Student Finds eVersity an Easy Way to Expand Career Options

Carrie Shisler
In many ways, Carrie Shisler doesn’t fit the mold of the typical eVersity student. After all, the successful career woman and mother of two already had a degree from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

“I do have a bachelor’s degree and it is in sign language interpreting,” she said. “I was interested in theatrical interpreting; I had a minor in theater. But life happens and I’m not doing that.”

Instead she found her way into the banking field, a career she’s held for nearly 20 years, during which life went along just fine. Until she started thinking about her dream job and how little her banking experience – or her highly specific college degree – has positioned her to go land it.

“I’ve been in banking for a long time and it’s been a good career, but I had sort of my dream job for a few years. It was more operationally focused,” she said. “Then the 2008 economy crash busted the financial bubble and lots of regulations came down the pipeline. My dream job within banking got relocated to an area that I couldn’t move to.”

She began weighing her options until healthcare administration piqued her interest.

“I thought it was more in line with what I wanted to do,” she said. “I applied for various jobs and wasn’t successful at getting interviews, so I don’t know that banking really translates over to other areas. I thought maybe they’re looking for a degree that would get my foot in the door.”

Shisler, who discovered eVersity through her husband, said the structure of the curriculum was one thing she particularly liked.

“It was great for me,” she said. “Each class I did was a little bit different, but I had plenty of information and help along the way and access was great. I could do it at nighttime. It was all exactly what I needed with my busy schedule.”

Shisler said despite being entirely online, she never felt isolated or adrift with any eVersity-related issue, which she said was impressive.

“With the eVersity formula, there’s much more one-on-one help with the financial aid and advising,” she said. “They’re very involved and helpful, whereas the first time around when I went to school I didn’t feel that. It may have just been me being young and not knowing things, but I didn’t feel like I had that. I felt like I was on my own each semester.”

She also liked the shorter semesters as it helped to keep her on track even in the face of work and family demands.

“Knowing I had a six-week time period, it was going to be short and intense, but still had an end goal. It wasn’t such a long semester. That kind of helped me stay focused,” she said.

“And I knew at the beginning of the week what I had to do for the week and I could manage that and get it completed. I really liked the short, intense class sessions. Get that six weeks done and you’re done with that and then move on to the next.”

Going back to school was never on Shisler’s bucket list, but in retrospect, she said eVersity made the process easier and more valuable than she’d expected.

“I’m 40 years old, so [school] was not something that was on my radar to ever do and ever have to do,” she said. “But it was actually a much better experience than my first college go-around. I enjoyed it more, I cared about it more, I performed better. It was rewarding to get that degree.”