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Jake Patterson

Jake Patterson photo

Jake Patterson

Instructional Designer
Workforce QA

Class of 2016

I discovered this field while working on my undergraduate degree in organizational communication and found it fascinating. The instructional design aspect is like a psychological thriller with wild twists every time you feel comfortable, and the performance improvement aspect is like the best mystery where every detail matters. I was excited when I found a master’s program that encompassed all these ideas.

I am a working professional with three children and an active role in my community, which means that my schedule is already packed; adding school to that load was challenging. The professors gladly worked with me, the advising staff helped me chart a path to graduation that worked with my life, and the online nature of the program afforded me the flexibility I needed. Each course is structured clearly so that I can plan my semester out. This is not the kind of program you can do just on Saturdays; this requires work most days, but the learning experience is worth it.

The professors are talented practitioners of their field who spend enough time with theory that you get it, and then plunge into real-world scenarios so you can see it. Our classwork was often based on projects that we found in our organizations. I made a difference in several companies over my time in the OPWL program by gathering and analyzing real data. Further, the professors provide feedback that appreciates your work but glimpses their oceanic expertise, and that was invaluable in the process of learning and growing.

This continues to be a field that I enjoy. My new job is because of my new degree, and I am having more fun in this job than any other job before. It’s a thriller. And a mystery. And a romance. But it is work that I love, and I owe that to the OPWL department at Boise State.