Jordan DeSousa

MA in Higher Education Leadership

Hometown

Biddeford, Maine

Expected Graduation Date

Spring 2018

How did you hear about SOLES and why did you choose to enroll?

Growing up in New England my whole life, and going to college in cold, snowy Maine really took a toll on me. I was sick of winters and knew I needed some sunshine! I only applied to warm schools, and the more research I did on USD, the more I loved it! But it was when I came for the accepted student's day that I was really sold- in addition to the palm trees and the warmth I was craving, the community at SOLES was so welcoming and caring and supportive! Moving 3000 miles away from everyone I'd ever known was going to be scary, and I knew I could only leave all of my family in New England if I could establish a "family" to take care of me for two years out here. I knew right away that SOLES could provide that for me, and I took every measure I could to make sure USD would become my graduate school.

Which class has impacted you the most and why?

Everyone- and I do mean everyone- in the Leadership Department knows about LEAD 550. A lot of people have mixed feelings about the class because it is truly unlike anything anyone has ever experienced in a classroom setting, but I absolutely loved it. It was one of the classes that really made you think about yourself, your role in your groups, your leadership style and how those work with the varying leadership styles of those around you. I learned so much through the class, through the readings and assignments but mostly through the discussions and reflections that took place. I have carried what I learned with me and still to this day, it impacts how I approach thinking about myself and thinking about others and how we can work together. I learned a lot about my own strengths in leadership, and the areas I still need to focus on. This class actually spurred the idea for my big Action Research project that is a graduation requirement for my program, in which I will be looking at how people, particularly women, defend others and themselves. 

Is there anything specific you would like to share to prospective students?

Graduate school is an incredible opportunity to explore yourself and mold your life according to your goals and dreams. Most of the programs are relatively short, just a couple of years- so I'd say, take the risk! Make the jump outside of your comfort zone and see what you can learn in the process. I was terrified to move cross-country by myself, but it was one of the best decisions I have ever made because I am really understanding who I am and who I want to be, personally and professionally. San Diego is absolutely beautiful and the community at this school is exactly what I was hoping to find.