WGU students Casey Jenkins and Stephen Allen were recently chosen to receive the CompTIA Education Foundation’s CompTIA IT Merit Awards Scholarship. We asked them to give us some insight into their experience and advice for online learning. This is what Casey had to say:
WGU: What is your background? How and when did you decide to enroll at WGU?
Casey Jenkins: I'm 26 years old and grew up in a rural town in Connecticut. Before WGU, I was enrolled in 5 different degree and certification programs trying out different things to find something I was interested in and good at. I took a break for a while and then decided I needed to use the gifts God gave me. I started looking into all sorts of programs that I knew had great career choices and decided that Information Technology was the way to go. I really like this field because it’s always evolving and I love learning new information. I happened upon an online article from TIME magazine, "The Best Relatively Cheap University You've Never Heard Of" about WGU and knew I had to learn more about this school. Summer of 2009 I made the decision to apply and enroll and haven't looked back. As far as a computer background is concerned, I don't really have one. I was never the type to pull apart computers or try to figure out how they work. I was just naturally good at troubleshooting my family's computers. I also use to work at Staples and learned many things about computers from the friends I made in the electronics department.
WGU: What are the advantages of an online university such as WGU?
Casey Jenkins: For me the one big advantage is learning at your my own pace. Having been through many different learning environments, I've found WGU to be the easiest to schedule. If your car breaks down, it’s not a big deal. If you get sick and just can't study, it’s no big deal. If you lack in one subject but excel in another, it’s no big deal. WGU really makes it easy to learn at your own pace since there are no classes, it’s like an improved version of self-study at other institutions.
WGU: What inspires you on a day to day basis to be the best student you can be?
Casey Jenkins: I've always had high standards for myself and I'm very critical of things. I'm the worst type of perfectionist. I also want to be a great student and succeed so I can leave the wonderful world of customer service ;)
WGU: How has being a student at WGU affected your life?
Casey Jenkins: Being a student again has made me busier! Specifically at WGU, I honestly don't think I could do full time school and full time work without the flexibility and ease of studying that WGU has given me. Basically, being a student at WGU has given me the desire to be back in school and want to finish my bachelor's degree.
WGU: What is your favorite thing about being a WGU student?
Casey Jenkins: My favorite thing about being a WGU student is the relationship I'm building with my mentor. I've only been chatting with her for a year and I've come to find out that she is an amazing person and really cares about helping her students succeed. I honestly can't wait to meet her someday!
WGU: What is some memorable advice that you have received in your life with regards to your career and succeeding?
Casey Jenkins: The only advice I can think of that has made an impact in my life is "find something you really like and stick with it," since I've had a hard time "sticking" with other career plans I’ve had in mind. Of course I'm not one to listen to other people, I like to do things my own complicated way.
WGU: Are there any online tools or research tips you can give to readers thinking about, or currently enrolled in our online university?
Casey Jenkins: I really don't have any online tools or tips for students. I've basically just used the school resources for studying.
We would like to thank Casey for allowing us to interview her.
For more information about the award: CompTIA IT Merit Award Scholarships Awarded