What is the University College experience like as an undergraduate student? How time consuming are the programs? Will I be able to handle the workload as a working professional?
These are all questions that prospective students ask us. We recently sat down with alumna, Sara Krenski, and here's what she had to say:
How did you decide you wanted to pursue a degree to help propel your professional career?
I always wanted to work in non-profits and marketing and communications. Fortunately, University College's evening program offered different degree options than the day school program. Right out of high school, I started working a normal 9-to-5 job in town and the schedule was just a reality of my lifestyle. University College allowed me to work and then go to school in the evenings. I was able to take a full load and still graduate in four years.
I always wanted to go to Washington University because it was and is one of the best schools in the country. Even after graduating, there's a sense of pride of saying, "I went to WashU."
Everyone knows who WashU is. It doesn't matter if you're going to school at night or if you're going to school during the day, your degree is still from Washington University in St. Louis. There's a sense of pride that goes along with that.
There's a sense of clout that goes with it, too. Washington University is known for offering the best education in the world, and you can get that during the day or at night.
Tell me a little bit about your professors and your experience with the professors that you had or even if there was one in particular that you really connected with.
The great thing about University College is that you're getting the same quality as the day school education. Your classes are taught by professors who actually work in the field, so I was able to make connections right off the bat and they became part of my network and then their networks became part of my network as well.
I've maintained a relationship with the Communications program coordinator, Del Schwinke, over the years. He was able to take my interest in whatever area of study I was studying and turn that interest into engagement and really get me out in front of other people in the industry in order to make those connections and actually give me industry experience.
What do you think the biggest benefits are of your degree? How do you think that your degree from Washington University sets you apart in your field?
I think a key takeaway is, regardless of what you study at Washington University, is the reputation and the connection back to the university. I studied communications and journalism and it propelled me forward in that career. 15 years later, I started down a different career path and I still have connections back to Washington University. I have a lot of students who have these dreams of going to a school like Washington University and some of them want to go to school here. Being able to connect them with the school and having the connections back at University College and the different programs here is great, not only for me in my career, but also for my students and their future.
What do you think that you would tell a potential undergrad student who was thinking about going back to school?
I would tell anyone to go for it, and to go for it at Washington University and University College. You can make it work with your schedule, regardless of how hectic your life is, regardless if you have a part-time job and a full-time job and a family. Washington University will make it work for you. The teachers are amazing, the advisors are amazing, and you can work with them. You can get it done. If it takes time, that's okay. They'll make sure that you graduate with your desired degree and they'll stay connected to you and help you in your path.
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We're here for you every step of the way. Explore our degree programs or take a course without applying to a program to decide if University College is the right fit for you.