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Chris Bell

MS Information Technology - Web Design, Class of 2016

"I definitely would not have been able to do it without SNHU. SNHU has (been) really helpful. It keeps my mind active."

Chris Bell is a man with a lot of balls in the air. He said it's his degree from Southern New Hampshire University that helps him keep his juggling act in tact.

Bell is currently working toward a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. The degree will be his third from Southern New Hampshire University, all of them focused on improving his family's business, West Bell Electronics in Merrimack, N.H.

Bell's first degree was an associate's in small business management in 2003. At West Bell, much of his work focused on building and improving the company's website. That prompted him to return to school and earn his bachelor's in IT with a focus on web design, and later, his master's in IT, also with a focus on web design. "Every time I took a new class I would go back and change the whole website," he said.

As his father neared retirement, he wanted a better grounding in broader business principles and began taking MBA classes this year. "You have to start with a plan, and SNHU has helped me with that unbelievably," Bell said. "The financial classes are huge. It's just priceless information."

Bell stays busy with more than school and the family business though. He owns three properties and recently launched a new website that offers a twist on more well-known real estate sites. BLSMarket.com is attempting to flip the home-buying market on its head. Instead of featuring listings from homeowners interested in selling their homes it invites buyers to create listings of homes they want to buy. The idea is real estate listing agents can search the site to see if their clients' properties have interested buyers. Homeowners themselves can also find a deal that intrigues them, even if they aren't actively marketing their home, Bell said. Users can also "outbid" one another by copying an existing listing but offering a higher price and being featured more prominently on the site.

While it's still very new, Bell said the idea has been received well. "Everyone thinks that the concept is really cool. It's different," he said.

Bell said the education he got - and is still getting - at SNHU helped him develop many skills he uses in his work daily.

"I definitely would not have been able to do it without SNHU," he said.