Amber Bankerd starts her day at 3:00 a.m. to serve passengers on a regional airlines flight at 5:30 in the morning. On any given day, she will work 10 to 13 hours, covering four flights, with 69 to 80 passengers per plane. “Being a flight attendant requires long hours and over half the month away from home,” she said, “and being able to continue my degree online is the only way I can go to school.” She loves being a flight attendant, however, because it gives her the opportunity to see different locations and meet wonderful people.
She is earning her undergraduate degree in labor and employment relations from Penn State World Campus, and her online human resource courses are helping her work toward her goal of completing her degree. She finds the course work is relevant to her work with her labor union and her employer. For Amber, understanding how human resource decisions are made and handed down to employees has made her a better employee.
Amber can complete her assignments wherever she lands. And even though most airports are packed with travelers and the public address system can be disruptive, she has been able to find quiet spots for studying. “The international gates in airports provide a quiet place to curl up and complete my reading,” she said.
When Amber completes her degree in labor and employment relations, she hopes to continue her work within the airline industry as a trainer or human resource specialist with companies like Boeing or Bombardier. “Being an online adult learner takes commitment, and the ability to juggle all of my obligations at work, school, and in my personal life is a challenge. But in the end, I know this will help me and my family.”