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A college education didn’t come easy to Ashford University’s Outstanding Alum of the Month Jennifer Wood. “It’s been a hard road,” Wood admitted as she wiped tears from her eyes at Ashford’s 2015 fall commencement weekend. The Colorado mother, who struggled for years to find a college that fit her demanding lifestyle, had come to San Diego to celebrate her bachelor of arts in business administration degree.
As Wood’s husband and children watched nearby, she talked about her long journey toward earning her degree. It began years ago with a failed attempt to attend community college. Later, when Wood decided to commit to her bachelor’s degree, she tried an online college. It wasn’t the right fit either. In 2012, she started researching courses at the Forbes School of Business® at Ashford University and found exactly what she was looking for.
“Talking to the staff at Ashford, the transfer process was so seamless and wonderful, and everybody has just been really, really supportive,” she said.
Wood had been working as an accounting technician, but dreamed of being hired as an accountant. It’s a career that’s in high demand – the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics lists accountants among the occupations projected to see the most job growth through 2024.
The degree, Wood hoped, would pave the way toward the career she’s always wanted. But it wouldn’t happen without sacrifice, and she sometimes struggled to balance the priorities of school with her full-time job and family responsibilities – she and her husband have eight kids between the two of them.
“Doing the classes one right after another gets a little exhausting,” she said. “My husband’s just been incredible. He’s picked up extra shifts when I needed some time off. He’s been a rock.”
Wood also credited her student advisor with talking her “off of many ledges” during times of stress.
Like many students, Wood even learned a few things about herself while in school.
“I learned that I can complete a goal that I set for myself through hard work and dedication; I learned that I am a strong, intelligent woman with a wonderful family. I learned that people can start over in the middle of their lives and succeed,” she said.
Now, with her degree, a promotion, and renewed confidence, Wood is setting her sights higher. She recently enrolled at another school to complete her master’s degree, and she envisions a future as an executive.
“I’d like to go a little bit further and be a CFO. I’m kind of on that stepping stone. That’s probably my next goal to achieve.”
Ashford University’s Outstanding Alum of the Month recognition was created to spotlight Ashford success stories and graduates who have used their Ashford education as a springboard to personal and professional achievement.
About Ashford University
Where heritage meets innovation – that’s Ashford University. At Ashford, students discover relevant degree programs, innovative technology, and cherished tradition. Ashford offers associates, bachelor’s, and master’s degree programs online, allowing students to balance life by providing the flexibility to do school work anywhere, anytime. For more information, please visit www.ashford.edu, www.facebook.com/ashforduniversity, www.twitter.com/AshfordU, or call Marianne Perez, Media Relations Manager, at 858.513.9240 x11636.