Students Find New Career Opportunities Through UL Lafayette Online Programs | Sponsored: University of Louisiana



When Zachary Badon enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in 2005, the first few years went well. But after Badon was in a car accident, his life took a downward spiral. Between his injuries and therapy, Badon was unable to attend class for almost two months.

“I was a young man on my own and didn’t know I could talk to someone about dropping out of class due to personal and medical circumstances,” Badon recalls. “After failing all of my classes, I got discouraged and ran out of TOPS. I was living alone with adult problems. It made me want to quit school and earn some money.

This is a familiar scenario for many adults in Louisiana. The University of Louisiana system estimates that 653,000 adults in Louisiana have college credits but no degrees. In Acadiana, the number is approximately 73,296.

But for Badon and many others, that is changing thanks to UL Lafayette’s online study programs.

Pride of Cajuns Ragin ‘

After leaving the University, Badon grew personally and professionally.

He married and became the father of two children, now aged 8 and 2. He entered the workforce, where he excelled in the oilfield industry as a backpacker, safety advisor, training coordinator and HR representative.

Still, the thought of finishing college nagged him, especially when he thought of his late grandmother, who was his biggest supporter, and how his children are following his example.

“I know my daughter is at a delicate time in her life where a lot of things can influence her decisions,” he said.

After speaking with a colleague who referred him to a counselor at UL Lafayette, Badon enrolled in the university’s online bachelor’s program in business administration and management in 2020.

“I was also ready to improve my employment options in industries other than the oil fields,” he said. “I know businesses and businesses usually don’t even want to look at your resume without a degree.”

Zachary Badon said his two children and his wife’s support were part of the inspiration for his decision to return to school.

Badon can already see how the lessons in the class will help him in the future.

“I learned to be a better leader. I learned more about entrepreneurship and human resource management, ”said Badon. “I learned to write and act more professionally. In leadership studies, I learned to connect with others and harness their natural abilities to help them perform at their best.

Although all of his classes are online, Badon has regular interactions with his teachers and fellow students. Teachers respond quickly to his emails and there are group texts with his classmates to discuss homework and upcoming assignments.

Upon graduation, Badon hopes to open up new opportunities in the business world, whether it’s working for a company or working for himself. He’s already working with one of his instructors to turn his personalized fishing rod hobby into a business.

A perfect fit

For some students, it’s just about finding the best fit for their lifestyle and career goals.

Thessalonia Joseph found herself exploring other career options after completing her first year in the nursing program at UL Lafayette. She liked the idea of ​​working in healthcare, but realized that she wanted a career in the commercial sector of industry. Joseph spoke with a counselor, who helped guide her to the online health services administration diploma program.

“The business degree appealed to me more because I was interested in working on the management side,” Joseph said. “At first I was a little unsure, but as I started taking the classes I got more involved in what I was doing and realized that I had found the right path for me. . “

Joseph graduated in 2019 and immediately began working full time at Lafayette-based LHC Group, a national provider of home health care services. In less than a year, she was promoted to Team Leader of the Income Cycle.

Joseph said there was a period of adjustment as she left school on campus. But once she got up to speed, Joseph preferred the online program, which allowed her to work throughout her academic career and complete an HR internship at Notre Regional Medical Center. -Lady of Lourdes.

“It gave me more time to do other things and have more flexibility with my schedule,” Joseph said. “I had the impression that the quality of education was still high. Whenever I needed something, my teachers were there to help me. There was no lag. They provided all the necessary materials and I feel like I learned a lot.

Wider horizons

Badon, an online management student, said he found a good balance between finishing his classes, being a father and husband, working and spending time with friends and family. Although going back to school in his 30s seemed daunting at first, he has no regrets. In fact, he’s already planning to get his MBA online once he graduates with his BA in December.

“It’s very intimidating to think about it, but I can tell anyone that by far the hardest part is applying and taking the first step,” he said. “If you put in the effort, be careful and do what’s asked, I think it’s a lot more manageable as an adult than as a teenager.”

The University of Louisiana at Lafayette offers five online bachelor’s programs and eight online or hybrid graduate programs. For more information on programs, admissions, enrollment and more, visit


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