KU Grad Overcomes Challenges to Earn JCERT-Supported Bachelor of Business Administration

Ariana Engleheart

Ariana Englehart was motivated to go back to school to provide a better future for her children, and, as a working single parent, the flexibility of KUEC’s JCERT-supported BBA program allowed her to balance her responsibilities while pursuing her education.

The road to earning her bachelor’s degree in business administration was anything but easy for 35-year-old KU graduate Ariana Englehart. The single mother of three maintained a full-time job as a manager of education support as well as part-time jobs as a local independent model, actress, dancer, musician and business consultant while earning her degree in 2021.

Englehart was motivated to go back to school to provide a better future for her children, and, as a working single parent, the flexibility of KUEC’s JCERT-supported BBA program allowed her to balance her responsibilities while pursuing her education.

Englehart focused on her studies late evenings and most weekends and though she had to sacrifice that time, Englehart did so knowing that earning her degree would enable her to pursue better opportunities at work. She was mindful that her hard would not only benefit her and her family, but was also setting an example for her children.

“I knew they would see my drive during that time and wouldn’t forget it,” Englehart said.

However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Englehart faced the toughest demands of her journey. Financial and mental health challenges, as well as her kids schooling from home, left her with little time for her own studies. She felt burned out and ready to surrender.

“I had two options: quit and feel like a failure, or fight for my passion,” said Englehart. “I picked my passion.”

Englehart credits her professors’ support.

“No one wanted to see me fail,” said Englehart. “Every class, every professor has had a long-lasting impact on my educational path at KUEC.”

Englehart also praised the support of her program advisor, Emily Plotkin. But Plotkin pointed out that much of the credit goes to Englehart.

“Ariana had a tremendously challenging year, and she persevered through all of it,” said Plotkin. “It has been an honor to advise her and be a part of her journey at KU Edwards Campus.”

For others struggling to balance their mental health, Englehart advised developing a plan ahead of time and asking family and friends for help or seeking out individual therapy. For KUEC students, she also recommended taking advantage of KU’s mental health resources.

As for her advice to others who are balancing families and careers while pursuing their education, Englehart says: “Manifest daily that you can do the work, and you will obtain your degree! You are enough!”

With her degree in hand, Englehart plans to take a professional accreditation exam in the fall that will also help set her up for future growth within her company.

Learn more about the Bachelor of Business Administration at KU Edwards Campus.