Marlene Wright

Coral Springs, Florida

Tell us a little bit about your background and your current career.

I’m a career changer but always knew I wanted to work with children from a counseling standpoint. After almost 20 years in marketing/sales, I made the leap and decided to apply to NYU Steinhardt’s new online cohort. The flexibility and rigor of the program are what mainly attracted me to it.

What does earning your master’s in school counseling mean to you?

It means I can finally work with school-aged children, helping them navigate the challenging school years while helping them succeed in school and beyond. That is all I want to do.

How has the program prepared you for success as a school counselor?

While gaining real-world experience at my internship, my colleagues can share that I often state, “we just discussed this in class last week” when working through issues at the school setting. I know that NYU Steinhardt is preparing me for success because the curriculum has continually proven that it is relevant, timely, and practical.

How will this degree move you closer to your long-term career goals and help you become a leader in the field?

Having a master’s in school counseling from NYU Steinhardt will open doors and provide opportunities because practitioners know the University’s standing in the field. I have no doubt that I’ll be able to take what I’ve learned in the program and build upon that, ensuring that I’m able to meet my goals and allowed to be a voice in my profession/state/school district.

How would you describe your experience collaborating with classmates and attending classes in the online environment?

When I got my undergraduate degree, the online environment wasn’t even in existence, much less an option. I thought I would only respond to and thrive in a traditional setting; however, NYU Steinhardt’s approach allowed for me to still interact in real time with classmates and professors.

We became friends and confidants over the course of the program, just like being in a traditional classroom. We are still able to meet for study groups, projects, or just discourse. In fact, the online environment is even more varied/diverse than the regular classroom setting, allowing the student to learn and explore in multiple ways.

Tell us about your interactions with faculty members throughout your time in the program.

All of my professors have been open, approachable, and knowledgeable. Over the course of the program, I’ve never had a problem reaching them if necessary, by email or phone, even text. Being able to meet some during immersion was awesome and being able to arrange the same professor for all internship courses added to the feeling of being part of something deeper than an online interaction.

How did the Counseling@NYU immersion experience and curriculum prepare you for your field practicum and internship?

One of the best parts of the program. The immersion pulls the online student into the NYU Steinhardt experience, which is invaluable. I wish it could have been longer. The group experience definitely helped with the practice of small-group counseling, which I’ve done during both my practicum and internship.

What kind of support did you receive throughout your Counseling@NYU experience?

Support was comprehensive, from staff and faculty. My placement specialists were helpful. My advisors were so easy to talk to, and they never made me feel I was wasting their time and validated all of my emotions, frustrations, and observations. Even my admissions counselor was encouraging and supportive from day one. I can’t say enough.