Degree Completion - On Steroids!

Posted by Paula Paine on July 7, 2014 in "Your OU" Kristen-Howell.jpgIt’s amazing what you can accomplish when you’re motivated by something you want! Having met her fiancé, Ryan Howell, in high school in Olathe, Kansas, Kristen Oyer’s parents told her she couldn’t get married until she finished college. Solution? Finish school as fast as she could. 
 
Not only did Kristen cram four years of college into three, but when she and Ryan decided to go ahead and get married just weeks before her final year, the challenges multiplied. “My husband and I were both students at the time and so we had to make enough money to pay for living on our own while we were still in college,” says Kristen. “For that first semester, I was working 35 hours a week at a local insurance company, nine hours a week as the editor-in-chief of the school paper, was a newlywed, a full-time student with a 19 credit-hour workload, and was doing senior core. I’m not honestly sure how I survived, but I made it through.”
 
Kristen earned a degree in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Christian Studies. After graduating in May, she landed a job as a marketing coordinator at Burns & McDonnell, an engineering firm in Kansas City, Missouri. “My OU experience went by so quickly,” she says. “I have no idea how three years suddenly feel like a couple of months, but I wouldn’t change anything. It was all worth it.”
 
Ryan is on track to graduate in 2015 from OU’s online program with an MIS degree. The couple has moved back to Olathe and intends to stay there permanently  - or until they land their dream jobs working in the Marketing and IT departments of Disney! “Someday we plan to move into a house and have kids,” says Kristen, “but for now, we are enjoying our time as DINKS (Double Income, No Kids).”