Jonathan Merida, a student pursuing his M.A. in Strategic Communication / M.A. in Diplomacy and International Relations, a dual degree graduate program across the College of Communications and the Arts and the School of Diplomacy and International Relations, recently shifted his career by transitioning from the military to attending graduate school at Seton Hall University.
Merida holds a B.A. in Italian and French with a minor in European studies from Rutgers University, and began his career teaching English as a Second Language to middle school students. After just a few months of teaching, he was called to active duty in Florida. Upon the completion of military duty, he opted to continue his education by pursuing his interests in international affairs. Although Merida appreciates his time teaching and being in the military, he knew he wanted to expand his career options.
"After researching Seton Hall and discovering that I could pursue a dual degree in Strategic Communication and Diplomacy, it made me want to dive in and look further into the potential opportunities."
Merida specifically chose the University because of its Catholic mission, size and its student-centric focus. He also values the University's convenient location between Washington DC and New York City.
"When I attended the Graduate Open House, I met with an academic adviser, who presented the Strategic Communication program, the curriculum and how this degree will help with in the future." He shared, "I also met with Daniel Kristo, Assistant Dean of Graduate Enrollment Management, from the School of Diplomacy and International Relations who told me about its program as well. We discussed the benefits of pairing a degree in Diplomacy with a degree in Communication and I knew it was the right choice."
Currently, Merida is excited to collaborate with Renee Robinson, Ph.D., professor of Communication. He shared details about his favorite class; Organizational Communication as a class that piqued his interest about the various communication styles in the workplace. "Dr. Robinson is so knowledgeable about the role of evolving technology in the workplace and is ready to share that information with her students. She also knows a great deal about the importance of effective communication in an organization" he shared. "I am also looking forward to getting involved in research studies as well as completing several internships that will supplement my education."
He is an aspiring US delegate who speaks four languages which provides him with a unique perspective as he continues his education. Merida shared his advice to individuals considering attending graduate school. "Map out your future and match that with a program that complements your aspirations. Research is key," he noted. "I knew Seton Hall was the right fit for my career goals and I knew I did not want to go anywhere else."
The College currently offers three master's-level programs, including Museum Professions, Communication, and Public Relations. In addition, four dual-degree options, including three accelerated B.A./M.A. programs and a dual M.A. degree with the School of Diplomacy and International Relations are offered.