TU Alumni Find The Road To Real SuccessOnline MBA Student, Paula Panagouleas: “The best educational experience of my life!”
Paula Panagouleas is an operations manager for Innovations, Inc., in Dayton, Ohio. In September 2006, she entered Tiffin's online MBA program with a concentration in leadership. She chose Tiffin because she wanted the benefits of a private university and the ability to pursue her degree while working full-time.
"I cannot say enough good things about the Tiffin online program," says Paula. "I have had the best educational experience of my life. Everyone I have dealt with at Tiffin has been professional, courteous, and really exceptional."
In less than six months, Paula already has had personal communications with staff and faculty in many areas of the University. She says the Office of Graduate Student Services has been very prompt and helpful in answering questions about the program and its features. "I have spoken with Judy Gardner, associate vice president, on several occasions, and she has been very knowledgeable and accommodating, and Missy Roggow, who is in the Office of Graduate Student Services. She was wonderful about helping to explain my course options."
Paula also likes the fact that she has a great deal of autonomy in the online courses. "You are given strong input from your professor, and then you study independently," she says. "Since I work full-time, I can choose when I want to study. I also can access the classroom discussions online during my lunch break."
Two years before entering the Tiffin MBA program, Paula earned her undergraduate degree with concentrations in finance and international business. She is currently working on a second undergraduate degree in accounting as well as her MBA degree. When she completes the MBA program, she plans to become a certified public accountant and, one day, go on to earn her law degree.
"It made a lot of sense to pursue my MBA degree because, with my employer, my salary would increase by about $25,000 a year," she says. "When you look at that kind of increase over your lifetime, it is not a small thing. It can make a big difference. The education will pay for itself in a year or less."
Paula's tips for other students who are considering the online program? "I was nervous at first, because I am not the most technology-savvy person. But there was no need to be intimidated. Tiffin has been there to help me at every step. My Admissions Representative, Rachel Crooks, walked me though the beginning of the program and made me feel at ease. And any time I have had a question or problem, someone has gotten back to me to solve it within 24 hours."
Tiffin, Paula says, goes above and beyond in all areas of education. The bookstore helps her save money by mailing "used" books straight to her house. The information technology department has let her know that, because she is a Tiffin student, she can get a discount from Dell Computers if she needs to buy a new computer. And the Office of Financial Aid has made sure that she is aware of the financial aid available to her—all via email or phone. "The way they have all of this set up, I would never have to leave my house. It's really incredible."