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Your seat at the table is out there. To claim it, you have to stand up.

Lisa Frasieur, OSU Ecampus business administration graduate, holds a black tablet in an office-like setting.

What Lisa Frasieur may have lacked in terms of a college education, she more than made up for with an impressive professional résumé as a longtime accountant. Now she has an Oregon State degree to go along with all that real-world success. (Photos by Chris Becerra)

By Tyler Hansen
Aug. 31, 2018

Twenty years into her career as an accountant, Lisa Frasieur felt like she was a peg below her peers.

Truth be told, she was.

“The first time I sat with our auditors, they asked me where I went to school,” she says now. “I didn’t have a degree, and it was embarrassing.”

The good news is that Lisa had too much professional know-how and too much ambition to let the lack of a degree define her career. She had worked in finance in the wine industry for two decades near Eugene, Oregon, while also raising two daughters and building a happy home life.

Lisa Frasieur, OSU Ecampus business administration graduatePlay

For Lisa Frasieur, earning a degree was partly about advancing her career, but it was also about staying true to her word to her daughters that education is essential.

That workplace encounter shined a light on the hole in her résumé. More importantly, it sparked an internal desire to pair her professional success with an academic credential that would help elevate her career.

Soon thereafter, Lisa enrolled with Oregon State University Ecampus, one of the nation’s top-ranked providers of online education, to pursue a business administration bachelor’s degree online.

Quickly she reaped the rewards of her decision thanks to classes offered online by OSU’s College of Business that set her up for future success while improving her day-to-day work performance.

“It really helped me grow and learn more on the business management side. I had worked in accounting for so many years, but the management classes gave me different insight into especially human resources, project management, helping me learn how to manage staff,” Lisa says. “Each class I was able to learn new skills – they were ‘golden nuggets’ – and implement them in my job.”

Lisa thrived living a double life of sorts – full-time working professional and full-time college student in a rigorous program. Not only that, but she also served on her local school board, competed in marathons and managed the household.

She admits it was a challenge. You know what else she called it? Fun.

“I love challenges, and to be able to do all that and actually finish and graduate, it’s just one of my proudest experiences,” she says.

Along the way, Lisa experienced one of the rare perks of being an adult learner and parent who returns to school later in life: She was enrolled at Oregon State at the same time as her oldest daughter, Katlynn, who studied on campus at OSU in Corvallis. They even took a pair of Ecampus classes together, where they bounced ideas off one another and learned in unison the way normal classmates do every day.

“To now sit at a table with CPAs and auditors and have them ask where I got my degree from and say Oregon State makes me extremely proud.”

Katlynn was the first to graduate, earning her degree in biohealth sciences in 2017. Mom followed one year later and participated in the commencement ceremony this past June.

“I was really excited to walk in Katlynn’s footsteps for a change,” Lisa says. “She really prompted me to walk in the ceremony. She said it was such a great experience and that I had to do it. It’s great to be able to share that with her.”

That was the academic payoff. The career payoff came before Lisa even finished her degree program when she took a job as the controller for a large beverage distributor. It was a step up professionally – a bigger company, more employees, more responsibility.

Now the question that was once a source of embarrassment is one she loves to answer.

“To now sit at a table with CPAs and auditors and have them ask where I got my degree from and say Oregon State makes me extremely proud,” she says.

Lisa was ready for the challenge. Are you?

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