Reza Nazarinia

Thanks to SFU NOW: Nights or Weekends, a Vancouver sales manager is pursuing his dream of advocating for others.

Reza Nazarinia has built a successful sales career in the medical devices field— but a few years ago, he decided it was time for a change.

“I have a lot more to offer,” Nazarinia says. “You want to affect people’s lives.”

After a lifetime of standing up for the “little guy”—Nazarinia stands at a towering 6’2”—he decided to pursue a career in law.

The next step was simple: finish his undergraduate degree so he could apply to law school.

SFU NOW offered flexibility

His wife suggested SFU NOW because of its flexibility and because it would allow him to go to class—he wanted interaction he couldn’t get through Athabasca courses.

Nazarinia applied, was accepted, and transferred several business courses he’d completed at Langara College several years prior.

He started his BA in the fall of 2010, and, taking four courses per semester while balancing his job and his family, he graduated in only two years with a double minor in political science and sociology.

Dream kept Nazarinia going

He admits it was tough sometimes—but his dream of becoming a lawyer kept him from quitting.

“You have to have a goal,” he says. “You’ve got to know why you’re doing something.”

One thing Nazarinia didn’t mind at all was being older than some of his classmates. “You’re going to age with or without a degree,” he says. He stressed that he didn’t want to be 40 years old and look back with regrets.

What’s more, his life experience and discipline—something he would have lacked at 18—helped him excel. Unlike some young university students, “I was there because I wanted to be there,” he says.

Today, Nazarinia is preparing to write the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), and he’s feeling prepared because of the writing and critical thinking skills he sharpened at SFU.

He admits with a smile that he has a few more grey strands of hair than when he started, but he’s excited to begin using his sales skills for a noble cause.

“There are 1,000 reasons not to do what you want and only one why you should—it’s what you should do!” exclaims Nazarinia.

Thanks to his hard work, his dream is within his grasp.

“It was definitely worth it.”

By Amy Robertson

“Where I was in life, I had achieved much, but I felt I could take my career 
to the next level. So I decided to go back and finish my degree.”

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