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Emily Neufeld carries on Bronco family tradition by earning bachelor’s degree online

The last three years were a whirlwind for Emily Neufeld. After graduating from high school during a global pandemic and enrolling in college in California, she flipped the script. “The classes at my previous university were still online only and synchronous on Zoom, which was not ideal for me since I needed to continue working while attending college,” she said. “After two semesters with no end of the synchronous online classes in sight, I started looking for another college option for pursuing a bachelor’s degree.”

Neufeld didn’t have to look far. In December 2023, she graduated from Boise State University’s online Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications program and earned certificates in Innovation and Design, Content Production and Creative Influence — all in three-and-a-half years.

“My mom, Kerri, who earned her bachelor’s degree in respiratory therapy through Boise State’s online program a few years prior, suggested I check out the asynchronous online programs and see if anything appealed to me,” she said.

“She loved her online experience at Boise State and that it enabled her to earn her degree as a mom who was still working full-time. My brother, Josh, also has a business degree from Boise State.”

While enrolled, Neufeld also worked as a teaching assistant at Society for Ideas and completed marketing internships at Against and Goodbuy in Boise. The latter led to her current full-time role as marketing coordinator, which she started before graduation.

“When I found Integrated Strategic Communications, I immediately knew that this would be a degree that I would enjoy pursuing,” she said. “From there, my advisers connected me with the College of Innovation and Design’s certificate programs in partnership with the Society for Ideas.

“After taking my first course, Creative Concepting, I was immediately hooked and knew that this program and team was something I would love to be a part of. The online program has been amazing for me.”

Successful Campaign

As Neufeld was wrapping up high school in the Central Valley of California, she developed an interest in communications and marketing after witnessing the impact of social media on society.

“I noticed that social media was driving significant sales growth for brands that used it effectively,” she said. “As social media continues to gain popularity, it has become crucial for all brands to establish a social media presence.

“That’s why I decided to learn more about digital marketing, as it is the direction in which the industry is moving. Since this is a relatively new field, there is still much to be discovered and established in terms of strategy. I am excited to be part of that process and make a career out of the changing marketing scene.”

Transitioning into a fully online program was also big for Neufeld, who maintained a hectic schedule throughout her time at Boise State. The supportive and individualized nature of the program also helped her stay focused on her goals.

“I loved the freedom and flexibility that it offered me,” she said. “Although I did not have the traditional college experience, I was able to make my college schedule work for me and continue working while also in school full time.

“The staff at Boise State were always so willing to help every step of the way. No matter who I called, they were always able to answer my questions and were very happy to help support me in any way they could. Even though I was fully online, the community at Boise State is something you can’t replicate anywhere else, and I know that if I ever need anything, the staff is there for me.”

With a rigorous, success-centered curriculum, the online Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications laid a strong foundation for Neufeld.
“I have used the knowledge gained from the program in both of the marketing internships I pursued,” she said. “The required courses do a great job of providing relevant information for the industry.

“My favorite courses were Media Law and Writing for Professionals. They both stretched me and allowed me to grow in both my knowledge and capabilities. Both professors had high expectations for their students and had a lot of real-life experience, which helped me understand the material better.”

Brand Awareness

Neufeld, who walked at Boise State’s Winter 2023 Commencement is grateful for the support she received from her family during her higher education journey.

“My mom not only helped me discover Boise State University but also provided unwavering support throughout my academic journey,” she said. “She has always been my No. 1 cheerleader, and I could not have reached this point without her.

“My father also instilled in me a strong work ethic and encouraged me to strive for excellence in all my endeavors. My loving husband, Nico, has also played a crucial role in this journey. His steadfast support and encouragement have enabled me to pursue my degree and career goals after graduation, and I am truly grateful to him.”

Although her time at Boise State was quick, Neufeld made the most of the experience. She believes the degree has set her up for success.

“Completing my education has enabled me to meet many amazing individuals who have already had a significant impact on both my personal and professional life,” she said. “Pursuing my degree has allowed me to make many connections that have greatly influenced my career aspirations.

“In the near future, I plan to take some time to focus on my family. However, in the long term, I am eager to work in the marketing industry and utilize the valuable knowledge and experience I have gained through my education and internships.”

Neufeld has come a long way since starting college back in California, but now she is a Boise State alumna and doing what she loves.

“The value of a college education goes beyond just monetary compensation,” she said. “One can gain immense knowledge, experience, and connections during their college years, which can be invaluable in shaping their future careers.

“Building networks and establishing connections are crucial aspects of college life that can significantly impact job prospects after graduation. College is what you make of it, and investing time and effort in building connections and gaining relevant experience can pay off in the long run. Overall, it has been an amazing experience to be finally graduating after so much hard work.”

Want to Learn More About Integrated Strategic Communications?

Want to learn more about Boise State’s online Bachelor of Arts in Integrated Strategic Communications?
Contact a Student Success Coach