When Naeem Jaraysi ’20G he got his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he knew he wasn’t done with school. He saw firsthand the importance and longevity of education and was determined to prepare for a future of possibilities. When her parents moved to the United States from the Middle East, she said their education opened them to opportunities that impacted the entire family.
“I want that same future for myself and my future family,” Jaraysi said.
Although psychology is one of his great passions, he did not see himself working in the clinical field. Instead, what interested him most was social psychology and consumer behavior, leading him to pair his bachelor’s degree with a master’s in marketing. He hoped to forge a new career in marketing, land a position in the field, and eventually advance to a position as a digital specialist or marketing management.
He didn’t just want a business degree with a focus on marketing. He wanted a program that would immerse him in the world of marketing, focused entirely on the profession and studying subjects like digital marketing and social media marketing in the hopes of landing a position on a marketing team.
That’s where Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) came in.
“What brought me to SNHU was that I was looking at other universities and comparing the degrees they have and the different approaches they offer,” Jaraysi said. “And SNHU basically gave me the most options, as well as the best approach that I could find.”
Help along the way
As a student, Jaraysi attended face-to-face classes on a university campus. While he took a couple of courses online, he wasn’t sure what to expect from a program that was completely online. “I thought I could be learning everything by myself and on my own, but throughout the process, I realized that I can reach people when I need to,” he said.
Your academic advisor, Laura jones, he was one of those people that he knew he could count on for his support. “She helped me a lot and she would get really close and make sure I was okay,” Jaraysi said. His conversations weren’t just about his course work, he also asked about other facets of his life.
“It became more of a friendship than just her being my advisor,” she said. “… It was a surprise to hear that someone really cared about more than my homework and my grades, but also about how I was doing at home and how that affected my school life.”
Beyond the weekly discussion forums, Jaraysi was also able to meet and work with classmates through group projects. “SNHU is different from my previous experience in that there was a lot more interaction with other students in the online classes… That really helped me connect with people even though we were so far apart,” she said.
He found the courses challenging, which helped him develop his critical thinking and research skills. Whenever he had questions about course work, he said his instructors were quick to respond and provide resources when needed. “I definitely felt that the instructors were experts in their own rights and knew exactly what they were talking about in each class,” said Jaraysi.
What appealed to him the most was the collective effort to work with him as he worked on his career. “I knew SNHU was a trustworthy institution from day one,” he said. “… The people I spoke to, they were all really warm and wanted me to be successful.”
The support didn’t stop when it ended either.
Several months after completing her degree, she was surprised to receive a call from SNHU Career Services, a resource available to all SNHU students and alumni for life. “They wanted to see how I was doing and let me know that I could use their services if I needed them,” Jaraysi said.
His family, who inspired and motivated Jaraysi to further his education, were also there for him throughout the trip. “When I think of my family, my sisters and my parents and all the things they did to bring me here, I would just say thank you and thank you for believing in me,” he said.
Flexibility that worked
Obtaining a degree online worked for Jaraysi because he was able to work wherever and whenever. He would often catch up on his readings in a coffee shop after work, posting and replying to discussion boards during his lunch break at work. He might even take school with him on vacation.
“Flexibility in SNHU’s programs (is) very important to me,” he said. “I mean, I was able to do my homework pretty much anywhere and at any time … I needed that so I could finish my degree in a timely manner.”
He ended up completing his marketing degree in one year and nine months, a few months before the two years he had expected.
When he first enrolled, he was nervous about fitting school into his life and managing his time. “I think maybe I was a little nervous or overwhelmed by not being able to manage my time well and finish the race,” said Jaraysi. “I didn’t know if I had it in myself to do it, but also in general in terms of time. But in the end, I realize that I can do a lot more than I thought I could do and moving forward I want to take on new challenges and achieve them because it feels great afterward. ”
Talking to his advisor helped him learn how his classmates had done, and he found that he could divide his assignments to complete them in a week. Having regular deadlines helped him move forward every week. “I definitely felt like I could plan every one of my weeks,” he said.
With assignments turned in on Thursdays and Sundays, he had the flexibility to make a plan based on his schedule for the week, and he was sure to include breaks as well. “So on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I would do some homework after work in a cafeteria, and on other days I would go out to exercise or see my friends,” said Jaraysi. “So, I would divide it depending on each week and what I had to do that week.”
Furthermore, he found that the terms (10 weeks for graduate courses) were the perfect length and helpful in knowing what to expect. He said the first half of the term was generally spent learning the material and completing the courses to aid in that learning. The second half allowed him to apply what he had learned up to that point to larger tasks and projects.
Completing his culminating course, the culmination of his degree, was a proud moment for Jaraysi. “That felt really good. It was a relief, but also … it was great to look back and realize that I put all of this together, “he said.
You are already applying what you have learned at SNHU in your career, especially in your communication with others, both by email and in person. He feels more like a professional and has also gained confidence when approaching people and expressing his ideas.
“This is an achievement worth celebrating because now I know that in the future I can open doors with this title, but also give my future family opportunities that I also gained,” said Jaraysi.
The hard work you put into your education is now paying off. With her new confidence and master’s credential, she recently landed a position as a marketing specialist.
Consider how a master’s degree can change your life.
Rebecca LeBoeuf ’18 is a writer at the University of Southern New Hampshire. Connect with her on LinkedIn.