Earning an undergraduate degree from the University of Iowa wasn’t originally something Kendra Becker (BLS 2018) had planned to do. As a first generation college student, her main goal was to complete her associate degree.  Though Becker lived in Illinois, a family friend knew she was looking for colleges and suggested she look for one in Iowa.  She did and decided on North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) in Mason City.   

“After visiting campus, I knew NIACC was where I wanted to be,” Becker said. “I was extremely impressed by the programs they offered and since it was a small school in the middle of cornfields, I felt at home.” 

During the fall semester of her sophomore year at NIACC, she found out about the Bachelor of Liberal Arts (BLS) at the University of Iowa. 

“I learned that all my credits would transfer and that tuition was affordable.”  Becker continued, “After talking to one of the BLS advisors, it was an easy decision to enroll in the program because I knew a bachelor degree from a highly respected institution would benefit me for the rest of my life.”

So after Becker completed her Associate degree in Business Administration she came to the University of Iowa, virtually that is. 

The most challenging part of the program was being a full-time student, and working 25-60 hours per week as well.  Secondly, courses occurred online now, not in the classroom which is what Becker was used to. 

“I completed the program entirely online.  This worked well as I was able to work multiple jobs and graduate without a lot of debt, says Becker. “I found many of my online course professors were great at communicating and always willing to help.” 

One memorable course was in Sport and Recreation Promotion.  Becker, along with her course partner developed an imaginary NFL team from the ground up.  Additionally, a number of courses helped to prepare her for her upcoming job search.  These included Social Media for your Job Search and Money Wise. 

“All of these career-focused courses were incredibly beneficial to have in my last year as a college student as I prepared to start my career and enter the adult world of work,” Becker says.

Becker currently is a Client Relationship Manager for Ameriprise Financial in Minneapolis, MN.  There she's a personal assistant to a small office of financial advisors.  It's a multitask position that prepares her for new opportunities to come.

"I have a passion for working with people and serving others. This position is a mix of working with people and continuing to grow as a professional, so it's a great first job for me."

"As the first person in my immediate family to go to college, it was a big accomplishment to complete an Associate degree, but to be able to complete a Bachelor's degree through a well-known university was something I never imagined I would be able to do."