When the recession made Margaret Robertson shut her business down, she didn’t slow down a bit. She turned to education and StraighterLine to explore new career options and achieve new success. Let’s hear Margaret’s story in this recent conversation with the StraighterLine blog.
StraighterLine: Can you tell me a little about yourself - where you live, what you do, and what your career and educational plans are?
Margaret Robertson: My name is Margaret Robertson and I live in a tiny country town in East Texas called Elysian Fields. I am a mother of five, plus one more child that we recently took into our home. I also have one four-month-old granddaughter and another due in August. I have been in the hair business for 23 years, most of my life. When the economy started going down, so did my business.
So I closed shop literally and decided it was time to start a new journey in my life. My son was diagnosed with ADHD, and the more I researched counseling and education in school, the more I found out that these children are overlooked and misunderstood on so many levels.
That prompted me to take the step, to be the best advocate I could for my child. He deserved that, so I started college in August of 2009 at Ashford University. During that time, my husband was laid off after 13 years with a company, so I found myself taking another path as well.
We started a garden and a canning business in 2011, and it has grown in an unbelievable way. This business allows me to make some income and still be able to meet my college goals. I try hard to let my children see our struggles and our triumphs so that they know there is never a barrier too big for us, that we cannot overcome.
SL: Why and how did you find StraighterLine?
MR: I found StraighterLine through my academic advisor at Ashford University. I was seeking his advice on whether or not I could triple major in holistic medicine. It turned out that after looking into my financing and funding, I was not going to have enough money left to even obtain my Bachelor’s degree. All that hard work and years of sacrifice down the drain – in my mind.
All I could think about was so close, and yet so far away. I began looking into scholarship options, and even dropped my second major so that I could just have electives to see what I could do. My advisor sent me links to scholarships and then to StraighterLine and asked me to check into it, and of course I was very eager, I wanted to obtain my degree, and with that option not only could I obtain the degree, I could save about $10,000 and graduate eight months early. Win-win for sure.
SL: What classes are you taking, and why?
MR: I am currently in Nutrition, Accounting I, and II. I will also be adding Western Civilization I and II, and Business Law. The reason for taking these classes is mainly that they will transfer to Ashford and they were already approved. However, I am person who tries to think ahead. With that, Nutrition benefits me when it comes to the canning products I make and Accounting I and II and Business Law will also benefit me and my business practices.
SL: Have you been able to earn credits in those courses to reach your educational goals?
MR: I am sure that I will be able to use all of those credits in a manner that is beneficial to my future career and goals that I will set for myself.
SL: Were you pleased with the quality of the courses?
MR: I am very pleased with the classes that I am taking. I have already used them and applied them to my real-life experiences.
SL: If you had questions or concerns, were you able to get them answered by StraighterLine personnel?
MR: I did have one issue with the proctoring setup. As the day progressed, I sent a message to see if I could get the issue resolved. Then shortly after I submitted a ticket, I realized what the problem was. I simply needed to change my popup blocker settings, it was a duh moment. I had a response in under12 hours, which was so wonderful.
SL: Would you take more StraighterLine courses or recommend them to other people?
MR: I would absolutely take more courses. I have not only recommended StraighterLine to other people, I also keep a link and share and recommend it to those that are struggling because of high college costs and the difficulty of qualifying for financial aid. StraighterLine is a simple solution to the economic issues we are facing with debt and college. I am happy to be an advocate for StraighterLine!