With a curriculum customized for a diverse business education, the University of Georgia’s online BBA program is designed for people with full-time commitments, such as working professionals, active duty military personnel, and caregivers.
Jessie Daniels, the BBA program coordinator, works with prospective students, professors, instructional designers, enrolled students, and the Office of Online Learning to keep the program running as smoothly as possible. Daniels works with prospective students to align their career and academic goals and prepare to complete their degrees.
Daniels says she encourages interested students “to think about who they want to be in five years. By then,” she adds, “they could have this degree complete! It’s never too late to start now.”
Daniels often acts as an advocate for online students; she raises awareness of online students’ needs and advocates for changes to policies and procedures that can act as barriers for online learning. “I want to be an advocate for online students and a liaison for them for finding the people they need to talk to about various issues,” she explains. “We do online, face-to-face and phone advising, so I try to make it as convenient for them as possible since they are not on campus and often work full-time jobs or have other full-time commitments.”
Daniels’ commitment to BBA students was recognized recently when the Office of the Vice President for Instruction named her UGA’s new Advisor of the Year. “I was unbelievably honored and humbled, because there are some really amazing advisors at UGA,” Daniels said. “I also felt like it wasn’t just my award. It belongs to the community of advisors here at Terry College and at Franklin’s Exploratory Center because we all work together to help our students. It also belongs to my students who said such heart-warming things in my advisor reviews,” she says. Daniels hopes the honor offers her an opportunity to highlight the successes of her online students.
She gives this advice to both prospective and enrolled students: “Be honest and forgiving of yourself.” When you are juggling so many things in your life - classes, work, family, organizations, activities - it’s difficult to do everything perfectly. “You have to make decisions based on your priorities and be OK with the choice. You might have to say no to a group meeting for a project to go to your kid’s play. You may have to miss a few hours at the beach on vacation because you have a test. It won’t be a forever sacrifice, but it will provide benefits for the long term.”
Daniels is currently writing her doctoral dissertation while working as the BBA Program Coordinator. She lives in Athens with her husband, Adam, and dog, Reuben. She also works as a key TEDxUGA advisor on campus.