It’s been said that the longer you have to wait for something, the more you’ll appreciate it when it finally arrives.
Victoria McCune is living proof that good things come to those who wait.
For 13 years, she struggled to find the “why” in her life and fulfill a dream that had been tugging at her heart from the moment she left high school in 2004. Her dream finally came true in the summer of 2017 when she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from Ashford University*.
Victoria will forever hold the journey close to her heart, no matter how difficult it may have been.
Like many freshman college students, she found that achieving the perfect work/school/life balance was harder than she expected, despite making an attempt at two “traditional” schools in her home state of Colorado.
“I struggled so much at these universities, getting to class on time, and setting adequate time to do the homework,” she recalls. “I ended up failing or dropping out of both colleges – not something I am at all proud of.”
Victoria never wanted to give up her dream, and after her son was born in 2013, she knew she had to do more to provide for him.
“I was determined to become successful, and a college degree was what I was sure I needed in order to get there,” she says.
With parenthood now a priority, Victoria started looking for a college experience that wouldn’t interfere with life’s other demands. A friend recommended Ashford University, and she was surprised to learn she could transfer her existing approved college credits toward her bachelor’s degree.
“After the first phone call, I knew this was the school for me,” she says. From helping her set up financial aid to explaining the ins and outs of her degree program, she was glad to finally have a person care and truly listen to all her needs and concerns.
“I picked Ashford because of the flexibility,” Victoria says. “I appreciated the fact that I had finally found a school that understood many people are not so fortunate when it comes to a college degree, and most people are still trying to provide for their families, working a full-time job or multiple jobs, for that matter.”
While she admits college would have been easier had she discovered Ashford University much earlier in her life, Victoria knew finishing her degree online wouldn’t be a “cakewalk.” Fortunately, she had a support system at home and at school to keep her motivated.
Victoria’s husband sacrificed much of his time to help her pursue her education, and Ashford’s team of advisors gave her “countless pep talks” along the way.
“They were great at reminding me this ‘season’ would soon pass and to keep my eyes on the end goal,” she says.
Life often throws obstacles in our way, and Victoria would need all the support she could get when, with only five classes to go until graduation, her disabled mother suddenly ended up in the hospital. Instead of researching and writing papers from home, Victoria found herself doing her schoolwork while sitting at her mother’s bedside. Fortunately, her advisors and instructors worked with her to ensure she didn’t fall behind.
“My professors could have easily said, ‘Sorry, a deadline is a deadline,’ and not work with me,” she recalls. “But professors at Ashford really care about their students.”
After finally earning her degree, Victoria is grateful for the “many tears” and “many late nights” that she endured on her journey, and she’s proud that she never gave up on her dream.
“I learned I am way more capable of completing hard tasks than I ever gave myself credit for in the past,” she says.
Victoria’s success has taught her to never lose sight of her goals, whether those goals are professional or personal. Since graduating from Ashford, she’s excelled in her role as a financial counselor for a nonprofit children’s hospital, where she helps families on Medicaid and government assistance programs.
“Honestly, I love what I do,” she says. “It is truly my passion to help people and educate them.”
Earning a degree has inspired Victoria to kick off another journey of personal development. She recently began writing a memoir that details the struggles she’s overcome and how earning her degree at Ashford has helped set her life on the right path. She’s even been able to apply the lessons learned from her marketing courses to the promotional campaign for her book, and credits her Ashford experience for helping her re-discover her love of writing.
“We need more schools with a passion and drive like Ashford offers,” Victoria says.
* Ashford University is now the University of Arizona Global Campus