After graduating from the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) with a dual bachelor's degree in criminal justice and behavioral science-sociology in 2011, Chris Ferranti came back for seconds.
Ferranti earned a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration with a Management and Leadership concentration from the online YourPace program at UMPI. He completed his second bachelor's degree in just eight months before starting a new job as a manager at Verizon Wireless Zone in Massachusetts in September 2018.
"I had been in public safety and private security for 11 years," he said. "I really wanted to transition into the business environment and to make more money. Everything that I learned in the program was eye-opening. Right from the first marketing class, I was addicted to the material."
The Competency-Based Education (CBE) element of the UMPI bachelor's degree business program was ideal for Ferranti, who was a security command center operator while enrolled.
"I spent a lot of shifts behind a computer where I could get some of the work done, which is a luxury not many people enjoy," he said. "I took full advantage and put some serious time into my homework. It was almost like I was getting paid to study at times."
The flexibility of the format made an online program the only way Ferranti could have returned to higher education for a business degree.
"I work full time and live a pretty busy life, so attending traditional classes was not going to work out for me," he said. "As much as I enjoy the traditional classroom, the online format allowed me to complete the work on my time at my pace, whether it was during a slow period at work, early mornings or late nights."
Ferranti grew up in Boston before moving to Caribou, Maine, where he was on the cross country, track and field, and chess teams while attending Caribou High School. After earning his first bachelor's degree from UMPI, he graduated with a master's degree in criminal justice from the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2014.
He also earned certifications in security studies and emergency medical technology and worked a variety of security jobs for different organizations, including Amazon, before switching gears to business.
"I heard about the business administration program at UMPI through an online advertisement," Ferranti said. "I was looking for a good business degree program that was also relatively affordable.
"I tried to put in at least three hours on school a day, minimum. I figured it's a product that I was paying for, and I was going to maximize my return on the educational investment. It was great."
Because Ferranti did not have a business background, he made sure to grasp the material while going through it quickly. He even took some extra time away from his job to focus on school.
"The fact that the business program is YourPace makes it different than your typical online program," he said. "I took maybe two months off of work and could spend 12 hours a day working on homework and knock out a class in two or three days. That's huge."
UMPI Academic Success Coach Amanda Baker helped Ferranti work through the program at a brisk pace without missing a beat.
"Amanda was great," he said. "She kept me updated with all the relevant information and emailed back usually within a day maximum — even when I emailed at absurd times during overnights shifts or weekends.
"Being able to get the next class open and start working on it as soon as possible allowed me to complete so many courses per semester because I was able to control the pace."
Now that Ferranti has settled into his new role in the business world, he is realizing that the decision to return to UMPI paid immediate dividends
"I have kind of found my niche doing what I am doing now — business-to-business sales," he said. "My degree obviously helped me out big time with that and got me the job. I am happy doing what I am doing. The business degree absolutely prepared me well."
Should Ferranti ever decide to change jobs, he believes the information he gained from the online BA in Business Administration with a Management and Leadership concentration program will continue to serve him well.
"Most of the material was brand new to me, and I literally had to read and reread a lot of it," he said. "I created a data sheet for the classes with most of the information so I can easily review it in Microsoft Word."
Ferranti believes UMPI offers the ideal formula for anybody hoping to earn a quality business degree quickly.
"I would tell anybody considering this program to do it," he said. "It's a great platform, and you can knock out the courses much quicker with this CBE format.
"It is even better than your traditional online education where you take a set amount of courses over the whole semester at the teacher's pace. You can put 20 hours into a course and pass it over three days if you want to, or take a week off and not feel guilty or that you are behind. I had a great experience in the program at UMPI."Learn more about the UMPI online BA in Business Administration with a Management and Leadership concentration program.
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