Melissa initially started the residential MPA program on the IU Bloomington campus. However, because she was working as a recruiter for the university, she spent 6-8 weeks traveling per year, which made completing her coursework more challenging. The O'Neill Online program allowed Melissa to complete her coursework on her own schedule, while balancing her job responsibilities.
Melissa found that the O'Neill Online program helped her advance in her career. She explains, "I knew that I needed a graduate degree to move from my assistant director role - especially given that my associate director role requires much more supervision and management."
Melissa says that balancing the program was hard work, but she set aside specific times for her school work. She found that faculty members were always supportive and were willing to meet through either in-person office hours or online meeting. Her advice to current and prospective students is to "take advantage of O'Neill Online Week. It is a great way to build connections and have a community within the online program."