From Skeptic to Believer: Reese Hann

As a lifelong lover of learning, Reese Hann did not want to entrust his education to just any school. After moving to the San Francisco Bay Area from Chicago, he pursued a geography degree at a nearby college, but soon found he was disappointed in the course material and teaching methods. He decided to switch his major to linguistics, assuming that his love of languages — in addition to English, he speaks Korean, German and Spanish — would help engage him.

“About seven weeks in, I realized I didn’t like that program, either,” he recalls. “It was a huge deal for me, because I love going to school. I read all the time, and you could say I try to know something about everything. So I couldn’t understand, how could I not like learning?”

Despite needing a change, Reese was hesitant to seek out online schools, assuming he’d be equally disappointed in the quality of any program that was not on a physical campus. After coming across ASU Online, however, he decided it was worth a closer look.

“I was very critical,” he admits. “I wanted to make sure the classes were going to be as good as they sounded and that my experience would be amazing.”

Erring on the side of caution, he signed up for two classes in his first term: a course on community health and sustainability, as well as a course on European geography.

“More than anything, the geography course was what convinced me I was in the right place at ASU,” Reese says. “It was such a stark contrast from what I was learning at my previous university. The professor, John Shaeffer, was completely knowledgeable and made the experience just as good as being on campus. Ever since, I have loved every class I’ve been in. Each one has brought new things to the table, presenting topics from a new angle or side.”

One of the aspects of ASU Online that has most impressed Reese is the amount of additional resources made available to students, such as his Success Coaches and academic advisor.

“I have had so many questions for my Success Coaches, especially in the first and second terms,” he says. “I just kept asking and asking. I recently brought up that I haven’t had a chance to take a public presentation class — I’ve learned it’s important to have these skills, but when I speak in public, I get really nervous. I asked if she could give me some resources on communications, and it wasn’t even an hour later that she got a list back to me.”

And it was Reese’s academic advisor who helped him decide to chase after a second degree in urban planning.

“He explained how I could get the two degrees and what the difference would be,” Reese says. “He understood how important the academics were to me, and knew what it would take to get to graduation. I’ve gone to many other colleges and have found academic advising to be lacking at every one of them. At ASU, it’s a complete package with so much support. They know a lot, are always available and really invest in you as an individual.”

Reese is looking forward to graduating this December, and hopes to then work toward getting his master’s and doctorate degrees. Through ASU, he has realized his passion for risk assessment, specifically within the transportation industry. Among his dream jobs would be working for a company like Tesla, or on behalf of public transportation in the Bay Area.

“I’m lucky enough to live here,” he says. “There’s so much to do and so many possibilities. I’m not exactly sure what my next role will look like yet, but I’m grateful for the potential opportunity that’s out there.”

Learn more about ASU Online undergraduate degrees in geography and urban planning.

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