Mother-Turned-Graduate Shares Her Story at the Green Bay Campus Commencement Ceremony

Julia Miller always loved the technology space, so she started her career in an entry-level helpdesk position. With no previous IT experience, she picked up everything she learned as she worked, and over time, she transitioned into an IT role. Eventually, after some shifts in the company, Miller began to feel unhappy in her role but felt stuck. As she applied for new positions, she found companies weren’t even considering applicants who didn’t have a college degree. At that point, she decided to take a leap and set out to obtain her Associate’s degree in Web Programming in spring of 2016 at the Rasmussen University Green Bay campus.


Her journey to graduation day was not clear and direct, as she may have once expected. Miller tried to go to college right after high school and attempted a few additional times since then. She applied to several programs but never stuck with them. It had been 20 years since her high school graduation, but she still had a strong desire to go back to school.

Online classes hadn’t worked for her in the past. However, this time was different. “I realized there were thousands of resources, people, students and professors there. I was really doubtful until I actually started and realized how hands-on everyone was,” she says. “I’m so glad I went for it.”

Miller dedicated herself to her schoolwork and committed herself to succeed in the Rasmussen Web Programming Associate’s degree program. She knew the work wouldn’t get done by itself, so she made a point to set a schedule and she stuck to it. “I did a lot of my schoolwork after I put the kids to bed after 8:00 p.m. I’d set myself a time limit—like, two hours to work, in order to get sleep. What I didn’t finish during the week, I would catch up on over the weekends,” she explains.

Time management wasn’t the only factor that aided her success. Miller’s husband was there not only as her cheerleader, but to also take on additional parenting responsibilities when her schoolwork required undivided attention. “My husband was supporting me throughout school 100 percent. Without a doubt, I wouldn’t have been able to do this without him. He juggled playing with the kids while I was doing schoolwork. He basically had to be both parents at times. And besides him playing the role of two parents at once, he also pushed me to keep going,” she says.

The combination of her dedication to time management and her strong support system helped Miller become a 4.0 GPA student and landed her a spot as a graduation speaker at the Green Bay campus graduation ceremony. Take it from Miller, who made the Dean’s List every single quarter: Time management is key. In her commencement speech, her message explained, “It’s possible to do it and do it well, even though you have other things going on in your life. There’s a way to make it work if you want it badly enough.”

Like Miller, you too can pursue your own college success story. To learn more about the Rasmussen degree programs, please visit:

About the author

Katie Willems

Katie is a Social Media and Brand Engagement Strategist at Collegis Education who shares inspiring stories and newsworthy information with Rasmussen University’s social media communities. She loves seeing others inspired by the stories she shares and hopes her content both educates and motivates readers to overcome the challenges of their education journeys.

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