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An untraditional path to success: Communication
The road to a degree has been one filled with many twists and turns for ASU Online student Diti Bhasin. After getting into her first-choice school in 2006, she soon found it wasn’t for her.
“I couldn’t seem to be successful and failed out twice,” she says. “Having that severe punishment of having to leave a school made me shut down and decide not to worry about getting a degree. In high school, it hadn’t taken a lot of effort for me to get decent grades.”
Instead, she began working for a nonprofit. Though she learned a lot from the organization, as time went on she became frustrated that her paycheck didn’t reflect the level of responsibility she was being given.
“I would try to go to bat for myself and they’d always bring up education,” she says. “Most of my co-workers had a master’s degree at a minimum. Not having that formal piece of paper was a big point of pain for me, and even when trying to leave, it was hard to get my foot in the door other places.”
She adds, “If I couldn’t grow in a place where people knew who I was, it wasn’t going to be easier to try to find something brand new without a degree. That’s what really prompted me to go back to school.”
Diti went on to complete an associate’s degree in marketing. She then applied to an online communication program at a different school. Though she had all the necessary requirements, the school declined her acceptance.
“To have accomplished something, have momentum going and then have a school tell you no was tough,” she says. “At 30 years old, it was hard to be held to things that had happened when I was 18. But it was a blessing in disguise because that’s how I ended up at ASU.”
After applying to ASU Online, Diti was pleasantly surprised by the amount of support she received from her Enrollment Advisor.
“She would call, text, and email to make sure I was OK and had everything I needed,” Diti says. “I was really transparent with her given my previous struggles, and she told me about how ASU President Michael Crow believes education should be accessible to all people.”
She enrolled in the online Communication degree program in August 2018, and has already taken advantage of the numerous resources ASU Online offers to its students.
“I feel like when you’re an older student, you take advantage of what’s available even more,” she says. “I’ve met with my Success Coach and Academic Advisor. I’ve done online writing workshops. I’m happy with the amount of people who are at ASU to make sure I’m successful. It’s nice to have people checking in on me.”
As a transfer student with existing credits as well as an associate’s degree, having someone to help navigate the quickest path to graduation has been essential.
“My academic advisor walked me through exactly what I needed,” she says. “My goal is to graduate with honors. It has taken me this long, and I want something extra! He explained the credit breakdown and what it would require.”
After she obtains her bachelor’s degree, Diti hopes to enroll in an MBA program. In the meantime, she has become as involved as possible with the numerous groups and networking opportunities available as an ASU student.
“I’ve utilized Handshake and Facebook groups, and am also involved with honor societies,” she says. “I seek out people who are in my class and connect with them, which is helpful to have throughout the semester. I also really want to come to campus.”
Though her journey to a degree has been untraditional, one of the biggest lessons she has learned is universal: True success has to come from you.
“Until it’s something you really want and you see the value in it, you won’t be successful,” she says. “It can be very intimidating, but once you have that mindset, at ASU there is a whole team of people to support you.”