2012 OSU Ecampus graduates

Christopher Friesen

B.S. in Economics
Carlsbad, Calif.

Christopher Friesen

What does earning your OSU degree mean to you?
I have worked for seven years in a professional environment without a bachelor’s degree. The fact that I did not have a degree was a factor in how well I was paid and the types of opportunities that were available to me. Without a degree I had to struggle to prove myself in ways that my peers with degrees did not have to. When I graduate with my degree I am going to relish the recognition that is granted along with it and I will grateful that I will not have to explain why I am qualified despite not having a degree.

Why did you choose to complete your degree online through OSU Extended Campus? What did you like about this method of education?
I was working full time and attending a four-year state school near my home when I learned about Oregon State Ecampus. The school that I was attending had limited course offerings for working students and I was taking courses during my lunch break and running back to work. The original draw of Oregon State Ecampus was the fact that I would have greater control over when I was able to do my coursework. I really enjoyed the multidisciplinary nature of the learning environment. In each of my courses I have had video lectures, readings, research projects, and discussion boards, each of which have made the courses more engaging while helping me to learn the material.

Did you have an instructor or advisor who was influential in helping you succeed as a distance student?
I have been inspired to succeed in my coursework at Oregon State by one professor in particular, economics professor Dr. Patrick Emerson. When I first took a class with him I was impressed by the level of effort that he puts into teaching his courses as evidenced to me by the high quality of his instructional materials. More significantly, he exudes an enthusiasm about economics that he communicates in a way that few professors that I have taken in live instruction have been able to do. On a personal level, he has been quite open to helping me navigate getting my degree, and he has been willing to provide guidance as to the opportunities that are available after I earn my economics degree. I have found his advice to be very valuable and very honest, and I appreciate both of those traits. Partially because of his influence, I am exploring the possibility of pursuing graduate studies in economics.

What will your Ecampus degree allow you to do that you were unable to do before?
I am in the final quarter before finishing my degree and I am already seeing my opportunity increase. I have received acceptance letters from two masters programs in economics and I am able to apply for jobs that I would have been previously considered unqualified for. Aside from the professional ramifications, earning a degree is of great personal significance. I finished high school 12 years ago and with a great deal of perseverance and effort I am finally earning my bachelor’s degree. For me, the degree will be a symbol of what I can achieve when I put my mind to it. As I go forward and start a new career and develop new goals, I will rely on my experience in achieving my degree to motivate me to succeed in whatever I undertake.

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