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How changing majors helped Blinn College student Hailey Marbibi discover her path

Marbibi found a welcoming environment in Blinn's Communication Studies Department and will pursue her bachelor’s degree at RELLIS in the spring

Marbibi found a welcoming environment in Blinn's Communication Studies Department and will pursue her bachelor’s degree at RELLIS in the spring

November 28, 2023

Hailey Marbibi had been an engineering student for three semesters when she sat down in front of her bathroom mirror and admitted to herself that she wasn’t happy. It was time to find a new major and a new career plan.

“I said, ‘We’re going to do this. We’re going to make it and it’s going to be ok,’” she said. “My whole life, I have been a very directed person. I have known I wanted to be an engineer since I was in the sixth grade, and then getting here and finding out that wasn’t for me was really difficult. It was something that I had a lot of internal turmoil with.”

To help her discover a new path, Marbibi met with a Blinn College academic advisor, who showed her that she already had completed her core curriculum and was just a few classes away from her Associate of Arts in Communication Studies. With courses in public speaking, interpersonal communication, and business and professional communication, the 60-credit-hour degree prepares students for transfer to a wide range of bachelor’s degree programs and career opportunities.

Marbibi decided to give it a try and soon was rewarded by an engaging experience with instructors who not only taught advanced communication skills but demonstrated them in their daily lives.

“My favorite part has been getting to know the professors,” said Marbibi, who moved from RELLIS to the Bryan Campus when she changed majors. “I love the Communication Studies Department and getting to know everybody personally and getting to listen to the way that they speak and listen to how they present themselves. I like to learn by observing, so I love watching my professors and the way that they communicate. It’s such a great way to learn how that professional communication can work, not only in the workplace but socially.”

Marbibi said that Blinn’s small class sizes not only helped to make her comfortable, but also helped her develop the relationships that supported her as she transitioned to a new major.

“In a class of 30, it’s easier to find someone who’s struggling and help them, whereas in a class of 300, nobody would have looked twice at a kid who had no idea what was going on,” she said. “Having those small classes, having that community fostered relationships. That’s really what sets Blinn apart. There were so many people that were willing to help you and willing to foster what you need. For me, it was teaching confidence in my ability to speak, teaching confidence in myself, and really teaching confidence in the idea that I have ideas worth sharing.”

Marbibi especially appreciated the wide-ranging benefits of a communications education. The program prepares students for careers in public relations, non-profits, public service, government, media, business, and more. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, media and communications professionals earn a median salary of $66,240 per year.

“There’s not a career where you will not be communicating with someone in some shape or fashion, so understanding how to communicate is critical in today’s world,” Marbibi said. “If you aren’t sure what you want to do, take the communications degree and you’re already learning skills that are applicable in any workforce. If you do know what you want to do, take the communications degree to show people that you do know how to effectively communicate.”

Marbibi will graduate in December and will represent her graduating class as one of its commencement speakers. Her message, she said, is simple.

“You’re going to learn things that you didn’t know you would learn and you’re going to learn things that you’re not ready for, frankly, but that’s where growth comes from,” Marbibi said. “At Blinn, there are so many people who are willing to support you and are willing to support you through the tough times, and to give you advice and give you the resources that you need to succeed.”

In the spring, Marbibi will once again find a new community – this time at Texas A&M University-Texarkana at RELLIS, where she will pursue her Bachelor of Science in Biology.

“Texarkana at RELLIS is part of the Texas A&M System, which gives us an opportunity to work with the research that’s active at the RELLIS Campus, and it’s unique that you get to stay in College Station to complete your degree,” she said. “I really like where I live right now so I wanted to keep that community, keep my home community, and keep my school community.”

Marbibi plans to use her communications degree to help her convey complex scientific principles and findings in ways that help the general public.

“I think that one of the biggest issues for science today is that it’s hard to understand for the common person,” she said. “You need to have some sort of educational background to understand what’s going on and I think that’s something that really faults our community. I want to make sure that as we move forward in our society, we get to share everything we know with everyone so that everybody has the knowledge to be able to make informed decisions.”

To learn more about Blinn’s Communication Studies Program, visit To see how Blinn helps students earn their bachelor’s degrees as members of the RELLIS Academic Alliance, visit

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