OBC Alumni Spotlight: Christina Norman
Posted on July 29, 2016
Written by Morgan O'Rourke
Rooting your education in business academics can open doors and opportunities for you and the career you’re establishing. At Ohio Business College, we believe that a solid foundation in business administration will develop a well-rounded professional who’s prepared to tackle important and in-demand fields, such as finance, management, marketing, law, communications, and much more.
Christina Norman, a 2015 graduate of OBC’s business administration program, took the first step toward bettering her future and hasn’t looked back since. Dedicated to bettering her life, Christina found success the moment she committed to attending OBC. Read about Christina’s time at OBC, and see what she’s up to now:
- Why did you decide to continue your education at Ohio Business College?
I already had an associate degree in nursing and had been a nurse for over 16 years. Due to an injury, I had to change career paths. My daughter was attending [OBC] at the time and I used to drop her off and pick her up from classes. She pestered me to attend. Nicole Smith, [OBC’s] Master Admissions Representative, really sold me [on the school] and I started immediately.
- What business program did you enroll in at OBC?
Initially, I started the Administrative Office Professionals associate degree program, but I switched to the Business Administration associate degree program. It just seemed like a better fit for me.
- What was your favorite thing about OBC’s Business Administration associate degree program?
I really believe the atmosphere and the encouragement that I received from the staff and my peers was what helped me succeed. [OBC teachers] are focused on each and every student succeeding. [They] go out of their way to help. It was a very supportive program. I never felt like [just a] number the way I did the first time I attended college.
- What was the most difficult or challenging thing about OBC’s Business Administration associate degree program?
It is a pretty fast-paced program. [OBC] goes by quarters and a lot of the text books and educational materials are centered around semesters, so trying to cram all of the information into a quarter can be a little overwhelming. However, there was never a time I felt that I did not – nor could not – get assistance with [my] classes. [As stated before], [OBC] is focused on students’ success, so they take the time to help you get through. It’s also designed for people that work and have other obligations as well, so [they] helped with time management.
- How did OBC help you succeed in your studies and accomplish your goals?
They believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. Everyone was extremely encouraging and they encouraged us to encourage each other. There was always someone to go to if you were having difficulty with a class or homework. If you weren’t [in class] and didn’t call, they were on the phone leaving you a message to find out [if you were OK] and making arrangements for you to make up your work. They are that dedicated.
- Tell us about your business externship.
It was a great experience. I was introduced to real work experience without the pressure of actually being “on the job” because they knew I was there to learn. I had two different externships, and both offered me very different, excellent perspectives in the field of my study. It was one of the things that inspired me to go on with my education and obtain my bachelor’s degree in accounting.
- What assistance did you receive when you started your job search?
I have never experienced anything like OBC’s Career Services Center anywhere in my life! The externship class was fundamental in helping me figure out what I was doing wrong at interviews and how to set up a resume and cover letter. If I had had that kind of help the first time I went through college, I would have had a much easier time finding a job than what I did.
[I received] emails with updated job postings from websites and referrals from businesses that OBC sends externs to. [There was also a] career fair. It was a phenomenal resource for job hunting. I am still receiving offers from potential employers via email that have seen my resume that I posted on various job sites recommended by OBC.
- Do you have a favorite memory about attending OBC? If so, what is it?
I really enjoyed the entire experience. I am glad that I graduated but I really miss not only the atmosphere and my peers, but also all of the instructors. I really wish that OBC offered bachelor’s degree programs because I would be the first to sign up.
- What do you think sets OBC apart from the other career education schools?
What sets OBC apart from other colleges is their focus on making sure that everyone succeeds within their programs. When you attend OBC, you are not a number and you are not treated like a faceless name on a piece of paper. I have had to stop by [OBC] a few times [since graduation] and I am still greeted by name – not just a “hello” and a vague smile. They get to know you and they invest their time in you.
- How has OBC helped you post-graduation?
I would not have the job that I have if it had not been for OBC. Even now, I am receiving requests to help future graduates of OBC by initiating the externship program at the company I work for. [My employer is] really impressed that I have been contacted by the college to do this. I know that if I ever needed any help in the future, all I would have to do is call OBC’s Career Services Center and they will help me in any way possible.
- What are you up to now? (Job, activities, family, etc.)
I am working at the Residence Inn Cleveland Downtown as the accounts payable clerk. I also perform human resource duties, as I am an assistant recruiter as well. I am currently attending DeVry University, but [I will be transferring] to CSU as it is closer to work. [I will] obtain my bachelor’s degree in business with a concentration in accounting [at CSU]. My husband works at the Cleveland Clinic, so I ride to work with him every day; it’s really great to finally get to spend time with him!
- What goals do you have for your future?
I am definitely going to get my bachelor’s degree. I am contemplating going for my master’s degree after that, but we’ll have to see how things go. I love what I’m doing now and I actually started out at a much higher wage than what I expected, given I was fresh out of college and it was an entry-level position.
- What advice or tips do you have for prospective and current OBC business students?
Don’t be afraid to take that first step. It is more than worth the struggle and you will not struggle alone. [Take advantage of] everything that is offered to you. It is specifically offered to you because they know it is a struggle to work, take care of a family, and go to college. [OBC’s faculty and staff] are there to lean on and coach you through [your program]. You will definitely have the resources you will need [to succeed], all you have to do is ask. If you want a better future, OBC is the way to it.
Want to learn more about OBC’s business administration associate degree program? Discover how our extensive, hands-on training program will prepare you for a thriving career.
Looking for a different associate degree option? Fast track your career by gaining practical career training and support with one of OBC’s associate degrees or diploma programs.