Roxanne Pinkl figured college was in her rearview mirror once she earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from La Salle University three years ago.
Six months later, she had a change of heart. She enrolled in the online Master of Business Administration, Accounting Specialization program at La Salle and graduated in May 2020.
She recalls her older son, Thomas, a recent graduate of La Salle's master's program in clinical counseling, asking, "Mom, are you going to finish?" When she told him she thought she was done, he said, "Come on. You can do this."
So, she did it.
Pinkl and both of her sons earned bachelor's degrees from La Salle. She and her husband, Mike, also have a daughter, Alyssa, a beauty school graduate who holds a bachelor's in theater from Arcadia University.
"I would sometimes say, 'I want to give up,'" she said. "My family would say, 'No, you are not. You're doing this.' I got a lot of support from all of them."
After earning the bachelor's degree primarily on campus, Pinkl enjoyed the flexibility of the fully online format in the MBA, Accounting Specialization program. She recently changed jobs and now works as a government insuring specialist at Lakeview Loan Servicing in Horsham, Pennsylvania.
"I enjoyed the online program because it was more flexible," she said. "I was able to work full time and come home and not have to run to school.
"I worked until the wee hours of the morning sometimes, but I could do it on my own time. If I couldn't sleep, I could sit at the computer. It is a lot more manageable than having to go to class in person like I did in my undergrad."
More to Explore
Pinkl grew up in northeast Philadelphia and graduated from Archbishop Ryan High School. She briefly took night classes in accounting through La Salle University at her alma mater, but she had to quit because of her workload.
"Several years later, after getting married and having three children, I was working at General Motors Acceptance Corporation and got laid off," she said. "Every job description I looked at said I needed a degree, so I decided to go back for a degree. I liked math and numbers in high school."
After Pinkl enjoyed her experience in the bachelor's degree in accounting program, there was no doubt where she would earn a master's degree.
"I wanted to go back to La Salle," she said. "I still knew a lot of the professors, and I had some for classes in both programs. I had a few online classes during my undergraduate, but most of it was in person.
"It's also an affordable program compared to other colleges. My husband and I have a part-time graphic design business, Creative Designs by R&M Pinkl. I wanted to do the MBA, Accounting Specialization program so I could handle the books for the business."
Pinkl also liked the variety of the courses in the online MBA, Accounting Specialization program curriculum. She used what she learned immediately in both of her career positions.
"I liked working with the enterprise resource planning systems and the different accounting software," she said. "Other courses were more research-based, which was also nice. I was able to apply some of that knowledge to our business, which I hope to run full time someday."
Philly Extra Special
In addition to the backing from her family, a study buddy's support made a difference in Pinkl's experience as an online student. She met a classmate in the general MBA program whom she bonded with.
"We had a good number of classes together and were able to work on projects together," Pinkl said. "We would call each other and do homework together. That helped a lot."
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Pinkl family will have to wait to walk the graduation stage. They hope to celebrate by having three family members in the same commencement ceremony next year. Her younger son, Joseph, finished his bachelor's degree in computer science this year.
"He had a minor in business, so I helped him get through homework in some of his business and accounting classes," Pinkl said. "Thomas has completed all of his classes in the master's program. We hope we can walk together. We all did online classes because of the pandemic starting in March."
Pinkl is proud that she extended her return to higher education and came full circle at La Salle University. She believes having a plan before enrolling in an online master's degree program is the biggest key to success.
"You need to make sure it's what you want," she said. "Make sure you are able to set time aside to do your homework and not rush and do it at the last minute. You have to have that time management skill."
Now, Pinkl has a master's degree to show for her hard work and a family full of proud Explorers.
"My family and friends were excited about me going back to school for the MBA," she said. "I got good value out of the program. Hopefully, it will open up some career opportunities for me. I am happy that I went back and got my degree from La Salle."
Learn more about the La Salle University online MBA, Accounting Specialization program.
Have a question or concern about this article? Please contact us.