Jane Guida has a full schedule. She’s a mom of two young toddlers, works from home full time for an insurance company, and is in the process of starting real estate classes for a side career.
But even with so much going on in her life, she still finds the time to push toward her goal of earning her online BA in Criminal Justice.
“I started out by doing a Google search on different bachelor’s degree programs, looking up different colleges that would fit my scheduling needs,” Jane says. “That’s when I found Maryville. And as it turns out, they were the university that actually fit my lifestyle.”
The pursuit of law and order through higher education
Intrigued by Maryville, Jane researched its programs and saw that the university offered a criminal justice degree — in addition to a flexible class schedule that allowed her to balance school with work and motherhood. And for Jane, criminal justice runs in the family.
“I have family members who were in law enforcement and criminal justice fields. Growing up, I saw firsthand what they do to help people,” Jane says. “I really like helping people. That’s always been my thing.”
A criminal justice degree is just step one in Jane’s journey toward achieving her long-term goal of making a difference in the courtroom.
“Ever since I was very young, I’ve also always wanted to be a criminal lawyer,” she says. “So, I decided to venture into criminal justice and earn my degree in criminology with Maryville. After I graduate from Maryville, I plan on eventually applying to law school and studying law.”
Jane, who hopes to enter criminal defense, is very interested in immigration issues as well. “I’m originally from Maryland, and the part that I’m from is very diverse,” she says. “I’ve seen the struggles that people have had with immigration and the law. That’s always been a point of interest for me.”
For Jane, choosing Maryville was more than a matter of program offerings. The attentiveness of the staff in making sure that her concerns were addressed, rather than treating her as just another number, made a world of difference. Jane was also impressed with Maryville’s career planning and flexibility.
I’m a full-time mom, and I’m working full time also, so Maryville was very flexible in that I was able to complete my work when I had the time to do it.
Learning how to work together in a total team effort
Jane enjoys working under the guidance of experienced Maryville professors, each of whom served for many years in the criminal justice system.
“I would just say that all the professors that I’ve encountered, they’ve been really helpful,” Jane says. “I’ve learned a lot about my career and criminal justice. And I’ve noticed that every professor I have is either currently in the field or has been in the field for about 30-plus years. They have a lot of advice and always share their experiences, so I find that to be really helpful.”
During her time in the criminal justice program, professors have challenged her to engage in strategic thinking while using their field expertise to help guide her toward a solutions-based mentality. Gaining insight toward exactly what their workday looks like and what they’re currently dealing with in the law enforcement field has also left a lasting impression.
“Those things I can never forget, because I’ve been in several different schools and institutions, and I’ve never received the help that I’ve gotten from Maryville,” Jane says. “I’m forever grateful for that, for them to be able to help me, to progress in my career and actually my major and future career path.”
Jane has enjoyed connecting with several classmates who also hope to pursue careers as attorneys. The collaborative nature of her classwork also helps to underscore the importance of working together as a team and to overcome challenges — which is a necessary skill at all levels of the criminal justice system.
“We’ve been helping each other out and being team workers,” Jane says. “I’ve had a really good experience with my classmates. Since we have the same goals and will be graduating at or around the same time, we try to help each other out.”
I’ve been in several different schools and institutions, and I’ve never received the help that I’ve gotten from Maryville.
Preparing for the future empowered with knowledge
After graduation, Jane hopes to complete an internship and then attend graduate school — but first, she’ll need to receive law enforcement training.
“After graduation, I would have to do the police academy training,” Jane says. “My next steps after that include exploring ways to further my career in the criminal justice field. I’m kind of looking into and venturing toward investigative and detective work.”
At the end of the day, Jane was drawn to the criminal justice field because she likes to help others. As her 2022 graduation date approaches, she’s quick to share who inspired her to make a brave decision to help others.
“A big motivator for me to choose criminal justice and actually go back to school to get my bachelor’s was because of my children,” Jane says. “I want my children to follow their dreams and go after what they really want to achieve in life. It was really important for me to accomplish my goals through hard work and dedication to set a good example for my children.”
If you’re ready to see how Maryville Online can help you be brave and pursue your educational and professional goals, we’re here for you. Check out our online bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorate degrees, or schedule a call with an advisor today.
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