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Oregon State Everywhere: ‘The mountains are my classroom’

Business administration student shares experience traveling while earning degree online

By Chris Clarke
OSU Ecampus business administration student
July 10, 2019

Editor’s note: Clarke completed his Oregon State bachelor’s degree requirements online in 2022.

Working a 9-to-5 job in investment banking did not fulfill my career goals. I knew I wanted more out of life and not to be chained to a desk.

I attempted online programs before but felt as if I was moving at a snail’s pace to finish by taking one class at a time. I knew I would go back to school eventually – and eventually always seemed further and further away.

When I learned more about the Ecampus option at Oregon State University, I knew it was the perfect program for me.

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Everything fell into place at the right time: My girlfriend got a job as a travel nurse, which meant we would be traveling the U.S. together. This allows me ample time to focus on school while enjoying life.

Creatively leading the way

I hope to gain employment with a nonprofit or a company whose main focus is giving back to the community.

My degree pursuit is in business administration with a focus on digital marketing. I had dreams of pursuing this type of career path for quite some time.

Working in investment banking, I was not able to express creativity. I had a lot of ideas for expansion and rebranding our business model but no formal training to present these ideas. With this degree option, I hope to help other companies with branding for mass appeal.

“I never thought I would have the opportunity to learn outside of a classroom. Ecampus learning opens up doors for flexibility.”

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

I never thought I would have the opportunity to learn outside of a classroom. Ecampus learning opens up doors for flexibility.

I structure my studying and class time around my girlfriend’s work schedule. As a travel nurse, she has the ability to pick where she would like to work and live for three months at a time. This allows us the opportunity to travel the country and focus on our career pursuits at the same time.

While she is at work, I usually go for a hike with my books and find a quiet piece of nature to focus. The mountains are essentially my classroom.

Learning online allows me the opportunity to enjoy the best of both worlds: We can both work at the same time and enjoy each other’s company on our days off and explore the city we’re living in.

We are currently in Fort Collins, Colorado, and absolutely loving it! We have dreams of settling down somewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

I am especially grateful for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity OSU has provided me. I have freedom and flexibility while pursuing my education and enjoying a vacation.

What more could I ask for?

OSU Ecampus staff thanks Chris for submitting his unique, inspiring story to share with others through the Oregon State Everywhere campaign.

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