“This was the best decision of my life”

May 02, 2013

Voices from Graduation – 2013 Spring Graduating Class is Largest Ever – Over 1,100 Graduates Receive Diplomas

Graduates of Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) shared their experiences, plans after graduation, and advice to current students pursuing their degrees before they headed into Matthew’s Arena on Sunday, April 21, 2013 to receive their diplomas. Here is what a few graduates had to say:

“My classmates came from across the country and around the world – I learned a lot from them.”

Brandon Clark

Clark said that the inspiration for making the trip was found in watching last year’s graduation ceremony stream live on the web, and deciding that when he finished his degree, he would walk across the stage in Boston. Brandon Clark’s co-workers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee hosted a breakfast for him and decorated his workspace to celebrate his completion of a Master of Education (MEd). Then Clark, who completed his degree fully online, his mother and two sisters, flew to Boston to participate in the CPS Graduation.

With the goal of working in student affairs or a college preparatory pipeline program, Clark chose the MEd with a concentration in Higher Education Administration based on the curriculum, the flexibility to study online and the diverse classroom, noting, “my classmates came from across the country and around the world – I learned a lot from them.”

Clark’s chief memory of the program is “All the work…There’s a perception that online learning might be easier, but it is not. I worked on something every day in my program. You have to know the material and do additional work to demonstrate your knowledge.”

On a day of celebration, Clark recalled the sacrifices that he made to become the first member of his family to earn a master’s degree: “It comes down to time management — you have to think about what you’re willing to sacrifice. Sometimes it meant buying books instead of shopping. Worth it? Definitely.”

 

“It is absolutely possible to complete your degree online”

Mayra Fernandez

Fernandez completed her degree fully online, and she and her husband and two of their three children celebrated by attending graduation in person in Boston. Full-time student and full-time mother of three, Mayra Fernandez of Glen Cove, NY, completed a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with honors in two years and is already planning her next academic move – a master’s degree.

Fernandez described a critical ingredient to her success learning online: “You have to be very disciplined” staying on top of reading, lectures, assignments and papers, and the unexpected benefit: “In every single class, I was able to make friends” with other students. Fernandez elaborated on what surprised and pleased her about studying online, noting “I think you learn more online. You’re forced to study more and read more than a classroom student, so you learn in a different way.”

Her advice to prospective students in circumstances like hers? “It is absolutely possible to complete your degree online. You’ll be able to dedicate yourself to your family and your studies.”

 

“Boston is a good place to be a student 

Mei Ying Liu

“This was the best decision of my life,” said Mei Ying Liu on the morning that she graduated with a Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication degree. Liu described her journey from her start in the Master of Science in Project Management program at CPS to her realization of her keen interest in the critical role of communications, resulting in the switch from one area of study to the other. Liu, originally from Taiwan, sees her future in working for a non-profit organization, using both her communications expertise and project management skills.

Liu is enthusiastic about her choice of Northeastern, describing the basis of her decision: “the program of study, the location, the city does matter – Boston is a good place to be a student.” And, she noted that a critical part of her learning experience was outside the classroom, with “friends and fellow students sharing work experiences and life experiences with me.”       “This was the best decision of my life,” said Mei Ying Liu on the morning that she graduated with a Master of Science in Corporate and Organizational Communication degree. Liu described her journey from her start in the Master of Science in Project Management program at CPS to her realization of her keen interest in the critical role of communications, resulting in the switch from one area of study to the other. Liu, originally from Taiwan, sees her future in working for a non-profit organization, using both her communications expertise and project management skills.

 

More about graduation

The College of Professional Studies celebrates two graduations, fall and spring, in keeping with the College’s flexible approach to education offering an array of options to students including part-time and full-time studies, Fast-Track, online, and hybrid formats. To learn more about graduation, visit our 2013 graduation web page.

To read about the College of Professional Graduation Ceremony on April 21, 2013, visit: “A superb example of a modern graduating class”

To read about the recipients of the Excellence in Teaching Award, please visit:

An “Inspiring Instructor who Encourages Intellectual Risk-Taking”

An Instructor who “Encourages Students to Attempt Challenging Problems without Fear or Failure”


Northeastern University’s College of Professional Studies (CPS) is committed to providing career-focused educational programs that are designed to accommodate the complex lives of motivated learners. Offered in a variety of innovative formats, CPS courses are taught by accomplished scholars and practitioners who have real-world experience. The result is an educational experience founded on proven scholarship, strengthened with practical application, and sustained by academic excellence.

Founded in 1898, Northeastern is a comprehensive, global research university. The university offers more than 80 undergraduate majors and more than 165 graduate programs, ranging from professional master’s degrees to interdisciplinary PhD programs. Northeastern’s research enterprise is aligned with three national imperatives: health, security and sustainability. Northeastern students participate in co-op and other forms of experiential learning in 90 countries on all seven continents.