really awesome. Another course that stands out is [BUSMBA 545:] Legal Issues in Business. I liked it because of the challenge of it. It was a lot of work, but I felt like it was really interesting because I didn't know a lot about it. Everything I did was something new."
Prince, who is originally from the Nashville area, grew up in a household where her parents, who are both retired from the Army, stressed the importance of education.
"My mom was super big on education," she said. "She was the one who wanted me to go into the Air Force. When the time for college came around, the colleges were too far away, and I did not get a full scholarship. The military was the route to help me pay for school."
Prince had a keen interest in computers from a young age, so she made IT her career. She earned an Associate of Science in IT from the Community College of the Air Force in 2011. Once she fulfilled her military duties, she was an intern at Boise VA Medical Center for 13 months before being hired full time.
"The Air Force was good," she said. "I really enjoyed it. It definitely taught me different things. I moved to Boise for the military. My husband and I like the area. I'm debating going back for my Ph.D. If I go that route, I might look into being a college professor."
Prince's second graduation from Boise State was very special. She was part of the university's 100th graduation ceremony on May 6, 2017. To commemorate the occasion, the ceremony was held on the famous blue turf at Albertsons Stadium, home of the Broncos football team.
"My friends and family were super excited. My husband was really supportive because I obviously had to give up a lot of my life for a year. He was really good about making sure I had time for homework."
Whatever the future holds for Prince and her newly extended family, she knows she has put herself in position to take her career to new and exciting heights. Prince would absolutely recommend the online MBA program to anybody who aspires to do the same.
"You have to be fully committed," she said. "You have to want to do the program. If you're doing it just because, it's not going to work for you. If you're actually wanting to get your degree, it's a great program."
Learn more about the Boise State University online MBA program.
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