Class of 2017 Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management
Like many Peirce College students, Nick Santangelo did not get to be in Peirce ’s Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Management (MSOLM) graduate degree program through the traditional route. His path through college, like many Peirce students’, could be described as non-traditional. Through his own unique educational journey, Nick learned who he was, what he wanted and how he needed to get there.
“Going to school as an adult is completely different than as an 18-year old,” says Nick. “It’s something I have a lot of experience with, as I didn’t complete my undergrad until I was 26. Forget the five-year plan, I was on the Van Wilder plan.”
"If I can do it with Peirce, anyone can"
Nick enrolled in college immediately following high school in 2001, but it didn’t quite work out. He attended Holy Family University for a couple years pursuing a degree in computer science, but he didn’t take it seriously enough and eventually dropped out, “I was young and completely unsure what I wanted in a career, but I figured out pretty quickly that it wasn’t being a programmer, and that Holy Family wasn’t working for me.”
After taking about four years off and working a job at the US Postal Service, he hit a crossroads in his career. He’d recently been promoted, but soon realized that this path wasn’t enough for him. There was no sense of fulfillment in his job, and he couldn’t see a way toward something better without going back to school, so he did just that. He did a few semesters at community college and eventually transferred to Rutgers University and in 2010 completed his bachelor’s of science in Marketing.
A Path to More Opportunities
He had been thinking about a master’s degree since his time at Rutgers but wasn’t sure if he could really commit to the added workload while working full time. “I wasn’t crazy about the quantitative focus of the GMATs and MBA programs,” Nick says, “I’m more of a words guy than a numbers guy.”
A Peirce employee since 2014, Nick was well aware of the College's MSOLM program, but he was nevertheless impressed with the real-world applications of the coursework once he enrolled. “I think what stands out most about what I’ve learned in my courses at Peirce is just how relatable so many of the lessons are. This isn’t just theoretical stuff – it’s real world, practical knowledge. In fact, I sometimes find myself nodding my head and smiling while reading a passage in one of the texts as I remember a similar situation happening in my professional life,” Nick explains. “The lessons learned help show how I might handle similar situations differently in the future to achieve better results.”
Right now, Nick is about halfway through the program, as he started back in January 2016. He is currently the Web & Communications Specialist at Peirce, where he does a lot of work writing copy, directing website projects, updating websites and managing search engine optimization and search engine marketing. He wants to stay in this field, but hopes to advance to a managerial position after attaining his master’s degree, “Today I’m in school because I want to expand my skills and knowledge and improve my career and, in turn, my life.”
If you’re still not sure whether or not to go back to school, Nick has some advice for you: “Stop waiting and just go back! Trust me, you can and should do it. Time is our most precious resource, because you’ll never get any of it back, and that means you’ll never get back the increased earning power and real career fulfillment you can have by getting your degree now!”