Sun Devil Spotlight: Wendy Bjerke

September 13, 2022 · 2 min read · By ASU Online
Wendy Bjerke, a financial supervisor and mother, discusses her rewarding path to receiving her online Master of Legal Studies from Arizona State University.

Wendy Bjerke knows her path to earning her degrees wasn’t linear. Bjerke graduated from high school in Utah in 1988 and, shortly after, moved to Arizona. After getting married, starting her family and working 25 years in the financial industry, Bjerke realized that, to earn a higher salary and have a better life for her and her family, she needed to go back to school. 

Fast forward to now, Bjerke earned her Master of Legal Studies online from Arizona State University. With the determination and skills she learned from ASU Online, she was able to move forward in her career as a financial supervisor.

Bjerke found out about ASU Online through an auditor for a prestigious accounting firm in Phoenix. After doing a comparison, Bjerke found that ASU Online was more affordable, and reputable, than the other colleges she was researching.

As she began her online education journey, Bjerke was skeptical, as she knew people who struggled with online courses. However, the online platform’s organization structure and module-style learning ended up helping Bjerke stay disciplined.

“[It] helped me to be more responsible when it came to ensuring that all my assignments and my exams were completed correctly,” Bjerke explained. “The online platform also enabled me to keep in touch with my instructors in case I had a question about anything or if I needed to provide feedback on a particular item.”

Bjerke admits it was difficult at times. There were adjustments that she and her family had to make. She knew that she’d be tired from working a full-time job during the day and taking care of her family at night, but she persevered.

Bjerke liked that she was able to study with other online students from around the world. She also appreciated that, beyond curriculum, students could interact with faculty about careers and real-world scenarios. The honorable Rosalyn O’Silver, a U.S. district court judge who teaches constitutional law at ASU, was one of Bjerke’s instructors and biggest supporters.

“After she spoke at my graduation, I ran up to the stage. She recognized me and we gave each other a big hug. It was great. She was very proud to see me achieve my goal,” Bjerke recalled.

Bjerke feels the time spent achieving her goal was well worth it and that having “MLS” after her name gives her an advantage over other job contenders.

“You feel empowered. You feel kind of invincible,” she said.

When Bjerke was younger, she wondered what career she’d pursue. Now, after years of hard work, she’s ready to answer that question.

“When I was growing up, I wasn’t sure if I would ever amount to anything, but I proved myself wrong and I can look back on it and realize, ‘Wow, I’ve come so far, way far more than other people have. I have got a lot to be proud of.’”

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