According to Rosalie Gentry, the key to succeeding in an online program is managing your time. She understands that some students appreciate the structure of a classroom environment while others, like herself, thrive in an online program. However, she advises, you must be disciplined and organize your time.
“I really manage it. I plan my entire week. I look through the week’s materials and say, ‘Okay, I’ll do this assignment on this day, and save this for Saturday and this for Sunday.’” In addition to helping her achieve high grades and reducing anxiety, Rosalie’s organized approach allows her to plan a personal life as well.
“I love online courses because I don’t have to come to a classroom at this time—or that time—on these given days. It gives me the flexibility to choose.” Besides the flexibility, she also admits that she is often reluctant to ask questions in a classroom, so the online format is perfect for her.
Rosalie stepped out of her comfort zone when she enrolled in an art elective, Big Four Art Tour, with Professor Diane Grimes. The course was not held in a classroom. Students met at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia and then visited the Rodin Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the University of Pennsylvania Archaeology Museum over a weekend.
“That was such a great alternative [elective] to have––it was so much fun. We were in the city all weekend running from museum to museum. It was a great way to learn hands-on and get credit for it,” she says.
Graduating from Downingtown East High School, Rosalie began her college career on a basketball scholarship. Later, she took a break from college and started working at Scott Honda in West Chester. Although recently promoted to manager of business development, Rosalie recognized that her career would advance further if she obtained a college degree; she was ready to go back to school.
“I was googling schools with online programs and had heard great things about Immaculata,” she explains. Since Immaculata is close to both her home (in Phoenixville) and work, she thought it would be a perfect fit. Majoring in business leadership, Rosalie is plowing through her degree and has completed more than half of her classes.
Working with customers throughout the day and supporting the work of the sales department, Rosalie applies what she learned in her courses to her day-to-day interactions with her clients. For example, lessons from her Cultural Business class have enriched her interactions with the diverse customer base at Scott Honda. “It helps to understand other people’s culture and where they are coming from––it also helps to build rapport,” she says.
From a more practical perspective, the technology class Rosalie took helped because many of the systems that she was learning about were the same ones that she uses at the dealership.
“What I like about what I’m doing now at Scott Honda is that it’s very much a team effort,” she says.
Once she earns her degree, she is considering pursuing a position where she can lead a team to achieve a common goal, which is at the crux of business leadership.
As an adult learner who has taken classes at other colleges, Rosalie is quick to point out that she has never felt more cared about as a student than at Immaculata.
“Everyone who I come across at Immaculata has such a great attitude and is so excited about MY education, which makes it more exciting for me. I am excited to be in college!”