September 13, 2018
For many ASU Online students, the chance to make a difference in their communities is a powerful motivator for earning a degree. Whether their goal is to advance in their current field or propel into a new arena altogether, working professionals who enroll in one of our online degrees find the flexible and robust nature of the program helps set them up for success.
Pursuing a Master of Sustainability Leadership degree enabled ASU Online student Annalise Dum to transition from the field of architecture into the nonprofit sector, where she now works as the Chicago facilities and workplace wellness manager for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Her role with the environmental action group includes overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Chicago office, in addition to consulting and advocating for the wellness component of sustainability within institutional construction projects and NRDC’s workforce.
“I focus on holistic sustainability, corporate social responsibility, and health and wellness in the workplace,” Annalise says. “I am certain that I got here, in large part, because of the MSL program. Being able to talk about the four different threads of the program and my capstone project is what sold me in my interview."
Jorge Salinas was in search of a reputable online school when he discovered and applied for the MSL program. After graduating from undergrad in 2013, Jorge entered the workforce and found he did not really enjoy what he was doing. He felt, as many people do, that going back to get his master’s degree in something more specialized and catered to his interests would give him an edge in finding an alternative career path.
“I had never taken an online course before this program, so I wasn’t sure what to expect,” Jorge says. “Even though I have flexibility, I have to be able to really focus. It is still adhering to deadlines, and takes just as much if not more effort to stay organized. I check Canvas every day and use calendars. It definitely requires looking forward.”
The program, he says, is really what students want to make of it. “If you just want to get your degree, you can absolutely do that,” he says. “But it’s also a great opportunity to network and get different perspectives on things. It is a real learning experience, not just turning a quick paper in here or there. You can take a lot out of it if you put in the time.”