Getting to Know Simmons!

An Interview with current Dix Scholar Laura Duymovic

Laura Duymovic entered Simmons in January 2012 to study management, and she is currently considering the BA to MBA program.

laura-duymovic.jpgWhat was your educational history prior coming to Simmons? I went to college right out of high school, while working a full-time job in a hotel. I began achieving promotions and greater responsibility at work, which required much more time and flexibility in scheduling, and ultimately transfers to different states. I couldn't afford not to work, so I opted to drop out of college just before my first transfer.

What were you doing before coming Simmons? I worked in the hospitality industry for over 20 years and residential property management for about 5 years. I always kept finishing my degree as a goal in my mind. I even took additional college classes towards my degree in California but got transferred after only taking five classes. I was laid off of work and after about a year or so of looking with no success, decided to go back to college, which led me to Simmons.

Why did you decide to study management? I have always considered myself a business person, working in professional environments. A business degree will expand upon the knowledge I already possess and allow me the flexibility to explore a broad range of industries when I finish.

Why did you choose Simmons? I chose Simmons for a couple of reasons. I felt I would be more comfortable at a smaller school. Primarily though, I chose Simmons because of the Dix Scholars program and the Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) opportunity, which allowed me to earn credits based on my life experience. The opportunity to complete CPL is a time and money saver and there is a great support system in place for adult learners.

What was your experience with Credit for Prior Learning? Credit for Prior Learning (CPL) is a tremendous opportunity and I highly encourage any prospective Dix Scholar to explore whether or not they would benefit from creating a learning portfolio. I was able to earn the maximum 24 credits for my portfolio. Earning these credits not only saves a great deal of money, but also saves having to take six classes. Some of my fellow CPL sought and obtained less than the maximum, based on their needs. CPL also put me into college mode right away (it was my first course) because it forced me to think and write about what college level learning actually means.

What have your other classes been like? I have had a positive academic experience so far, after having taken the Credit for Prior Learning seminar, as well as four traditional classes. Although I felt a bit overwhelmed initially (I think perhaps a lack of confidence) I organized myself and have been able to make the most out of my classes. The professors have been very willing to assist as needed and really seem to have valued my participation as an adult learner.

What is it like to be an adult in the Simmons classroom? Initially, I felt a little intimidated but I soon realized that I bring a lot to the table in terms of my experience. It has allowed me to relate teachings to real life experiences. It has also allowed me to add perspectives to class discussions that might otherwise be missed. I have had feedback from younger students that they really appreciate hearing "real world" examples.

How has the transition been from the working world to college? I always enjoyed and never minded working hard to achieve success. College is no different in that regard, I believe I will get out of it what I put into it. Work experience also applies to college in terms of organization and time management. It is very different otherwise. For one, I had to adjust my writing style, which is different in business than academia. The transition has been pretty smooth overall.

Quick Tip

"I would advise potential Dix Scholars to just go for it," says current Dix Scholar Laura Duymovic. "Their life experience is valuable and will actually help them to achieve success. They should not feel intimidated or out of place, as Dix Scholars are valued by professors and 'traditional' students alike."