Jason Schackai ’13

What did you study at Plymouth State?

I crafted my own Interdisciplinary Studies program for UX Design (User Experience Design), combining Computer Science and Graphic Design, and earned two minors in Communications (Media Studies and Digital Media and Game Design). This was 2010-2013, before academic clusters, and there were no departments more different than Computer Science and Art, so it was a lot of fun trying to make the pieces fit together mostly on my own.

What did you do prior to coming to Plymouth State?

I served in the Air Force for four years after high school, and then worked as a claims adjuster, a 3D printer support and training specialist, and a youth counselor before deciding to cash in on the GI Bill.

What are you doing now?

After graduating from PSU, I worked at Narrative1 in the Enterprise Center here in Plymouth for 4 years. They make commercial real estate appraisal software, and while I was there I got to be involved in everything from logo, advertisement, and interface design, to tech support and client training. I recently made a move to Sassafras Software in Hanover, another New Hampshire-based software company.

How did your time at Plymouth State impact where you are now?

I couldn’t have gotten the job at Narrative1 if I hadn’t earned my degree at Plymouth State, and make the countless connections, both personally and professionally, that I have. 

How did you find your place in the Plymouth community?

I’d lived in the area for about 10 years, so I guess I was already a part of the Plymouth community. That made it easier to get to know the faculty and students on campus. Plus everyone loves my dog Ellie!

What advice would you give to a non-traditional prospective student thinking about attending college?

Sometimes the best way forward is to take a few steps back. I’d been working in the “real world” for years before I decided to go back and get my degree. With kids, bills, and the responsibilities of life, “going back to school” might feel irresponsible or even selfish. But if you know where you want to take your life, and a degree will help you get there, then do what you’ve got to do.