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Alumni Spotlight

NECB Alumni Spotlight: Meet Rebecca Marshall, Mother of Four Who Earned a BSBA While Overseas

by Stephanie Lines, Director, Marketing Communications
NECB BSBA Alum, Rebecca Marshall with her family.

NECB: Why did you decide to attend NECB?

Rebecca: I chose NECB after doing research on the best online schools who were affiliated with military members or family members.

NECB: What advice would you give to someone considering going to NECB?

Rebecca: To anyone thinking of attending NECB, I recommend connecting with the admission counselors to discuss your higher ed goals to see if NECB is the right fit for you. The admission team was instrumental in my decision. They took the time to understand my personal circumstances (raising four children and being overseas in Italy) and goals to figure out the best way for me to realistically earn my degree.

I would also recommend you do your homework and really think about the commitment you’re about to make to get your online degree. Just because you’re pursuing your business degree online, doesn’t mean it is any less rigorous or challenging than earning a degree on-campus.

NECB: What advice would you give to students to be successful with online learning? Any challenges you had to overcome? Or any misconceptions you had going in that turned out to be untrue?

Rebecca: I think that there are misconceptions with earning an online degree specifically, how much time and effort one must dedicate to be successful with online learning. I had a baby while finishing my junior year. I took my laptop to the hospital and did work while recovering (I know this is not typical for most students!) Online learning definitely takes commitment.

As a mom of four earning an online business degree, I had to sacrifice personal time and stay up late night to ensure I dedicated enough time to my coursework while also finding the right balance for me and my family. Thankfully, my family and I knew this was short term and in the long run is so worth it. When I started at NECB, I thought trying to earn my BSBA in Management would be too much for me to handle. But as time went by and I made my way closer to the finish line, all the late nights and weekends studying became worth it and helped me stay motivated.

NECB: How did you juggle / manage being a student while working and trying to balance everything?

Rebecca: A lot of late nights studying and coffee! I was very rigid in my scheduling. I did not allow myself to procrastinate and always made sure to carve out time each week to study and complete classwork in order to stay on-track with all important projects and course milestones. It can be tempting to think because you are not in a physical classroom that it is okay to slack off and not engage in the online discussions.

Having determination and grit when you're under pressure is when you can really shine.

NECB: How did you keep yourself motivated all the way to graduating?

Rebecca: My husband was really supportive. He is also a student who is on active duty in the United States Air Force. He was there for me to talk out my frustrations, ideas, and help with stress. Having a partner, family member or friend who understands the importance of why you’re earning your degree is hugely beneficial. My husband would take the kids shopping, to the park, and did a lot of bath times so I could finish my assignments in peace.

He was there for me when I needed to talk my way through something as well as when I celebrated my successes. We are currently stationed at Aviano AFB in Northern Italy. Since my husband is also a student, it helps us relate to each other and support one another with our school assignments.

My husband was a big part of my decision to return to NECB to pursue my master’s degree. Having four sons, I wanted them to have a mom they can look up to and be proud of while also being able to help support my family. They need to know how important education is and I wanted to lead by example.

NECB: What was the #1 thing you’ll take away from your time at NECB?

Rebecca: Confidence. I might have been 30 when I graduated, but I did it while having four children, working and being overseas. If I can handle all of that and still be ready to continue in my educational journey to earn my MBA, then I can achieve anything I set my mind to.

NECB: What does having your degree mean to you?

Rebecca: Having my degree has given me so much confidence and security in myself. I know I am a qualified candidate and that my resume is bolstered by a degree from a fantastic college. I feel so accomplished, but still hungry to continue on my journey to earn my MBA!

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