Megan Clifton was already working for the federal government, when she realized that earning a Bachelor of Commerce degree would further her career.
“I realized a degree would be very beneficial, but taking in-class courses would be too difficult to work around my full-time schedule, so I wasn't sure how'd I'd be able to make it work,” she said.
Megan was already extremely busy with family and social commitments, so she wasn’t sure she’d be able to find the time.
Megan heard about UCW's online offerings from her work and she thought about it for a good six months before contacting the university to learn more.
The online schooling fit with her busy lifestyle and the Bachelor of Commerce degree provided her with career flexibility.
“When I first started at the school, I wasn't sure if I wanted to make a switch into finance or stay in human resources, so the BCom program was a great fit as it included both styles of courses,” she said.
The single mother works full time and has a son, who is now four years old.
Earning her degree online allowed her to work at her own pace.
“Online learning made working full-time and going to school possible,” she said. “I love the flexibility of the online classes, as well as the structure of the weekly course load and due dates. I was able to complete my school work around my work, family and social life.”
Her degree offered career advancement opportunities as a human resources advisor.
“My supervisors were waiting for me to finish my degree so I could be given the opportunity to work as an advisor,” she explained.
Not only was she able to earn her degree at her own pace, but she managed to finish with the highest cumulative grade point average in her degree program. She received the Academic Excellence Medal for the Bachelor of Commerce degree program for 2017.
Megan said she was surprised, but honoured, to receive the award.
She managed to accomplish this while she had a lot going on at home.
“During my time at UCW, we added a 2,000 sq. ft. addition to my previous house, I had a baby, I got divorced, I moved twice, continued to work full time, played on a softball team, jumped back into the dating scene and tried to remain sane,” she explained.
The Academic Excellence Medal holds extra significance for her.
“I feel like it is an award to honour all the evenings and weekends I gave up to do homework, the days where I felt like I just couldn't do it all and cried (but still managed to get it done), and my stubbornness and strong will to complete what I started,” she said.
Megan credits a competitive streak for driving her to earn her high grades.
Even though she only recently completed her formal studies at UCW, Megan is already considering upgrading her French language skills to help with her federal government career.
“My hope is to complete the language training through the Canada School of the Public Service,” she said.
Megan is thankful for all the people who helped her along in her academic journey.
“I couldn't have finished my degree without the support of all my family, friends, and coworkers. They were all cheering me on and helping with what they could to make my crazy life a little easier,” she said.
“My time at UCW was challenging and difficult at times, but overall very rewarding and satisfying.”
University Canada West is located in the heart of Vancouver, British Columbia. The university offers both online and on-campus Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Arts in Business Communication and MBA programs.
Written by Bradley Fehr