Heather Thompson

Because I had previously earned two associate degrees, the self-designed major allowed me to utilize transfer credits and create a customized major and minor, which saved me time and money.

Why did you choose the self-designed major?Because I had previously earned two associate degrees, the self-designed major allowed me to utilize transfer credits and create a customized major and minor, which saved me time and money. A pre-designed major or minor would not have allowed me to benefit in that same way from prior learning.

What support did you receive from our advisors and/or instructors in planning your major? Beth Christopherson and Kristin Riesgraf really helped me. Beth knew I was looking to get my degree in the shortest time possible. I will always be thankful for Kristin’s help with math. It had been more than 20 years since I had taken math classes, and it was never my strong suit. Not only did she help me rock math 090 (remedial), but she found a way so I only had to take one more math course. Seriously, it was a big deal for me.

Overall, what was your experience like at UWS? UWS is great. I loved all my professors and instructors, and it was nice to already know some of them from working at UWS since 2010. Small class sizes, even online, allow you to get to know your classmates and professors. Of course, I already loved this school and had worked here for years, so I was a little biased. I would recommend UWS to anyone, and I often do. I have even recommended the self-designed major to others because it makes it easy to finish your four-year degree.

How have you used your degree?

I had my current position lined up – I just needed the piece of paper. Academic staff positions usually require a four-year degree. That is truly the reason I finished my degree, and I don’t know that I would have if I hadn’t been in that situation. I worked fulltime, had a family at home, and quit for a moment – but I am so glad I did it. It has increased my earning potential, since you can only go so far without a bachelor’s degree, and I know it will help me no matter what I do or where I go in the future.

What are your future career goals?

I just started a master’s program at UW-Platteville in project management. Not only will this coursework help me with my current position, but I’m looking forward to exploring new opportunities once I finish.