Student Spotlight: Jackie Campagnolo
Major: Office Technology Information
When Jackie Campagnolo finished high school, she went to work in an office.
"This was like many people of my generation," she said. "I started out in accounting and went on to administrative work supporting executives in the private and public sectors. I found that I was good at providing administrative support and really enjoy my role as an administrative assistant."
Over the years, Campagnolo thought about getting her degree and even took classes as several different colleges. However, her personal and professional responsibilities took precedence, and while she wanted to continue taking classes, the demands of her job interfered with her desire to go to school.
Despite wanting a college degree, she eventually felt too much time had passed and that it was too late to go back to school. But that changed in 2010.
"I talked to a former co-worker who told me he had gone back to school at College of DuPage for his undergraduate work and was able to finish due to the flexibility of the curriculum, including Adult Fast Track and online courses," she said. "I applied to COD and was accepted in October. I originally was going to pursue a Business or Management degree but I found the Office Technology Information program and realized that I could use my administrative assistant experience and knowledge to attain a degree in the OFTI program. In addition, I could take many of the required courses online, which worked well with my full-time employment."
Campagnolo realized that the majority of employers were requiring a degree for their administrative and executive assistants. Not having a degree prevented her from moving forward in her career, which affected her ability to apply for several positions that interested her. However, upon earning an associate's degree, she felt comfortable applying for a job -- and ended up staying at College of DuPage.
"My student experience at COD was so positive I decided to apply for a job at COD. I interviewed for an administrative assistant position and brought my portfolio, created in my OFTI courses, to the interview," she said. "I think having the portfolio of my work and abilities was instrumental in getting my current position as an administrative assistant at College of DuPage."
Although her career goals are constantly changing, Campagnolo enjoys working at the College and tries to "pay it forward" by encouraging other students to complete their educations at COD. She is also investigating one of the 3+1 programs to earn her bachelor's degree.
"You are never too old to get your degree! I started at COD when I was 50 and received my A.A.S. at 52," she said. "I am proud to be a COD alum. The flexibility of the OFTI program was instrumental in enabling me to receive my degree. It worked with my schedule and allowed me to complete my coursework without conflicting with my full-time job.
"Having my degree not only provided me with additional employment opportunities but also a sense of pride in working for and attaining my degree."
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