For University of Phoenix alumna Alma Villa, the journey to earn her MBA degree was “a road paved with surprises.” The insurance consultant always thought that earning an MBA was something she couldn’t do, that it was hard and was “stuffy, executive-type training”. What she found was much different. Sure, it was challenging, but the 18-month program was easy to follow and never made her feel like she didn’t belong.

Villa chose University of Phoenix because of the flexibility. The classroom setting allowed her to learn away from her 5 kids and her sometimes hectic household. The diverse class schedule also allowed her to earn her degree while still working full time and caring for her family. The weekend and evening classes really helped with that, according to Villa.

She chose nursing as a career at a young age after nurses helped her deal with her fear when her father was going through cancer treatment. Seeing her father in a hospital bed surrounded by equipment was a scary thing, but the nurses took the time to explain it to her and knelt down to her level to make her feel included and less fearful. Today, Muir is a nursing supervisor in the hematology and oncology department at a major U.S. hospital. and his treatments left him hospitalized with lots of machines attached. It was a scary time for a young girl, but the nurses took the time to explain what was happening and talk to her at her level. They did a lot to help her to not be so afraid. Muir wanted to be able to do that for other families when she grew up.

Villa particularly liked that all of the instructors who taught her classes were business professionals as well as teachers. She found it invaluable to be able to hear their stories from their real-life experiences, their success and failures in the business world.

Villa says she would “do it again in a heartbeat.” She adds, “There’s nothing like walking across that stage and getting your degree.” She shares that her biggest surprise is that she didn’t get her degree sooner.

University of Phoenix offers a variety of business undergraduate and graduate degrees. These include Bachelor of Science degrees in business, management, accounting and communication as well as Master of Business Administration and Master of Management degrees. Details and a complete catalog are available at

More than one million students have earned degrees from University of Phoenix since the school was founded in 1976. HLC statement: University of Phoenix is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (

The University accepts students who have earned a high school diploma, GED or equivalent.

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