Student Profile: Stephen Swisher, Digital Technology and Cultures

Stephen Swisher, student in the DICE program

We sat down with student Stephen Swisher, to learn more about him and his experience in the Digital Technology and Cultures (DICE) B.A. Degree Completion program.

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Stephen Swisher and I’m in the DICE program at Seattle University. My wife Kristi and I are from actually the small town name Dowagiac in Southwestern Lower Michigan, very close to Lake Michigan actually, maybe an hour and a half outside of Chicago. We have our son Kellan and currently, I work for Amazon Corporate downtown.

What were your college and career experiences like before coming to Seattle U?

I was fortunate enough to start out just as working in a fulfillment center here in Seattle, and I only did that for maybe a month or two and I jumped on an opportunity with Prime Now central operations, and I took that and doing dispatch work. I did that for about six months, made some really great connections and met some really great people. And ended up just being able to get promoted up to Amazon Restaurants and now I’m doing merchandise and support for Amazon Restaurants with national brands and local brands and I really enjoy that.

As far as educationally, I am definitely a late bloomer when it comes to school. That’s something to be quite honest I’ve always been insecure about, especially when I work with people who are my peers but they are much younger and they’ve completed their BA or BS, a lot of them have even finished graduate programs. So when I was looking up information about Seattle U, I was excited to see the School of New and Continuing studies and how it’s tailored for people that want to come back to school and finish their degree and kind of pick up where they left off. 

What made you decide on the Digital Technology and Cultures program?

I went with the Digital Technology and Cultures program because it, rather than just learning coding or front-end user experience or anything that is just like a very straightforward type of degree, I wanted something that would kind of bridge the gap between human interaction and technology, and that’s what I have recently discovered I’m very passionate about.

What has been your biggest challenge?

My biggest challenges have been things that I don’t think are atypical for most adults. I think that they’ve been just managing the workload, the course load, and a full-time job, especially working for an incredibly demanding company like Amazon, as well as managing a family and all of the things that go along with being a parent and being a husband, being married. It’s a lot. And there have definitely been moments where I feel like my bandwidth has been stretched pretty thin and there are times where I thought about maybe just tapping out and saying, “I’ll just take this quarter off” but the challenge to just finish on time and graduate and not have any setbacks really kept me going. Honestly reaching out and talking to the faculty and having them there to keep me motivated was really helpful as well.

What would you tell another adult who is considering going back to school?

I would say don’t let other people or your own fears or reservations discourage you. It doesn’t matter how old you are, it doesn’t matter what you’ve been through in life, it doesn’t matter your personal situation. If you feel compelled, if you feel like that that’s the right move for you, do it. If that’s the direction that you feel like you’re being pulled then don’t let anyone or anything hold you back, commit to doing it and follow through.

Contact us to learn more about the Digital Technology and Cultures B.A. Degree Completion program or the other B.A. Degree Completion programs, courses, and certificates at the School of New and Continuing Studies (NCS) at Seattle University.

You can also watch Stephen’s interview here.

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