Military Spouse Profile: Natalie Harvey

CTU Student Natalie HarveyWe had the opportunity to speak with one of our students, Natalie Harvey, who is pursuing her degree in Accounting. She is a military spouse who is successfully balancing a busy family and pursuing her education.

Tell us about your family and what degree program you are in at CTU.

My husband, John Harvey, is a disabled veteran who served two tours overseas in the Active Army from 2003-2007. He is also currently attending CTU and is pursuing an Associate of Science in Business Administration. We live in a small town in Oregon with our two wonderful kids and our three fur babies!

I started pursing my Associate of Science in Accounting at Colorado Technical University (CTU) in July 2013, and I am on track to graduate in March 2015. Once I graduate I hope to work for a local accounting firm or tax company. My ideal job is to be an accounts receivable clerk for the government.

How do you define your CTU experience?

I would define my CTU experience as extraordinary, unique and incomparable. Learning isn’t confined to the classroom at CTU. There are learning labs, clubs, a career center and webinars for different events– all available online. Advisors and professors are willing to go above and beyond to help each student rise to their fullest potential. CTU’s advisors worked with me to help choose a field that best fit my interests, as well as my skills and look at me now - only 2 1/2 sessions away from my Associate degree!

What would you tell other military family members about the process to decide whether to go (back) to school? Any words of wisdom?

When I first started at CTU, I hadn’t taken a class in 7 years, so the process was scary and nerve-racking. I think a lot of military spouses look at the big picture when making the decision to go back to school, which can be intimidating. CTU has so many great resources available to help make the process smoother. I worked with student advisors to create smaller, more achievable goals and was able to take my education one class at a time.

What helped you make the decision to attend CTU?  Were there particular attributes or programs that had significant appeal?

After doing some research, CTU was one of the first schools I found that would fit my situation. I knew I wanted to do online classes, and I also wanted a college that was great with veterans and accepted the GI Bill. After talking to an advisor, I learned about all of the benefits for military spouses. Many schools offer benefits to military members and veterans, and I thought it was great that CTU also honors the family.

While in school, did you take advantage of services and resources CTU provides to the military community?  If so, which ones?

I love CTU’s Virtual Campus. I’m part of an online military community and have been able to connect with several other military students and hear about their experiences. I’ve also participated in a few webinars. CTU’s Career Services is another great resource - I’ve learned things I never would have thought of like cover letters, resumes and interview tips.

Were there obstacles that you overcame throughout your educational experience?  How did you stay motivated and find success?

The biggest obstacle I have had to overcome, and am still overcoming, is having a reliable Internet connection. Luckily, I’m able to use the mobile app and can always email my professor to let them know when I’m having issues. I stay motivated through those different obstacles by staying organized and always planning ahead for different tasks and assignments. I also have two kids who keep me motivated. If it wasn't for them, I wouldn’t be finishing my degree!