All posts by Nagieh Omer

5 Ways to Discover The Right Business Career Path For You

The old concept of working for one company and then retiring and taking home a pension after 40 years has long since faded into the past. These days, many people change careers multiple times prior to deciding on the right one. 

According to a study conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers today change jobs every 4.2 years, on average. 

While some may worry about the effect of constant career-hopping, it’s okay to change your mind about your career while on your path.

In this article, we take a look at five ways to help you discover the right business career path for you. Use these ideas to guide you so you can find your true path to an incredibly satisfying career.

1. Outline Your Career Goals

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Alumni Spotlight

Alumni Spotlight Series features interviews with the graduates from various colleges of National Louis University.

Let’s start off with who are you and what do you do?

My name is Stephanie Indianer and I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. I am a mental health therapist at  Astute Counseling Services, a mental health private practice in Lakeview, Chicago. After attending Michigan State University for my undergraduate degree, I earned my Master’s of Arts in Teaching at National Louis University while completing the AmeriCorps Program, Teach for America. My work as a Special Education Teacher and my experiences at NLU prompted me to then earn my Master’s in Social Work Degree from the University of Michigan. Prior to working at Astute Counseling Services, I was a School Social Worker. 

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How a BABA Complements a Marketing Career

This is the first in a series of guest blog posts by NLU alumni, who will be discussing an array of topics based on their current professional roles, hobbies, and passions.

A BABA (Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration) is valuable in many areas of business, including sales, marketing, customer service, accounting, HR, ICT, and admin. 

I have found it particularly helpful in my career as a marketer. 

Having this degree has made me a well-rounded marketer, and it has opened up a lot of new opportunities for me over the years. 

In this article, I want to share with you the different ways a BABA compliments a marketing career. 

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A Message From Our President: NLU Stands With Our Community

Dear NLU Community,

It is with a heavy heart that I write to you today. I am so saddened by the trauma, pain, sorrow, rage, frustration, and hopelessness that so many in our community and across our country are feeling. Over the last several weeks, we have witnessed the senseless, unconscionable murders of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Breonna Taylor in Louisville and Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, as well as numerous other acts of violence—lethal and not—against Black people in our nation. We know by now that these are not isolated incidents, but are part of a familiar pattern. They are part of the fatal, wearisome injustice of the society we live in, reflecting the chronic inequality and racial divisions that have deep roots in the United States, and that continue to scar this country. This inequity has been further highlighted with the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, which has disproportionately impacted our communities of color. This past week, the long-simmering rage and frustration over all of this boiled over.   

Although we don’t all like to admit it, People of Color—and let’s be frank, especially Black people—live lives of relentlessly hostile scrutiny, and they have been telling us so for centuries. We have not listened very well, and we certainly have not sufficiently acted to change it, and we should all be feeling troubled by this. This problem belongs to all of us, as does the solution. We all have to own it, but especially leaders and those in positions of authority and influence.

In response to George Floyd’s death former President Obama stated that “….we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’ — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.”  “Maddeningly normal” cannot be what we accept. 

I am feeling uneasy because the truth of injustice and inequity is ringing loudly in my head.  And while we cannot support or condone those who choose violence to hijack the message and the cause, it is critical that the message is not lost. 

The NLU family stands united against senseless acts of hate and the systemic racism that produces and perpetuates them. As an institution of higher education, we have an obligation to fight ignorance and intolerance, model inclusivity and embrace the power that diversity represents. We must stand together with everyone suffering from racism and inequity. Hate and violence cannot be part of our community.

We must support peace while we impatiently strive to be better than we are and do the hard work to be more just, more inclusive, and committed to equity. We must build a future where life is not devalued and bigotry is eliminated. And we must do all of this while empowering our democracy and supporting civility, so that together, through education and open dialogue, we may move towards a more just society.

NLU community, we grieve together today, and let us honor our grief by working to bend the arc of justice. There is much to be done and it is up to us to harness the full power of our extraordinarily diverse community. Through transparency, collective solidarity, and open dialogue, we can work toward healing the wounds of division and growing as a community, a city, and – hopefully, one day – a country.  

In the coming days I know that our entire community will be grappling with raw emotions, and I ask that we all work hard to support each other but especially our Black community.  Below I am attaching some resources that may be of help for our students, faculty, and staff in the coming days and weeks. 

This coming Wednesday, June 3, NLU will host a virtual Conversation Corner on the topic of racial injustice that anyone may attend. Join us in this safe space to discuss the injustice, protests, killings, brutality, hurt, anger, stress, etc. and what we all can do to help ourselves and our community feel empowered.

We encourage you to seek support as you need it.  Reach out to friends, family, and mental health professionals who can offer a listening ear, and please know that support is always available.

  • For students: NLU has partnered with Skylight Counseling Center to offer a variety of counseling resources. Students seeking counseling should leave a message to request an appointment at 312.261.3636 or 847.947.5656 or email counseling@nl.edu
  • For faculty and staff: Below is information for our Employee Assistance Program with Perspectives. Perspectives offers confidential assistance to employees and their families 24/7. Perspectives Online is a great website that provides information, resources and tools for a vast number of issues, ranging from parenting and child care to health and wellness, career development, workplace training and more.

