Kyle Botica, a corporal in the investigations division, graduated with an online bachelor’s in criminal justice from UT Chattanooga.
What interested you in the degree? Primarily, it was finishing something that had remained unfinished for a number of years. I switched from political science to criminal justice because the latter was more applicable to my line of work.
How does it help you in your work? The various ways of thinking introduced throughout my coursework definitely add valuable perspective, which helps me think about how to approach situations I encounter at work from different angles.
How did you manage the work-life-school balance? My free time vanished while I was taking nine credit hours each semester (spring, summer, and fall). I had to focus on school after work and I had to really manage my time outside of work. It forced me to be deliberate about what I opted to commit to in my free time. I ended up prioritizing the things that I really enjoyed the most. Anything else went onto a “do when you have extra time” list.
Tips for UT employees interested in pursuing a degree: If you’re working full-time, especially if you have a family, do your best to look for an online program. This allows you to do your coursework when you can fit it in—and in most cases, you can do it from your couch at home! Print out your course schedules and follow them. Schedule when you’re going to do work for classes each week and commit to it, making sure you meet all your assignment deadlines. Some people say online classes are hard, but in my experience the hard part is doing it without scheduling your time properly.
Now that school is done, what is the first fun thing on your list? I’ll be spending more time hiking, biking, kayaking, and fishing.