Born in the Dominican Republic, Genesis Ortiz learned English as a second language in the United States. It was the kind of impactful move that comes with enough growth opportunities for a lifetime. But don’t get too comfortable — now, she’s a military spouse.
Amidst frequent travels, Genesis maintains an admirable determination to pursue her goals. Having completed her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Southern New Hampshire University before relocating to Alaska, her aspirations to attend law school faced a hurdle: Alaska didn’t have one.
An Advanced Education, Step by Step
Genesis’ job necessitates proficiency in safety and security protocols. Along the way, she developed a passion for compliance and risk management. She loved ensuring regulations were followed, which sparked an interest she could pursue through advanced education. During her search for a degree program that offered flexibility and connection, Genesis discovered Seattle University’s online MLS and it all clicked into place.
“I think the program was perfect for me,” she says with a wide smile. The curriculum seamlessly aligned with her current role as a legal assistant, while simultaneously capturing her attention and fueling her desire for growth. Last but not least, learning how to excel at her job while also becoming the best possible law school candidate is undoubtedly a wise move.
Balancing the responsibilities of a full-time job, online courses, and caring for a two-and-a-half-year-old child has been no small feat. On top of it all, her husband is deployed, which means that she’s doing everything single-handedly. Grateful for the accommodating and flexible environment Seattle has provided, Genesis has successfully navigated the demands of her multifaceted life. “It fits my schedule, it’s flexible — which is the main priority for me — and the teachers are great.”
One of the significant obstacles that Genesis faces (albeit a significantly sweet one) revolves around finding dedicated study time while caring for her energetic toddler. “Finding the time to study is hard when he’s so attached to me,” she admits. “I only have a small window when he’s asleep or playing, and I think that’s the biggest challenge.” Consequently, she appreciates the accessibility of the MLS. “The program so far has been very straightforward and easy to follow. The curriculum is great, and I’m learning a lot. I can tell you more about this program than I could tell you about my undergrad!” she says with tongue-in-cheek humor.
Understanding and Appreciating the Fine Print
Particularly when employed in loss prevention, Genesis had to make sure that everyone was adhering to best practices. “I enjoyed it, but when I was there, I didn’t know anything about compliance and risk management.” Now, looking back, everything she is currently learning in the program has directly applied to past work experience and she can’t wait to implement it herself in the future. Genesis is thinking about how everything she’s learning can apply to future jobs in a couple of years. “That is something I’m excited about – when it’s time for me to really implement everything.”
Genesis primarily focuses on corporate compliance and tailors her classes accordingly. However, she’s discovered a particular interest in mergers and acquisitions that she hopes to one day take to the next level through a JD program. She is already eagerly anticipating next semester’s Contract Policy class. “I want to work in corporate law, so understanding the fine print, knowing exactly what rules need to be followed, all those details … I’m really excited about it.”
Learning More Than Just Law
Genesis is confident that the MLS program at SU provides a solid foundation for both personal and professional development. For those contemplating entering the program, Genesis offers a simple yet crucial piece of advice. “Make sure that you love it. You have to love what you do. Other than that? Just do it. It’s a great program and Seattle is a great school.”
Despite all the obstacles she faces to accomplish her coursework, Genesis wholeheartedly recommends the degree — and not only to accomplish career goals, but maybe some personal goals, too. “I think that one of the things I appreciate is how much I’m able to express my opinion. Kelli connects with you one-on-one; she and the professors reach out, connect, and talk with you. I feel like everything about the program has helped me to put myself out there more, be myself, and be comfortable with who I am.”
Overall, she wouldn’t change a thing. Seattle has played a pivotal role in Genesis’s journey, and it can do the same for yours. “This program has been so good to me,” she says. “I’m welcoming the experience.”