Looking Back on it Now… Business Information Systems Degree Grads Reflect on Their Experiences


We recently asked graduates of our Business Information Systems degree program to look back on their time with Linfield and what they wished they would have known before starting. Their responses were surprisingly similar across the board. In fact, if these graduates could share two pieces of advice to those considering an online degree, the advice would likely be “start now” and “believe in yourself.”

Alumna Abigail McPherson wishes that she would have known a long time ago “how important a degree is to your professional status.” She continues to say, “If I had pushed through and graduated years ago, I would likely be so much farther now.” Fellow alumna Janet Lodge agrees and wishes that “I could have done it sooner.”

Balancing school with work and family is a universal concern of nearly all adult students, but many find that some colleges try to make it as easy as possible. Graduate James Ellis appreciated the convenient scheduling of online classes. “Linfield allowed me to take the classes I needed in a linear fashion without having to wait for classes that are only offered every other year,” he said.

Having supportive faculty can definitely help students succeed, according to many of our alums, including James. He noted “The professors were awesome and actually cared. It was nice to see how engaged they were.”  Abigail McPherson agrees, saying that “[Department Chair] Dr. Martin Tweneboah was a brilliant teacher.  I loved all his courses, because he was thorough and the classes were relevant to the real world situations.”

According to Chris Sarrett, a Network Operations Manager for the City of Springfield, the faculty were “quite helpful and knowledgeable in their fields. Very adept at working in the online-only learning environment.”

Today’s job market is now filled with positions that require a degree and many adults choose to go back to school when they find themselves stuck. There is definitely data to support the value of degree completion. The average 4-year bachelor’s degree holder, for instance, earns nearly $1 million dollars more over the course of their lifetime than someone who holds only a high school diploma, according to a study done by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.

Still, many students are apprehensive about beginning their programs, especially if it has been a long time since they have been a student. Ralph Schwehr shares that “in the beginning I was hesitant, not sure if I could do it. As I saw my first few good grades on assignments, I started gaining confidence. I wish I had known that if you are willing to do the work, you can succeed.”

Ultimately, these graduates agree that the hard work and investment were worth it. “Having a degree opens doors that were not previously available, “said James Ellis, now a Senior Systems Engineer.

Abigail McPherson, an IT Supplier Specialist for Standard Insurance Company, said “I’ve gotten several promotions since I graduated and I also made my way into the IT division at work.  It’s only been two years and I’m not young anymore, but I feel like I’ve still got a lot of places I could go with my career.”  Ralph Schwehr, a Database Administrator for the State Center Community College District in Fresno, CA agrees: “There is no way I would earn what I earn today without my Linfield degree opening the doors.”

To learn more about our Business Information Systems degree, check out our program page or contact the Office of Admission at 503-883-2213.