Overall suggestion to faculty and staff right now:Adjust your expectations to fit these unique circumstances and be mindful of what is doable for you and your students. Identify what course content is most essential, what to prioritize, and what to let go of. What is really necessary for students to learn during this time of despair, fear, rage and uncertainty? Streamline and simplify as much as possible. Look at this term as Trauma Teaching – do no harm.

Sincerely,

Nivine Megahed, Ph.D.

President

NLU Is Highlighted for The Continuing Effort in Supporting Prior Learning Assessment & Adult Learner Lifecycle

Joseph Levy, Executive Director of Assessment and Accreditation and Tracy Costello, Assistant Director of Prior Learning Assessment of NLU believe that adult students need to feel validated and know their experience and knowledge has value and worth. Consequently, they are taking the proper steps to ensure these students are acknowledged. In The EvoLLLution online newspaper, Levy and Costello’s discuss considerations for ensuring student success through PLA programs, while also highlighting example practices at NLU. Prior Learning Assessments (PLA) allow a student’s experiential learning to be evaluated for potential credit award while recognizing and validating the non-traditional learning they bring with them to college.  

Through trial and error and finding the right balance of support, Levy and Costello have developed effective PLA options for undergraduate and graduate students such as credit by exam, credit by portfolio, credit by licensure and certifications, and course by arrangement to support students’ whose experience surpasses the coursework needed for completion of certain courses within some programs. These assessments are described in detail in the article and more information can be found on NLU’s PLA website.

With student support in place, Levy and Costello also created outreach initiatives that support and encourage adult learners including a PLA video showcasing students of PLA, redesigning the NLU website to provide testimonials, and program specific information fact sheets to demonstrate the PLA process (e.g., undergraduate examples here). By doing so, these efforts educate and reinforce PLA programs to students, faculty and staff, and are excellent examples for other institutions to consider. “At NLU, our institutional legacy is defined by its mindfulness in ensuring access to a diverse student body. With this in mind, we have made it our mission to provide equitable PLA opportunities for all students, supporting their unique individual backgrounds” state the innovative creators Levy and Costello. Read the article in The EvoLLLution online newspaper and learn more about NLU’s PLA services at https://www.nl.edu/pla/.

These results, as well as other workshops from various adult education groups will be discussed at the CAEL (Council for Adult and Experiential Learning) Conference “Plug in: Energize Adults Pathways to Success” at the Palmer House on Wednesday, November 6 to help support and promote the continuing efforts for PLA options for adults in and around the Chicagoland area. NLU is sponsoring the event, and the conference is opened to anyone would like to attend. More information can be found here.

NLU’s Viola provides Keynote address at China Community Psychology Conference

After two faculty members from China attended the Society for Community Research and Action (SCRA) conference hosted by National Louis University in June, they were enthusiastic about asking Associate Professor, Dr. Judah Viola, to attend and present as the keynote speaker at the 5th annual National Conference of Community Psychologists at Hebei Normal University in Shijiazhuang, China. The keynote address, How Community Psychologists Support Health and Wellness in the United States and What Relevance this has for Community Psychology in China summarized the range of applied research and action that U.S. based community psychologists are involved in today and presented community-based research findings from Dr. Viola’s work in Chicagoland and across the country.

(Dr. Judah Viola with Dr. Houchao Lyu, Southwest University and Dr. Jiehua Huang, Guangzhou University in Shijiazhuang China)

The address described the health and social issues of chronic disease prevention and management in a variety of settings ranging from government agencies and universities, to private companies. Dr. Viola provided an overview of the work happening across the United States in collaboration with coalitions to prevent obesity, training people with disabilities and their parents to partner with schools and local officials to more fully include people with disabilities in community settings, and supporting men who are coming out of drug treatment or jail to rebuild relationships with their children. The presentation provided quantitative and qualitative data that will help China-based community psychologists to design, evaluate, and adapt similar projects described in Dr. Viola’s presentation. The research collaboration begun this summer aims to support relevant cultural, social, and health related issues across the globe.

“I was thrilled to represent NLU and U.S. community psychologists as we had a vibrant exchange of ideas with colleagues from across over 20 universities in China.  The visit will continue to bear fruit as I collaborate with Chinese community psychologists on cross-cultural research and engage National Louis students in this work going forward,” Dr. Viola stated regarding this opportunity for collaboration. Dr. Viola exemplifies NLU’s mission by sharing innovative ways to engage in the support health and wellness locally and globally. You can learn more about Dr. Viola’s research and scholarship here: https://works.bepress.com/judah_viola/.

Voting on National Louis University Campus Up in 2018

National Louis University, along with 1,000 other institutions, participated in the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement (NSLVE) through the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education. The study provides reports to participating colleges and universities, like NLU, which use them to support political learning and civic engagement, as well as to identify and address gaps in political and civic participation. National Louis University reported that student voting on campus was up in last year’s election, increasing to 47.9 percent in 2018 from a rate of 39.1 percent in 2014. The full campus report can be viewed here.

