Coach Q&A: Shannon M.
Q. Tell us about yourself! Who are you, what’s your role at Guild, and how do you spend your time off the clock?
A. Hello! My name is Shannon and I am a Continuing Education Coach at Guild. I support students who are transitioning between Guild programs, whether that be graduating from one program and advancing to the next program, or transferring between majors and/or schools.
Outside of Guild, you can usually find me running, hiking, or spending time with my dog, Luna. Right now I am working towards running a race in all 50 states!
Q. What’s your take on school prestige — do Guild network programs measure up?
A. School prestige, or brand name, is not the same as accreditation. School prestige may indicate the competitiveness of admission requirements or recognition of the school name. Accreditation measures the credibility or value of the degree.
Guild offers a variety of strong academic partners, all of which are accredited programs, and that is important to us. Having diverse accredited schools that offer flexible, online learning, with varying admissions requirements, ensures there is a school option for everyone.
My advice is: don’t rule out a school just because you haven’t heard of it yet! It may be the school that best fits your schedule, offers strong academic support, and aligns with your goals.
Q. Where can students learn more about Guild’s different academic partners?
A. Having a coaching conversation is a great place to start! Guild’s coaches are equipped with talking points on the Guild-certified academic partners. Additionally, students can view a brief overview of each school within the Guild catalog.
To learn more about a specific school, be sure to navigate to the university website (which is linked in the Guild catalog page where it says “view syllabus”). From there you can read more about the university highlights, program details, and specific curriculum in your program of interest. You can also compare various universities through comparison tools such as the College Scorecard created by the U.S. Department of Education.
Q. Be honest — does brand-name recognition really matter when it comes to choosing a school?
A. In my opinion, I believe the degree you are working towards and the new skills you are learning along the way are significantly more important than the name of the school on your diploma.
A college degree is one part of your resume — accompanied by your valuable work experience and your unique skill sets. I think it is more helpful to use your degree as an opportunity to show off the additional knowledge you have obtained, rather than to list the name of a school you attended.
Choose a school that is going to help you learn new information and skills to take you to the next level! Of course, there are always some employers and some career fields that may place a higher value on the brand name of the school you attended, but ultimately, having a completed degree is often what matters most.
Q. How can students figure out which program is right for them?
A. Again, having a coaching conversation is a great place to start! Guild’s coaches are here to help you learn more about your program options and make program recommendations based on your goals and interests.
You can also do some research to see what types of careers align with different degrees. Most universities will list several careers that students with a particular degree will apply for after graduation. I also recommend that you seek out conversations or informational interviews with people who are currently in the career you’d like to be in or even people who are hiring for the role you are interested in.
Talking to people who are currently in the role you aspire to be in about their education journey can give you more insight into how they got where they are today.
Psst: You can check out more Coach Q&As right here!
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