SNHU Grad Pairs Psych with a Grasp’s in Advertising

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When Naeem Jaraysi ’20G got his bachelor’s degree in psychology, he knew he wasn’t finished high school. He saw firsthand the importance and longevity of education and was determined to prepare for a future full of opportunity. When his parents moved to the United States from the Middle East, their education opened up opportunities that had an impact on the whole family.

“I want the same future for myself and my future family,” said Jaraysi.

Although psychology is a great passion of his, he did not see himself working in a clinical setting. Rather, he was interested in social psychology and consumer behavior, which led him to combine his bachelor’s degree with a master’s degree in marketing. He hoped to embark on a new career path in marketing, find a position in the field and eventually advance to a digital specialist or a position in marketing management.

He didn’t just want to study business administration with a focus on marketing. He wanted a program that plunged him into the world of marketing, fully focused on the job and studying subjects like digital marketing and social media marketing with the hope of finding a position on a marketing team.

This is where Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) came in.

“What brought me to SNHU was looking at other colleges and comparing the degrees they had and the different majors they offered,” Jaraysi said. “And SNHU basically gave me the most options and the best focus I could find.”

Help on the way

As a student, Jaraysi took personal courses on a college campus. While taking some online courses, he wasn’t sure what to expect from a fully online program. “I thought I could learn everything on my own, but throughout the process I realized that I can always turn to people,” he said.

His scientific advisor, Laura Jones, was one of those he knew he could count on for support. “She’s been very helpful and she went out of her way to make sure I was fine,” said Jaraysi. Their conversations weren’t just about his thesis – she also asked him about other facets of his life.

“It became a kind of friendship, more than just being my advisor,” he said. “… It was a surprise to hear that someone not only takes care of my homework and my grades, but also how I feel at home and how that affects my school life.”

In addition to the weekly discussion forums, Jaraysi also got to know classmates and work 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,” he said .

He found the coursework a challenge that helped him develop his critical thinking and research skills. Whenever he had questions about coursework, 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 they knew exactly what they were talking about in each class,” said Jaraysi.

What appealed to him most was the collective effort to work with him during his studies. “I knew that the SNHU was a trustworthy institution from day one,” he said. “… The people I spoke to – they were all really just warm-hearted and wanted me to be successful.”

The support didn’t stop when he finished either.

A few months after graduating, he received a surprising call from the SNHU Career Service – a resource that is available to all SNHU students and alumni for a lifetime. “They wanted to see how I was doing and let me know that I can use their services when I need them,” Jaraysi said.

His family, who inspired and motivated Jaraysi to advance his education, were there for him throughout the trip. “When I think of my family and my sisters and my parents and all that they did to get me here, (I would) just say thank you and thank you for believing in me,” he said.

Flexibility that works

Getting an online degree worked for Jaraysi because he could work anywhere, anytime. After work, he would often stay up to date in a coffee shop, posting and answering forums for discussion during his lunch break at work. He could even go to school on vacation.

“The flexibility in the SNHU programs (is) very important to me,” he said. “I mean, I could do my homework pretty much anywhere, anytime … I needed that to finish my studies on time.”

He completed his marketing degree in one year and nine months, a few months earlier than the two years he had expected.

When he first enrolled, he was nervous about integrating school into his life and managing his time. “I think I was maybe a little nervous or overwhelmed that I couldn’t manage my time well and couldn’t finish my studies,” said Jaraysi. “I didn’t know whether I had it in me, but also generally in terms of time. But in the end I realize that I can do a lot more than I thought, and I want to take on and master new challenges in the future because it feels so great afterwards. ”

Talking to his counselor helped him learn how his classmates did it, and he realized that he could split up his duties over a week. Regular deadlines helped him move forward each week. “I definitely felt like I could plan each of my weeks,” he said.

With the missions due on Thursdays and Sundays, he had the flexibility to create a plan based on his weekly schedule – and was sure to include breaks. “Well, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, I would do some homework in a café after work, and on other days I would go to training or meet up with friends,” said Jaraysi. “So I would just split it up depending on each week and what I was doing that week.”

He also found the transit times – 10 weeks for graduate courses – the perfect length and helpful for knowing what to expect. He said the first half of the semester was usually spent studying the material and doing coursework to aid that learning. In the second half he was able to apply what he had learned up to that point to larger tasks and projects.

The completion of his graduation course, the culmination of his studies, was a proud moment for Jaraysi. “That felt really good. It was a relief, but also… it was cool just to look back and see that I put it all together, ”he said.

He already applies what he has learned at SNHU in his career, especially when communicating with others – both by email and in person. He feels more like a professional and has also gained confidence when he approaches people and expresses his ideas.

“This is an achievement that is worth celebrating because I now know that with this degree I can open doors, but also give my future family opportunities that I had too,” said Jaraysi.

The hard work he put into his apprenticeship is now paying off. With his newfound self-confidence and master’s qualification, he recently got a job as a marketing specialist.

Think about 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.