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Graduate Degree Leads to Clarity, New Position for Bellevue University Alumni

Nicole Day has propelled her career forward by focusing on education. The latest step in that was journey was earning her Master of Science in Intelligence Security Studies in late 2022, graduating with a new job and certainty that work as a paralegal was the right path.

Determination on a Nontraditional Path

Day worked hard to earn her associate’s degree at Metropolitan Community College (MCC), graduating in 2010 – more than a decade after her initial college experience. She quickly found work as a paralegal, but also wanted to continue on to a bachelor’s degree.

 “I became an advanced certified paralegal and had an amazing mentor who encouraged me to keep making strides in my career,” she said.

 Day transferred to Bellevue University through its partnership with Metropolitan Community College after completing her Associate in Applied Science in Legal Studies. She jumped right in and earned her Bachelor of Applied Science in Legal Studies in 2012 .

Balancing work, family and school was sometimes challenging. However, when she expressed doubt mid-way through her program, Professor Seagle assured her completing the degree was doable and worth it.

She had been considering starting a new career with the Army but didn’t know if "I could do that at this point in my career and life,” Day said. “She was very supportive. By the end of the program, we both laughed that I had actually gotten hired by the Army as a direct result of taking the Bellevue University program.”

 Exploring New Perspectives

With her bachelor’s degree in hand, Day took on a role with the Douglas County Attorney’s Office. After nearly a decade working there, she began thinking about her future yet again. “I realized I’d still be working another 20 years and I really wanted to be an expert in something,” she said.

 She decided the way to do that was pursuing a graduate degree. Bellevue University was a natural, as she had a great experience in her bachelor’s degree program. Day chose to pursue intelligence security because she was genuinely interested in the subject and found it challenging. However, unlike her in-class bachelor’s program she chose to study online.

 Day balanced her program around family, her full-time job and her involvement in professional paralegal associations. “My time is very limited – I needed it to be online,” she said.

 I became an advanced certified paralegal and had an amazing mentor who encouraged me to keep making strides in my career.

Nicole Day, Bellevue University Alumae

Putting the Classroom Experience to Work

Day said pursuing a political science related degree during the conflict between Russia and Ukraine proved interesting and productive, thanks to the leadership and focus of the class.

 “The other students in the class were so nice. It was a healthy, supportive environment at Bellevue University,” she said. “My program had students from all over the world. We discussed the issues, but it was respectful and no one fought.”

 While pursuing her graduate degree, Day found her next step – a position as a paralegal with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. “Before I graduated, I’d accepted the position and been onboarded,” she said.

Though she started in a temporary position at the Corps, she recently became a permanent employee. She said she uses the critical analysis, research and writing she learned in her program on a regular basis.

 Continuing to Grow

Day said continuing her education was the right step. “I always recommend pursuing education if you’re questioning your career,” she said. ”Every time I earned a degree, I got a new job as a result,” she said.

 “This ended up being perfect for me because I realized being a paralegal is the right fit for me,” she said. It enhanced what I was doing and made me realize I didn’t want to walk away.”

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