This Huntsville engineer is finishing his business degree on his own terms—here’s how


justin oliver bachelor's degree
Finishing his degree while working full-time—UNA makes it easy. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

Life doesn’t always go as planned. That’s what Justin Oliver found out nearly 20 years ago, when he put his bachelor’s degree in business administration (BBA) on hold to chase an opportunity in Nashville. 

Now a successful engineer in Huntsville, Justin has always known he wanted to return to the University of North Alabama (UNA) to finish what he started, and the BBA Flex program is allowing him to do just that. 

Meet Justin Oliver 

Now a quality engineer at Dynetics, Justin started his degree at UNA in 2002. He attended classes on campus for a few years and played in a local band before moving to Nashville to pursue a different opportunity. There weren’t many options for online courses when Justin left Florence, so his degree remained unfinished. 

Though his career experience since then allowed Justin to land a great job in Huntsville, he has maintained a desire to complete his bachelor’s degree at UNA. 

“When I realized that I could finish my business degree 100% online at UNA, I decided that this is something I need to do.” 

Justin Oliver, BBA Flex student

Why he chose UNA’s BBA Flex

justin oliver bachelor's degree una
Completing his degree at UNA has always been a dream—now, it’s becoming a reality. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

Wanting to finish what he started at UNA was only part of Justin’s motivation for choosing UNA’s BBA Flex program. Here are 3 other reasons: 

1. Picking up where he left off 

Thankfully for Justin, he didn’t have to retake courses he had already completed when he was previously at UNA. Instead, he was able to step right back into the program as if he never left—he was even able to continue in the General Management concentration that he had started the first time around. 

Students that did not attend UNA for their undergrad program can transfer up to 90 credit hours, making it easy for anyone to enroll that has not finished their degree. 

“When I realized that I could just basically pick up where I left off and still live in Huntsville, but still be able to go to UNA and eventually get my degree from there, that was a major drawing point for me.”

Justin Oliver, BBA Flex student

2. Flexibility for pros

justin oliver bachelor's degree una
Engineer by day, student by night. (Jacob Blankenship / Hville Blast)

Why is the BBA Flex program unique? It’s in the name—the flexibility.

But, what does that mean? Let’s start with the courses themselves: BBA flex students have the option to choose between 8-week and 16-week course formats. UNA also offers two management concentrations in their BBA program – General Management or Human Resource Management. 

The courses are also designed with working professionals and other nontraditional students in mind, which means that students have the ability to pace themselves throughout the class. 

“The fact that I can do the work at my own pace is very helpful.”

Justin Oliver, BBA Flex student

Justin often travels for work, which means his day-to-day schedule can be unpredictable—the flexibility of the BBA Flex program allows him to stay on top of work and school responsibilities concurrently. 

3. Immediate applicability

Justin has also found that he won’t have to wait until graduation to be able to reap the rewards of his bachelor’s degree, since classes he’s taking now have direct applications to the things he does at work every day. 

Take his recent data analytics class as an example: as a quality engineer, statistical process control is something he deals with on a daily basis. His previous professional experience helped him understand the basics of the course, while the new information he learned in the class has helped him in his career already. 

Nuts + Bolts

  • Affordable: At $320 per credit hour, the program is competitively priced, and you can get your first course free. UNA is also giving a 20% scholarship to all newly-enrolled students in the Online BBA Program and it is automatically applied. 
  • Reputable: The program is accredited by the AACSB, making it one of the top 5% of business schools in the world. 
  • Flexible: The program is 100% online and UNA offers five start dates throughout the year, so you don’t have to wait a whole semester to get moving on your degree. 

Have you been considering going back for your BBA? Apply now to get started by early 2023.

Sponsored by:

North Alabama - Sanders College of Business and Technology
Emily Phillips
Emily Phillips
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