Zakia Baker

MS Accounting - Forensic Accounting, Class of 2016

"I am successful because I have a great support system, and that includes my SNHU advisor."

My dream had always been to go to college. However, when I left high school, I knew I was going straight to the military. Coming from a poor family, I knew we couldn't afford college. I enlisted in the U.S. Navy to serve my country and secure a college education. While serving, I acquired a mysterious illness. It debilitated me to the point where going to school and working full-time was going to be an impossibility. After leaving the military, I struggled with going back to college. I'd go back, and then it would seem that some life situation, or my own illness, would keep me from continuing. Finally, a friend suggested I pursue an online education. I was very nervous because, back then, there was a sort of stigma about it. I wanted my degree to be taken seriously. Having my son coincided with more information being available about my illness. I was able to manage it better. I also decided it was time to go back to school, and online education fit my unique needs. I completed my associate degree, then BBA, then MBA all online. Finally, I decided to pursue a CPA, but needed more credits. SNHU was rated as a top school by U.S. News and World Report.

I wanted a more challenging school that had a real university feel, while being online. Online schools had really evolved by then. SNHU is perfect. Pursuing an MS in Forensic Accounting has been a great experience here. Largely because of some really good professors, and of course, my student advisor who really cares about my success. It is important to have someone who understands what you are going through, and can help you navigate your collegiate path. I owe a large part of my success to Justin Mazzone, my advisor. Without his encouragement and constant support, I may not have continued. Graduate studies are tough, especially for a mother who suffers with a debilitating illness. It’s fantastic to be able to reach my goals with the support of a staff member who really cares. I am successful because I have a great support system, and that includes my SNHU advisor.