Student Spotlight: Alyssa Reyna-Flores – Master’s in Human Resource Management
NECB: Why did you decide to attend NECB?
Alyssa: When I graduated with my undergraduate degree, I was very proud of my accomplishment. However, I was young, so I didn’t really know what I wanted out of my life, but I knew I wanted more, I just needed to grow.
It wasn’t until I started working in the education industry that I found my passion which is helping others discover theirs. I knew that I wanted to expand my knowledge, grow and learn in the field of Human Resource Management. I knew that I always wanted to earn and obtain a master’s degree but thought it wasn’t going to be possible because I never really found the right time or took the time to do research.
Fear stood in my way until 2018 when my company sent out an email to all employees who might be interested in learning about NECB and what degrees they offered. That email planted the seed, so I started to research the college. After researching NECB, I was intrigued that it was regionally-accredited and recognized for earning several US News and World Report awards for its online degree programs. Then, it wasn’t until late March when NECB conducted a webinar to all employees that I decided to go for it. I reached out to the admissions team and in 3 days I was enrolled, no turning back!
It was the best on a whim decision I ever made. See, we all know life comes and goes and we are never really ready but being ready to better yourself and continue your education should never be put on hold if you have the resources, determination and drive to go for what you want.
NECB: What advice would you give to someone who is considering going to NECB?
Alyssa: The best advice I would advise potential NECB students to do is write down your “why,” the reason(s) you want to continue your education. Then start researching on NECB’s website to look through their different degree programs to see which fit your overall career goals. The NECB website is a great resource for all of their degree programs and the courses required to obtain the various degrees that I used to pinpoint exactly which degree I wanted. This resource helped me in my process to determine which program I wanted.
NECB: What advice would you give to students to be successful with online learning? Any challenges you had to overcome? Or any misconceptions you had going in that turned out to be untrue?
Alyssa: The best advice I could give students is to allocate time and dedicate yourself to your school work. This is an investment in your future, and it will be worth it in the end. Organize yourself and map out your plan of action based on what fits your schedule. Online courses are convenient for working students but require time management and organizational skills. Once you get the hang of it, you’ll have your own schedule and system that works best based on your studying and learning habits.
Be open to new ideas and learning patterns as every professor is unique. Keep an open line of communication with your professors and your classmates because you’ll most likely have more than one class with them throughout your courses.
I was under the impression that online courses were difficult, but thanks to NECB the professors and staff make it their mission for their students to be successful. I realized that if you are dedicated to learning and organize your time right, online learning can be a great tool for working adults that don’t have time to physically go to a campus. It is a very exciting journey to say you can accomplish anything you set your mind too. Don’t let online courses stop you from enrolling!
NECB: How do you juggle/manage to be a student while working? Any tips you can share with future / current NECB Students?
Alyssa: Since I work Monday through Friday, I had the weekends open to complete the remainder of the assignments. I was also able to dedicate evenings to my school work. I would work on homework/readings on my lunch break and utilize any spare time to complete my discussions.
What I do like the most about NECB is that it uses Canvas, which is a mobile application that I used to complete most of my readings when I was not in front of my computer at home. This gave me the flexibility and access to work on the go using my mobile device from anywhere. I was able to log in and submit assignments anytime so there was no excuse to utilize spare time to complete readings or submit assignments. Working on the assignments on my downtime during the week helped minimize the work I was left to complete on the weekend so that I could enjoy some free time.
NECB: What’s your biggest takeaway so far attending NECB?
Alyssa: One of my biggest takeaways throughout this journey this far would have to be how much I have grown not only as a professional but in my personal life. I have gained so much more self-esteem within myself and I have realized my self-worth and what I can bring to the table in my career. I have grown so much more since starting with NECB. It has pushed me out of my comfort zone, helped me trust in myself and most importantly, it has taught me to believe in myself and know that I can achieve greatness if I put in the hard work and effort.
NECB: What’s your goal/plan once you graduate?
Alyssa: My goal after I graduate is to stay in my current position as an Academic Advisor and gain as much experience I can in this role to be able to move up within the organization and pass down the knowledge I have obtained to others through mentoring and development. It is time for women to have a seat at the table and make noise!