Brittney Deo, Information Science and E-Society graduate

Stepping into the Digital Landscape

Brittney Deo returned to school as an Information Science and E-society major, and she’s ready for her next career move. 

Future Focused

Brittney Deo wants to create digital content that she is proud of, that challenges her, allows her to grow, and pushes her creatively. She’s working toward that as a University of Arizona Online student majoring in Information Science and E-society at the School of Information. 

In 2005, Brittney started out as an on-campus Arizona student focused on becoming a communication major. She got a job as a television producer and decided to travel and move up the ladder. She never finished her degree. 

Brittney did well in television production but wanted to move her career online for personal reasons. 

“I got married and had a couple of kids, and television production schedules are just grueling. I'm in the suburbs, and traveled into the city, and it was just no longer feasible. However, it was difficult to pivot from the small community that is the television production field into the digital workforce without a degree. So, I decided to go back and complete that.“

At 37, Brittney says she felt a little out of touch with the digital landscape, especially since she didn’t grow up with the technology Gen Z has. Brittney knew how to tell great stories and edit videos but felt that aspects of her previous education weren’t relevant anymore.  

Brittney met with an advisor at the University of Arizona and described her goals. The advisor suggested that the Information Science and E-Society major might be the right fit. It turned out to be exactly what Brittney was looking for. She imagined using data and analytics to write great stories that audiences would relate to and engage with. 

“I felt like going back to school and learning from the I-School would help me be more competitive with my peers. And it has done that. It's the perfect mix of communication, technical skills, computer-driven technology, business savvy, and computer analytics. You learn all about the information world in one major.”

In 2022, Brittney re-enrolled as a University of Arizona Online student.

Online Learning

Brittney lives in Valparaiso, a small town in Northwest Indiana, where she grew up and plans to raise her kids. Moving isn’t an option, but Valparaiso doesn’t offer many career opportunities in Brittney’s field of interest. Getting an online education has helped her gain experience working remotely with other people.

Brittney holds a student worker position as a digital content intern lead in the I-School’s advising office. She says that communicating with peers and her boss strictly online and through Zoom has been a valuable learning experience. 

As for finding time to study, Brittney says she does her work at night, early in the morning, and during her kids’ naps. 

“Being able to fit that work in those small periods of time that I have throughout my days is crucial to my success.”

Brittney loves collaborating with her peers and working in teams. “I think reaching out is always a good idea, and most of the time, I end up forming  valuable relationships with my peers, and we create something better than we ever could solo.”

Brittney Deo, Information Science and E-Society student gala

Advice To Online Students

Brittney suggests always taking advantage of resources. She notes that Arizona has some amazing resources she never used when she first enrolled on campus. As an online student, they have helped her succeed. 

For example, when Brittney’s program’s language requirement caused her anxiety – she believed it would stop her from finishing her degree. “I approached my advisor about it, and she connected me with the Disability Resource Center.”

The center was able to help Brittney replace those credits with other courses that she says were still informative and rewarding. 

“I didn’t know that that was something I could do, so I can't say enough about utilizing your advisor. I think students sometimes think their advisor is there to tell them what they're doing wrong, but your advisor is there to help you reach your goals.”

Brittney Deo at a Peloton meetup

Post-Traditional Student

Brittney says she’s in a different stage of life than more traditional students, so her needs are different as well. “I have young children, and they take up a lot of time during the day. And so, if it weren't for an online program, I would never be able to do this.”