Is a busy life holding you back from getting your degree? In this episode of Online Stripes, graduate Brittany Smith says that as a student of Mizzou Online, it’s not about you fitting into a class schedule — it’s about how school can fit in with your life. 

So what’s holding you back from getting that degree you’ve always dreamed of? Is it because you can’t seem to visualize balancing your current job AND studying for your degree all at the same time? Or maybe it’s because of your many family obligations. Whatever your reason, we’re here to tell you that with Mizzou Online, it can be done. And don’t just take our word for it. Meet Brittany Smith, from Chicago. Brittany received her master’s degree in family and community services. Why did she choose Mizzou?

"One of the best things, I think, about this online classroom is that you are able to mold things as you need them. It's not about you fitting into a class schedule. It's about how school can fit into your life." 

But convenience wasn’t Brittany’s only factor in choosing Mizzou. It was also the excellence and reputation of Mizzou’s online programs. 

"It also has a really highly-acclaimed Human Development and Family Studies program. I'm not someone that wants to just get an easy degree. I want to work for it. I want to be challenged. I want to have my thoughts and theories provoked. Mizzou did all that." 

While she studied for her degree, Brittany also worked as a child life specialist in a Chicago hospital emergency room — sometimes until 3:00 am — so she was very grateful to find that her professors were very flexible and responsive to her scheduling needs.

"The one thing I really appreciate about Mizzou is that the professors were so communicative about 'These hours I'm free. Do you want to Skype? Do you want to email? Do you want to do a phone call?' They were really open."

At one time during her studies, when she knew she was going to be overwhelmed at work with 8 children receiving transplants at the hospital, Brittany was worried, and emailed her professor to tell him she would be busy for 2 full weeks —and he was more than supportive of her situation.

"He gave me a prompt early and said, 'You know, I understand. We're here to help support you. We want you to learn. How do we help facilitate that?'"

As Brittany discovered, Mizzou offers an excellent online master’s in family and community services that helps students understand family, interpersonal and community dynamics. Her master’s has already been an enormous help in work at the hospital.

"I think saying I have a master's from Mizzou really helps me feel complete with the knowledge that I have. I actually really already been able to take multiple things I've learned from class and apply them to my work and share them with people in my department and throughout the hospital."

And how does Brittany feel about her time at Mizzou?

"Doing Mizzou Online, it's a chance to learn more and be more. Yeah, it's worth it."

Tune in to our next episode of Online Stripes. Presented by the University of Missouri — home of Mizzou Online. Available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, iHeart Radio, and smart speakers. 

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