When you’re considering finishing your degree, you need support. Sometimes you don’t know where to look or who to ask. We’re lucky to have a network of alumni who raise their hand to share their stories and offer advice.
We caught up Paul Dean, a dual alum who earned his bachelor’s in 2004 and returned for his master’s degree in 2014.
Starting as an undergrad. Returning for his master’s.
Ten years after finishing his bachelor’s degree from Granite State, Paul wanted to grow his career and he started his search for a master’s degree. The decision-making process came with some big questions.
Deciding on a master’s is one of those defining moments. You’re at a crossroads. I asked myself: should I go to another school or should I continue at Granite State where I got my bachelor's.
He researched a variety of local and online programs and as an alum, he included Granite State in his research and met with a program director in the Office of Graduate Studies.
My program director helped me understand my options and guided me through the different master's programs. I was able to find a program that fit my goals. I was able to make a plan that was right for me. What was most important in my decision was the personal touch. It’s evident that you're important. You’re not just another number at Granite State College. You’re part of a family.
Making room for academics.
Paul has a hectic and at times, unpredictable schedule. He is the Chief of Police and Executive Director of Public Safety at the University of New Hampshire. He's responsible for all the law enforcement, homeland security, and emergency management at UNH and all its facilities across the state.
For those who say that they don't have enough time in their life, I'm an example. My schedule is probably one of the most demanding schedules around and I have been able to come back to school for my master's and do it and do it successfully.
Chief Dean's family, friends, and co-workers are constantly pushing him to reach his goals. Paul also found great support and a mentor within the Office of Graduate Studies.The most important relationship I built as a graduate student was with the director for the Leadership program. There was one time when I felt like I didn’t know where I was going and my program director was instantly there for me to provide direction make me feel comfortable as a student.
Understanding that support can be hard to find when you’re just starting to think about finishing your degree, Paul wants to be considered a resource.
If you're thinking about a master's degree and you're on the edge, reach out. Contact a program director like I did or email an alumni like me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
It's always difficult to make that first step but once you do, everything will fall into place for you like it did for me.
Paul's ultimate goal is to earn his doctorate to become a professor, using his degree and his 31 years in law enforcement to give back.