Anginay Jones, third from right, and her family pose for a photograph Aug. 3 in front of their home in Earle after Jones was presented with a framed diploma for her online Master of Science in Operations Management on the U of A RazorBug Diploma Tour through eastern Arkansas. The diploma tour celebrated graduates who earned U of A degrees online without leaving their hometowns, jobs and families.
For Anginay Jones, who grew up in eastern Arkansas, earning a master’s degree in operations management online from the U of A helped her get a “seat at the table” at her job with multinational technology company Google.
“I like to say I’m addicted to school, but no, not necessarily,” she said, laughing. “For me, I’m addicted to being better and doing better and wanting more. I want promotions at jobs and being able to be in these different places and know what’s going on in these different roles.”
Jones’ family joined her for a presentation Aug. 3 in Earle on the RazorBug Diploma Tour through eastern Arkansas. Her 4-month-old puppy, Dash, wiggled with excitement, his fluffy tail wagging with joy, when the family clapped and cheered for his owner. Jones, too, wriggled with glee as Megan Whobrey, adviser and academic services coordinator in the College of Engineering, presented Jones’ framed master’s degree in front of the family home.
The stop in Crittenden County was the first overcast day U of A faculty and staff experienced during the RazorBug tour in the summer heat that took them first through western and south Arkansas in June to present framed diplomas to graduates of online degree programs. More than 440 students graduated from online programs in May. The RazorBug is a converted red Volkswagen Beetle that sports a Razorback snout, tail and razor-edged spine. It has been used for recruitment and special events since 2005.
To be successful in an online degree program, you have to find the drive within you, Jones said.
“You have to figure out, ‘why am I doing this?’ and when you figure out why you’re doing this, then you use that drive for fuel,” she said. “For me, I wanted to do it because I want a promotion in my job; I want be recognized. Like I always say, I want a seat at the table. I know if I can get into the room and a seat at the table, then I can go in there and prove myself with personality and me.”
Jones earned her undergraduate degree in industrial engineering from the U of A on-campus program. The flexibility of the online graduate degree made it possible for her to continue.
Her advice to others considering an online degree program?
“This is the perfect time to do this,” Jones said. “And the reason I say that is the flexibility for the program being online is amazing. You can do it at your own pace. It’s just me and my little dog, so I don’t have to have kids, husband, all of that, so with the flexibility I was able to take my time, go through courses as I wanted.”
She was able to take what she learned and apply it to her position as a product manager with Google.
“So, that was amazing,” Jones said.
The RazorBug Diploma Tour was organized by the U of A’s Global Campus. The Global Campus supports the academic colleges that offer more than 75 online degree, certificate, microcertificate and licensure programs. These programs are showcased on the U of A ONLINE website at online.uark.edu.