When Naeem Jaraysi ’20G got his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he knew he wasn’t done with school. He saw the importance and longevity of education with his own eyes and was determined to prepare for a future of possibilities. When his parents moved from the Middle East to the United States, he said their education opened up opportunities for them that impacted the whole family.
“I want that same future for myself and my future family,” Jaraysi said.
Although psychology was a great passion for him, he did not see himself working in a clinical setting. Instead, what interested him most was social psychology and consumer behavior, which led him to pair his undergraduate degree with a master’s in marketing. He was hoping to forge a new career in marketing, land a job in the field and eventually move on to a digital specialist or marketing management position.
He didn’t just want a business degree with a specialization in marketing. He wanted a program that immersed him in the world of marketing, completely professionally focused and studying subjects such as digital marketing and social media marketing in the hopes of landing a position in a marketing team.
This is where Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) comes in.
“What got me to SNHU was I was looking at other colleges and sort of comparing the degrees they had and the different directions they were offering,” Jaraysi said. “And SNHU basically gave me the most options and the best focus I could find.”
Help along the way
As an undergraduate student, Jaraysi took face-to-face classes on a college campus. Although he took a few online courses, he wasn’t sure what to expect from a fully online program. “I thought I could learn on my own, but throughout the process I realized that I could contact people whenever I needed to,” he said.
His educational advisor, Laura Jones, was one of those people he knew he could count on for support. “She helped me a lot, and she helped me a lot and made sure I was okay,” Jaraysi said. Their conversations weren’t just about his classes – she asked him about other facets of his life as well.
“It kind of became a friendship more than just being my advisor,” he said. “… It was a surprise to hear that someone cared more than my homework and my grades, but cared about the way I was doing at home and how it affects my school life.” also. “
Beyond the weekly discussion forums, Jaraysi was also able to meet and work with his classmates through group projects. “The SNHU is different from my previous experience in that there was a lot more interaction with other students in the online courses… It really helped me connect with people even though we were so far apart. from each other, ”he said.
He found the classes difficult, helping him develop his critical thinking and research skills. Whenever he had questions about the classes, he said his instructors respond quickly and provide resources whenever needed. “I really felt like the instructors were experts in their own right, and they knew exactly what they were talking about in each class,” Jaraysi said.
What attracted him the most was the collective effort to work with him throughout his studies. “I knew the SNHU was a trustworthy institution from day one,” he said. “… The people I spoke to – everyone was really warm, and they wanted me to be successful.”
The support didn’t stop when he finished, either.
Several months after graduating, he was surprised to receive a call from SNHU Career Services – a lifelong resource for all SNHU students and alumni. “They wanted to see how I was and let me know that I could use their services if I needed to,” Jaraysi said.
His family, who inspired and motivated Jaraysi to continue his education, were also there for him throughout the trip. “When I think of my family, sisters and parents and all they did to bring me here, (I would say) just thank you and thank you for believing in me,” he said. .
Flexibility that worked
Getting a degree online worked for Jaraysi because he could work anywhere, anytime. He often found himself staying on top of his reading in a coffee shop after work, posting and responding to discussion forums during his lunch break at work. He might even take school with him on vacation.
“The flexibility of SNHU’s programs (is) very important to me,” he said. “I mean, I was able to do my homework pretty much anywhere and anytime… I needed it so I could finish my degree in a timely manner.”
He ended up getting his marketing degree in one year and nine months, a few months earlier than the two years he expected it to take.
When he first registered, he was nervous about making school a part of his life and managing his time. “I think maybe I was a little nervous or overwhelmed that I wasn’t going to be able to manage my time well and graduate,” Jaraysi said. “I didn’t know if I had the guts to do it, but also fair 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 in the future I want to take on new challenges and accomplish them because it’s so good afterwards.
Talking with his counselor helped him learn how his classmates did it, and he found he could divide his homework into a week. Having regular deadlines helped him move forward each week. “I really felt like I could plan each of my weeks,” he said.
With homework due on Thursdays and Sundays, he had the flexibility to plan his schedule for the week – and was sure to schedule breaks as well. “So like, Monday, Wednesday, Friday I was doing homework after work in a cafe and then the other days I would go to workout or see friends,” Jaraysi said. “So I would just divide it up based on each week and what I had going on that week. “
Plus, he found the terms – 10 weeks for graduate courses – to be the perfect length and useful for knowing what to expect. He said the first half of the term is usually spent learning the material and completing classes to facilitate that learning. The second half allowed him to apply what he had learned so far to larger assignments and projects.
The completion of her comprehensive course, the culmination of her degree, was a proud moment for Jaraysi. “It was really good. It was a relief, but also… it was cool to look back and realize that I had everything in place,” he said.
He already finds himself applying what he has learned at SNHU in his career, especially in his communication with others, both by email and in person. He feels more like a professional and he has also gained confidence when he contacts people and expresses his ideas.
“It is an achievement that deserves to be celebrated because I now know that by going forward, I can open doors with this diploma, but also give my future family the opportunities that I had” , said Jaraysi.
The hard work he put into his studies is now paying off. With his newfound confidence and his master’s degree, he 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 Southern New Hampshire University. Connect with her on LinkedIn.