Online Student Spotlight – A Global Odyssey

BUGRAD 041 (Medium)Thanks to Hillary Blazer-Doyle, 2010 graduate of MET’s Undergrad Degree Completion program, for submitting such a great blog post.

I was never one of those people who felt like something was missing in my life because I never finished my undergrad degree.  Quite honestly, I was in a career field that didn’t require a degree for job ascension.  I originally left college because I got a job as the Executive Morning Show Producer at a radio station and never looked back.  I was/am also a voiceover actress (see my web site), which again, didn’t require a degree.  It was only when my life took an unexpected turn that I decided to go for it.

My husband was offered an overseas assignment for his job in Singapore.  I am a New Yorker and had to look at a map to even find Singapore!  I was still going to try to work in voiceovers, but this move would put my radio career on hold, which I was fine with.   After living together for two years in Singapore, his company told him he would be needed in Taipei, Taiwan for a “short-term” assignment.  I had to now figure out how to stay in the country without the status of “dependent.”   I started my own voiceover company and was extremely successful in voicing animation as well as commercials and children’s books. Picture below is me at the unveiling of the 2009 Saks 5th Avenue window for Twinkle, Twinkle Little Flake, for which I did the voiceover.

0033But the paperwork the country required to assess whether or not I was “worthy” of my own worker’s permit is what finally led me to Boston University’s online Undergrad Degree Completion Program.  Having to write all the colleges I attended and then the (ugghh) “No Degree” part, was all a bit demoralizing.   I also thought this would be a great way to ride out my husband’s “short-term” assignment (which turned out to be two years).

So my “Great Academic Adventure” began whilst living on the other side of the world in Singapore.  Over the course of my 2 ½ years in the BU program, my laptop has traveled with me to all four corners of the world, and had me always praying for that one bar of connectivity!  I remember every single class and where in the world I was when I was either studying, taking a test, writing a paper, or reading a textbook.  I completed this program not only in Singapore, but Taipei, Phuket and Koh Samui (Thailand), Bali and Bintan (Indonesia), New York (visits home), and in airports in Japan, and Frankfurt, Germany.0021

The UDCP Water Cooler was my tie to sanity.  Or was it?!  I made my cat Jake (see picture gallery at end of post)  a character and posed him with the ubiquitous Starbucks cup (Tall, Decaf, Quad Americano) and whatever books or discussion post assignments I happened to be working on at the time.  Jake became famous in the BU Water Cooler as my “study buddy.”  I couldn’t have done it without him.  My husband became known as “Mr. Super Important,” based more in sarcasm because his Taipei assignment kept us apart for so long. To this day, my BU friends call him that.

This is the best program in the world.  One that I have shouted the praises of from the rafters!  When I think of my graduation day (May ’10), it instantly brings a huge smile to my face.  The friends I made along the way will be lifelong because going through this program can, at times, feel like going through an academic war.  We have become a band of “Pirate Terriers.”  We meet up with each other when we can and we stay in close contact by phone, FaceBook or Smoke Signals (inside program joke).

So what am I going to do with my life now that I have this beautiful degree?  The one that displays MY name with the words Summa Cum Laude underneath?  Well…I’m moving again for starters!  Mr. Super Important is going to conquer Europe now, so I will be spending a lot of time at Boston University’s London Alumni Association Office figuring out what to do.  I am going to continue working in voiceovers, now hopefully with fewer headaches where credentials are concerned, and am extremely glad that one of my animated series The New Adventures of Nanoboy is as popular there as it is in the States.  I am also giving great consideration to another Boston University degree.

This time…a Master’s!


Brenda posted on August 25, 2010 at 11:38 am

Hello Hillary! You truly amaze me. Although you were traveling all over the world and running your own business, you were still able to make a tremendous impact on your classmates in the program – with your very insightful posts and fun Water Cooler tidbits. And of course, I was so happy to see Jake in your profile, as I always looked forward to seeing a picture of him, working away alongside you, as we all plowed ahead. It was a pleasure meeting you in person in May and look forward to joining a you all in a reunion down the road. All the best w/your career (I checked out your website and loved your reels…very cool) and in England! Take care my friend, Brenda

Ella Spadari Heath posted on August 25, 2010 at 11:07 pm

Hillary! The funny thing is that no one of us know your voice!

At the end of this two and half years I still cant believe we all made it. Pregnancies, business trips, miscarriages, international weddings, divorces, new jobs, army deployments, childbirths, layoffs and more did not stop us… it was fun! I can recall at least 3 airport exams: Manila, Rome, San Francisco! I am now heading off to Italy for a month or maybe for good, who knows 🙂 Let’s keep in touch.

I’ll miss you and Jake!

Heather McIntire posted on September 30, 2010 at 9:45 am

HBD, you were my voice of sanity throughout the highs and lows of the program and my life! You faced so many crazy, stressful, and hilarious challenges throughout the program, and did it with grace, dignity, a little rabble-rousing, and of course, an insane sense of humor. You are an immense inspiration to me. When I tell people that I met my BU BFF over the internet, it sounds like all of us have been dating online! And now I feel like I’ve just signed a virtual year book!

Go forth and conquer the world like the mighty Pirate Terrier that you are. (Don’t forget to collect your booty along the way!) Arrrgghhhhh-Ruff!

BIG Love,

Aaron posted on December 7, 2010 at 5:17 pm

That’s my fellow classmate!!! Way to go, HBD, way to go!!!

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