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Mastering your future

Author: Chad Sanborn | Image: Chad Sanborn

Mastering your future

Flexibility, relevance and support make Iowa State Online the smart choice for busy professionals

Meet Jose Alfaro, a Spring 2023 graduate from Iowa State’s online master’s in engineering management program. Alfaro returned to graduate school twenty years after getting his bachelor’s degree, speaks English as a second language and found unexpected friendship and support with his classmates. Alfaro’s inspiring journey underscores the remarkable benefits of online education and why online programs are the ideal choice for those juggling work, life, and education.

Flexibility that Fits Your Schedule

Alfaro is employed with Skyworks Solutions, Inc., and after working his way up the corporate ladder, transitioned into a management position in their Design Center in Cedar Rapids via a job relocation from Mexico City. With encouragement from his supervisors, he sought a graduate degree in engineering management and knew he would need an online program.

The key reason Alfaro sought an online master’s program was the flexibility because, as a full-time working professional with a family, he knew that he needed a program that could adapt to his demanding schedule. With online courses, he found the freedom to tackle coursework at the end of the work day, before starting work, or on the weekends. The best part? No need to commute to a physical campus. This convenience was critical for Alfaro, as it saved him precious time and money, especially considering he lived two hours from campus.

Close to Home, Close to Heart

Even though he didn’t have to commute to campus for classes, staying close to home was a priority for Alfaro. As an Iowa resident, the online master’s in engineering management program from Iowa State University’s College of Engineering was his obvious choice. He considered out-of-state options but decided he didn’t need to look any further than his own backyard. What’s more, many of his colleagues are program graduates, and they provided him with invaluable insights into the program. Being a part of the program’s community and having that support network made his online learning experience even more enriching.

Relevance and Practicality

One of the standout features of Iowa State’s program for Alfaro was its immediate applicability to his work. Most of the courses were directly related to his job, so the knowledge he gained at school could be put to use immediately at work. “I especially enjoyed the statistics class because many of the topics that we learned in that class were directly applicable to my job. I could put some of my coursework directly to work, presenting ideas from class into training courses at my job.” This real-world relevance made his learning experience exceptionally rewarding.

Exceeding Expectations

Alfaro’s journey with online courses at Iowa State exceeded his expectations in more ways than he could have imagined. With initial concerns about returning to school after a two-decade hiatus, he found guidance and support from colleagues who had tread a similar path. This allowed him to choose courses that aligned perfectly with his job activities and goals, leading to a transformative educational experience.

A Clear Choice for the Future

Looking ahead, Alfaro is enthusiastic about the prospect of continuing his education with Iowa State University’s online offerings. It’s his top choice for future classes, credentials, or certificates. The exceptional quality and diversity of courses available make it the ideal platform for his ongoing professional development. As he assumes a managerial role, he recognizes the importance of acquiring business knowledge to enhance his performance, and he knows Iowa State will be the place to achieve that goal.

Support and Camaraderie

Alfaro felt incredibly supported by his peers and students throughout his program. “At first, I felt like I was too old to go through school again, and that I had already forgotten many of the concepts,” Despite the age gap, he found his fellow students to be remarkably accommodating, flexible, and understanding. The presence of native English speakers was a huge asset, and their enthusiasm and energy were infectious, motivating him to push through challenges and excel in his coursework.

The flexibility, relevance, and unwavering support that Alfaro found with Iowa State made it the perfect choice for Alfaro to take his career to new heights. So, if you’re considering online learning, choose Iowa State University. Your journey to success starts right here. Request more information now and take the first step towards a brighter future!

Jose Alfaro, Spring 2023 master’s in engineering management graduate.