Meet Our Team: Jessica Schnitzer, Student Support Specialist

Jessica Schnitzer, Student Support Specialist for Public Health

Jessica Schnitzer, Student Support Specialist for the Graduate Programs in Public Health at UNE Online

‘Meet our Team’ spotlights are just one way we like to share a little bit about the people who are dedicated to UNE Online’s signature student-centric experience.

What do you do here at UNE Online?

I am a Student Support Specialist in the UNE Online Public Health program specifically working with master’s and graduate certificate students.

What stands out to you in the program that you work within?

What stands out to me about Public Health is its relevance in our current climate. Public Health is on the minds of everyone during the Covid-19 pandemic and is more recognizable in our daily lives more than ever before. I commend our students for making the conscious decision to further their education in a field that is so widespread and rapidly changing.

Because of the nature of our program, upon completion, students will obtain a detailed overview of Public Health that will allow them to continue or start a career in a health field that they will make the most difference in!

What’s your favorite part about being a Student Support Specialist?

My favorite part about being a Student Support Specialist is of course working with students and building lasting relationships with them.

One would think that when a student is enrolled in a master’s-level program at an online college, they are completely independent of assistance from that institution. Here at UNE, we specialize and work hard to form genuine relationships with our students as we believe that this is an integral part of their success in our programs!

Building a nurturing and helpful environment can only lead to students reaching their goals – something I for one am extremely proud to be a part of!

As a Student Support Specialist, is there a student success story that comes to mind with a student you’ve supported?

Although I have not been with the program long, all of my student interactions have been nothing short of wonderful. It is so inspiring to be working with lifelong learners who have a passion for helping others and solving health problems.

Every person I have worked with has a different end goal after earning their Master of Public Health but there is a common denominator that makes all students similar: the drive to make our world a healthier one.

I have the utmost respect for our students as most are working the front lines during this pandemic while continuing their education in a master’s program; this is something I cannot even comprehend! The strength and determination that our students have can not be measured and it is an honor to be able to work with them!

Do you have a favorite book?

It is my personal goal to finish all of the famous Classic Novels so among that list, my favorite book by far is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Tied for my favorite is easily Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt. I was assigned to read the book my sophomore year in high school and I have not put it down since.

If you are looking for a heart-tugging memoir about a poor boy growing up in early 20th century Ireland, then this book is for you!

Do you have any pets?

Marty the Shetland Sheepdog

Jessica Schnitzer’s Shetland Sheepdog, Marty

I have a one-year-old Shetland Sheepdog named Marty! He is hyper, sweet, and incredibly intelligent – besides work, all of my attention goes to him.

What’s the best professional advice you’ve received?

The best professional advice I have ever received was an old proverb from a retiring coworker. He reiterated that “humans were born with two eyes, and two ears, but only one mouth; take the time to listen to those around you and observe.”

As a young professional entering a new career, it is important to make the time to listen and understand different business models of those who came before you in your field. In order to become a better professional, one must stay humble and be open to criticism.

Lifelong learning does not end when your academic journey is complete; it could also be applied to learning new skills and methods in the workplace. There is never a chance where one can not learn, a person just needs to seek out the right opportunities and go for them!

What advice do you give to your students that you support?

My biggest advice to students is to network and make relationships with not only myself, the Student Support Specialist, but with faculty! Networking, in my opinion, is one of the key aspects of academic success that is the most overlooked and underused.

It is imperative that students take the time to introduce themselves on a personal level to faculty and engage in professional conversation! You never know when you may need a reference or have a question about a field you are unfamiliar with.

Even though it may be uncomfortable, push yourself to break the barriers of the computer screen and start a conversation – you never know where it will lead!

Interested in learning more about the programs Jessica works with?


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