The report is part of the National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement, or NSLVE, conducted by the Institute for Democracy & Higher Education (IDHE) at Tufts University’s Tisch College of Civic Life. The study shows that nationwide,the voting rates at participating college campuses doubled on average compared to the previous 2014 midterm. In 2018, the Average Institutional Voting Rate (AIVR) among campuses in the study was 39.1 percent, nearly 20 percentage points higher than 2014’s average turnout rate of 19.7 percent. Turnout increases were widespread, with virtually all campuses seeing an increase over 2014.

This report is vital to NLU, indicating an increase in the dedication and engagement of the political sphere by our students. The report provides NLU administrators the data review to implement innovative ways to engage students on a deeper, larger level. National Louis University is committed to educate, promote, and support students’ engagement and commitment to vote. To learn more about this study and other NLU civic engagement within the community, visit the NLU Civic Engagement Center.

NLU Faculty In Action: Gates Foundation Data-informed Instruction Case Study Supports Underrepresented Students

Five National Louis University faculty members partnered with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in a new case study that explored instructional strategic “best practices” and “strengths-based approaches” for supporting students inside and outside of the classroom using data informed learnings. Tara Bryant-Edwards, Lisa Downey, Bethany Harding, Doug McCoy, Margeaux Temeltas, and Stephanie Poczos contributed their expertise to the study.

The case study spotlights the usage of data to support teaching, including faculty content meetings that help with instructional planning to meet learning objectives, individualizing instruction, and interventions to promote success with at-risk students. The case study uses specific data such as the “early-warning sign data” to provide critical support for students to persist towards graduation. These data points promote collaboration amongst other colleagues and departments to give undergraduate students the best chance at success.

The data described in the case study support faculty intervention and allow for intentional adjustments in best practices for the classroom, while also assisting in reaching students on a holistic level. The data provide faculty members the ability to make accommodations in the classroom lectures, to utilize resources on campus in the classroom such as the writing support team and student success coaches, and to create individualized plans to help break down assignments in manageable sections.

This case study led by NLU faculty and sponsored by the Gates Foundation is another step the institution is taking to support undergraduate students, ensuring the best practices are being applied in and outside of the classroom. The methods described in the case study support the use of technology, data-driven instruction, individualized instruction, faculty collaboration, interaction with students, and active classrooms. The case study can be found here.

Jason Stegemoller, Associate Professor, Has Been Appointed as Part of the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education (IACBE)

Jason Stegemoller, Associate Professor and chair of ESL/Bilingual Education, has been appointed as part of the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education through the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). The purpose of the Advisory Council on Bilingual Education is to advise the State Superintendent of the ISBE on issues which relate to the educational needs of students whose first language is not English.  With NLU as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and Professor Stegemoller’s major aspect of work at NLU, teaching and serving as chair for ESL and bilingual education coursework, the advisory council position aligns well.

“I accepted this position because I am proud of the policy context for bilingual education in Illinois,” stated Professor Stegemoller. “I am excited to be part of the council that advises on policy and rules on bilingual education in a context that recognizes the assets of bilingual students. We have upwards of 400 students taking ESL and bilingual endorsement courses each term. I hope to have an impact on policies related to teaching emergent bilingual students, and preparing educators to teach them.”

The Advisory Council consists of 17 members whose experience or knowledge of the various programs of bilingual education are instrumental within the community and in institutions of higher learning. The goal of the Council is to review educational issues including certifications, finance, and special education within a bilingual setting. The group will meet 4 times a year to review, discuss, and rules pertaining to bilingual education within the state.

More information, including reports, other members, and public comment policy can be found here.

Surge Institute, Empowering Leaders of Color, Names NLU’s Perez a Fellow

Alison Regalado Perez, Associate Director of Undergraduate Enrollment and Partnerships in the Undergraduate College, has been named a 2020 Chicago Surge Fellow through the Surge Institute, whose mission is to educate, develop, and prepare leaders of color in the field of education.

The Chicago-based Surge Institute selected 25 young leaders, including Perez, for its yearlong program, which includes executive skill training, leadership development, and exposure to respected leaders and policymakers in education. Fellows will develop their own leadership and advocacy skills and will also complete individual capstone projects.

Perez joined NLU UGC Enrollment team in May 2017, and has since been working to increase enrollment by establishing strong partnerships with college access focused organizations within high school districts. According to Perez, her goal with the partnerships is to “increase awareness of NLU and of all the fantastic supports we offer to students so that they feel confident that NLU is a good fit for them.”

The Surge Institute will deepen Perez’s skills for her NLU career. Perez indicates that she is looking forward to everything she will learn at the institute. “I want to grow my professional skill set and develop my voice and executive presence so that my work can have a deeper and more meaningful impact on students,” Perez said. “I am also looking forward to gaining the resources and supports to meaningfully show up for students every day on every project and be part of a community that supports and guides me to build an education system that will change the lives of young people.”

Congratulations and good luck on this new endeavor, Alison!

Find out more about NLU’s Undergraduate College

See the complete list of 2020 Surge Fellows.