When Jolene stetz Finishing her first class at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) with an A, she knew she was finally in the right place, at the right time, and surrounded by the right staff, faculty, and peers. She felt supported, possibly for the first time, in her pursuit of higher education.
After high school, she was unsure of her career goals. “I just felt like I needed to establish what I wanted to do with my life and where I want it to be,” Stetz said. Having already attended two traditional colleges, he also found that daytime classes and travel time did not suit his lifestyle. On top of that, a negative experience with an instructor left her feeling lonely on her journey.
But now, Stetz is a month away from finishing her bachelor’s degree in online marketing at SNHU, where she maintained a 4.0 GPA while working full-time as a content editor for a video licensing company.
“The flexibility that Southern New Hampshire University offers, I probably never would have been able to go back to school without it,” he said.
Motivated by mom
Stetz learned that her mother, who did not have a college degree, felt trapped in her life once her children grew up and moved home.
“She didn’t want me to feel trapped, or to ever feel like I’ve hit a wall in my life, in my career,” Stetz said. She believed that education and experience are the way to go, and she wanted her daughter to have the ability to grow her professional life.
After his mother’s death, Stetz decided once and for all to go back to school and made it his priority.
Given her past college experiences, Stetz looked for a school she could trust for support and flexibility, criteria she knew she needed. So, with her mother’s hopes for her, along with a better understanding of herself and her goals, she found her way to SNHU.
“When I was accepted into SNHU, I was ecstatic,” Stetz said. “I was so sure they wouldn’t even accept me into college.”
Better yet, she was able to transfer several credit classes that she previously earned, speeding up her timeline, putting her on track to finish her bachelor’s degree in just over two years.
Navigate Enrollment and Assisted Course Work
Stetz didn’t want to go through her education alone, and she wouldn’t. From her first phone call with an intake counselor to ask about SNHU and the application process, she knew she could trust the institution. “(The intake counselor) was very open, he talked to me about every question I had … and then he gave me things that I hadn’t even thought to ask,” Stetz said.
You can complete your coursework each week when it seems convenient to you, often after you leave work at 5pm and cook dinner. Even when communicating with instructors with questions in the evening, he often listens in a couple of hours and sometimes as little as 15 minutes. “It made me feel like my time was important and my schedule was important,” Stetz said.
Plus, you know that your instructors bring a wealth of knowledge to the classroom and are professionally qualified, with real-world experience working with organizations from NASA to NBC.
“I was surprised by the level of support because I felt like I hadn’t had that in the past,” he said. “And then I walked into (SNHU) … suddenly, everyone was on my team. Everyone wanted to help me succeed.”
He didn’t just get knowledge and support from his instructors. Stetz also felt that weekly online discussion posts enriched her experience.
“Getting feedback on discussion boards from students all over the place with different types of backgrounds has really opened up my own experiences and improved the depth I get from information in class because I can see how it applies to other people and other areas of learning. life, ”he said.
She is now friends with many of her classmates on social media and they often communicate with each other to see how they are doing and discuss homework and their lives in general.
“I feel like there’s a connotation about online school that you have to do it alone … I haven’t felt that at all,” Stetz said.
Growing in the knowledge and trust of the industry
Stetz decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a dual concentration in digital marketing and social media marketing because they merge her interest in digital media and her desire for a solid business foundation.
In his current role, he edits videos for a company with more than 400 global media partners to share on various social media platforms and studies analytics to inform social media strategy.
“I regularly use my course work in my professional life in terms of knowing that all the data analysis that goes into my work is supported by my course work,” he said. “And we do a lot with copyright law, which was really helpful when I took a business law class.” Now you can make informed recommendations on contract updates and general business movements that benefit both the customer and the company.
“I feel like my courses at SNHU allow me to be a better co-worker and a better employee,” she said.
Having the industry knowledge she learned in the classroom has also helped her build confidence, whether it’s sitting in a meeting at work or networking with business leaders. “I think my title has taught me a lot about myself and given me a confidence in myself that I have never had before,” Stetz said.
When you connect with a network of business professionals through their honor societies, you understand the industry jargon they use. “And it’s a really fun feeling to be in the crowd,” he said.
Now that she is finishing her bachelor’s degree, her academic advisor, Rob Sturgis, is helping her apply for master’s programs. Her goal is to become a marketing director in an international company one day. Being able to advance your education while continuing to gain real-world experience can help position you for success.
“I think, more than anything else, Southern New Hampshire (University) felt like the place for me because of the support it had received from the beginning and that it hasn’t stopped since,” Stetz said.
Consider how a bachelor’s degree can change your life.
Rebecca LeBoeuf ’18 is a writer at the University of Southern New Hampshire. Connect with her on LinkedIn.