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Jody earned her college degree with five kids at home

Jody Miles got a leg up in her career with a UIndy degree. (Photo by D. Todd Moore)

Jody Miles got a leg up in her career with a UIndy degree. (Photo by D. Todd Moore)

You might relate to Jody Miles—her life can get pretty crazy at times. She has five kids at home and a job as an executive assistant at Eli Lilly, so it’s fair to say she is on call 24/7. But when she felt the call to finish her degree, Jody didn’t back down from the challenge. The Indianapolis native explored the adult learning options in the city and found there was one clear choice for her: The School for Adult Learning at the University of Indianapolis.

“UIndy gave me the most credit for the work I had already completed,” Jody says. “That was the deciding factor for me. I could see myself getting to my degree the fastest at UIndy.”

Now in the process of completing the final course of her Organizational Leadership degree, Jody looks back on her time as a SAL student.

The faculty are invested in your success

Jody doesn’t mince words when it comes to her relationship with mathematics: “I’m horrible with math…horrible. I’m afraid of it.” Despite her aversion to all things arithmetic, Professor Patty Gainey was able to get her through the most stressful portions of her degree. “I loved her,” Jody says. “She taught me the tools to actually get a solution quicker without stressing out.”

After bulking up on her math skills, Jody took on another personal challenge—this time in accounting with Professor Tom Miller.

“Sometimes I’d be the last person to leave class at night and he didn’t care,” Jody says of the accounting prof. “I’d be there until 10 p.m. asking him questions and he would be so kind and sweet and answer every question I had.”

It took a lot of effort, but Jody earned her degree while balancing her life. (Photo by D. Todd Moore)

It took a lot of effort, but Jody earned her degree while balancing her life. (Photo by D. Todd Moore)

School for Adult Learning is a one-stop-shop

Jody has a deal with her boss—on class days she comes in early and leaves work at 3:45 sharp so she can spend a few hours on campus before classes start at 6 p.m. That time could be spent meeting with the counselors and other supporting SAL staff, all of whom are easily accessible in a central location.

“My advisor always got back to me and made time for me when I needed it. I felt like she really did care,” Jody says. “She walked me through multiple scenarios and worked out my schedule with me.”

Jody also speaks highly of Lezza Harman-Lineback, the financial aid specialist for SAL. “She was awesome too. My financial aid was pretty straight-forward, and I just had to visit her a couple times.”

She is seeing the benefits professionally

Jody walked in UIndy’s May 7 commencement, but the celebration started a day early when Eli Lilly offered her a new position, due in part to her pending diploma. “I went from senior executive assistant to a consultant in marketing operations,” Jody explains. “I applied for a few positions and chose the one I really loved. I’m thankful for that.”

Jody has a final message for people considering a degree with SAL: “You don’t realize how smart you already are. You might be scared you can’t reconnect with school. But when you get there, you’ll realize that you’ve learned so much from life experience that everything starts to pull together.”

Contact Assistant Director for Enrollment Whitnie Shay at 317.788.2004 or to learn more about earning a UIndy degree. 

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