08:34 AM

Alum Redirects Career Path with Degree


Holly Althof didn’t plan on going into insurance, but that’s the path her career took. She had earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology with some coursework in communication studies, but found herself in an unrelated field.

“​I fell into the finance and insurance world after I got my bachelor's, where I've been for 10 years,” she said. She currently works as an insurance officer in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

However, as she nears completing her Bellevue University degree, she’s ready to head in a new direction.

Juggling Life with Earning a Master’s Degree

When Althof decided to pursue graduate studies, she was very careful about her choice of school and program. She started by looking at partnerships offered by her employer, Farm Credit Services of America.

“I chose Bellevue University for several reasons,” she said. “After about six months of researching the colleges where employee tuition reimbursement was available, I decided Bellevue University had the best online graduate program offerings for a college with Higher Learning Commission accreditation. HLC accreditation was very important to me. Online was important as well because I juggle a full-time job, four children and a freelance writing side gig.”

Althof decided to pursue a Master of Arts in Business and Professional Communication.

“I knew that getting a master's in communication would open doors in various fields and provide me with tools valuable in every aspect of my life,” she said.

A Bright Future Full of Options

Althof’s experience has already impacted her career positively. “The 10-week capstone paper was difficult, but it was one of the most rewarding experiences in not only my master's program, but in my career,” she said.

“It shifted the direction of my freelance business to one that is much more profitable and interesting.” In her business, Althof is a freelance copywriter and content creator.

Althof will graduate in March of 2021, and is already looking forward to the opportunities her graduate degree has inspired her to pursue.

“​It changed where I want my career to go,” she said. “I am fortunate to work for an organization that provides tuition assistance for its employees, but I learned a lot about myself and the job roles that would give me more fulfillment throughout the program. I hope to transition out of a sales role and into one that focuses on adult education or organizational communication.”

In addition to continuing to grow her freelance business and evolve her full-time role, Althof hopes to teach at the college level.