"It helped me translate the soft skills from my history degree into the business world."
After earning his bachelor’s degree in history, Jason Becerra spent 20 years as a business administrator, most recently at a chemical consulting firm near his native Houston, Texas. While he said many of the skills he learned as a history major – soft skills like writing, creative thinking and research – are useful in the business world, he also felt his academic and professional lives were out of sync. That’s when he looked to online universities and eventually found Southern New Hampshire University’s online Master of Business Administration program.
“I thought an MBA would be an interesting way of marrying my professional life and my academic life,” Becerra said. “It’s been a great experience, and I do expect that it will result in the kind of career movement that I’m looking for.”
Becerra said one of the principal things he appreciated about his time at SNHU was the university’s acknowledgment of the support students relied upon not only from their instructors and advisors but from their families, employers and friends. That was driven home at commencement, he said. His parents, watching a live stream, texted him during the ceremony about how impressed they were with the diversity of the graduating class. “The thing that I took away from today is how much the university seems to value and honor the village that kind of surrounds its students,” he said following the Commencement ceremony. “We’re not individuals floating in space. We’re all connected in one way or another, and Southern New Hampshire has done a phenomenal job of being the hub in the wheel we’re all connected to.”
Becerra said he hadn’t considered coming to Commencement until his academic advisor encouraged him to. It solidified for him many of the things he was looking for in a school when he initially applied, he said, including things like having a traditional campus. “I was really touched by how much the university values all of us,” he said. “The president and the entire university staff seem to really cherish and respect that fact that we are all unique individuals with our own lives and challenges and stories.”
Looking ahead, Becerra said, “At my core, I’m a storyteller” and wants to pursue a career focused on communication. He hopes to combine those talents with his business background and newly minted MBA to find the job he really wants. “My MBA is the other hand’s glove,” he said. “It’s a nuts and bolts degree that helped me understand how to gather raw data, process it and extrapolate trends, useful information for which to base large decisions. It helped me translate the soft skills from my history degree into the business world."