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National News

January 13, 2012


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SPOTLIGHT ON SUCCESS

The Boss Lady

The Boss Lady

Elizabeth Walton knew that she wanted to run her own business in handling promotion and distribution for underground music artists, and came to National’s Columbus campus for the training she needed to help make that dream happen. With National’s focused courses in the business management administration program, she graduated with her associate’s degree in two years. By the time she walked across the stage, her business was already taking off.

“I plan fashion shows, underground concerts for unsigned artists… I have an online radio show, I’ve done press conferences,” Elizabeth says, rattling off some of the many things she handles in her business: The Boss Lady Enterprises. It takes a lot of management, organization, and dedication – all traits Elizabeth used and honed as a student at American National University. It also takes being a people person, something that Elizabeth has a natural part of her personality and part of what attracted her to American National University. “With the classes being small it gives you a lot more time to interact with the instructor,” Elizabeth shares.

Elizabeth appreciated the family atmosphere at American National University – citing Patricia Kedzerski as one of the instructors who “was really in tune with wanting all students to succeed.” And she found that the accessibility of administrative staff, from student services to the dean of students, to be refreshing and supportive. It allowed her to build a network of contacts with students, faculty, and staff, rather than feel like one student amongst hundreds.

That ethos of “building networks” with people is central to Elizabeth’s business, and one that she’s now taken to the virtual realm of social media – connecting with people via twitter, facebook, websites, and blogs from across the United States. In hosting her radio show she talks with guests she’s interviewing, takes calls from those listening in, updating facebook and twitter and answering questions that come in from those listening online: “It’s real busy, but I love it” she says with a huge smile.

“My goal is get an entertainment portfolio together,” Elizabeth says about her long term goals, “shop it around to different labels and see if I could do some sort of planning or artist development for somebody.” For now, she’s continuing to build her business and enjoying the fact that she’s already accomplishing one of her dreams.

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LOUISVILLE
National Sparks New Career and a Continuing Educational Journey

National Sparks New Career and a Continuing Educational Journey

Parents often encourage their children to go to college, but for Rachel Blomberg, the tables were turned when her daughter’s enthusiasm for her classes at the Louisville Campus inspired her to go back to school. “I wasn’t working anywhere and she said, ‘You know what, Mom, I think it would be cool if we had some classes together.’ She was excited about going to college which made me excited,” Rachel recalled.

Rachel had worked for H&R Block for several tax seasons and enjoyed her work there so she decided on a double major in accounting and computer applications. A few months before graduating with her associate’s degree, she posted her resume on an online job search site and landed a job with Freedom Bookkeeping and Tax, where she assists with payroll, sales tax reports, and bookkeeping for the company’s clients.

Company owner Darren Mills said that he’s learned to take his time when looking for the right employee and finds Rachel to be a great asset. “She’s learned several things at National that have been very beneficial to me—namely her computer skills,” he said. Most importantly, Darren says that Rachel has proven "many times over” that she cares about her employer and the business. “Finding someone who’s not just here for the paycheck is few and far between,” said Darren.

Rachel is continuing her education at National to complete her bachelor’s degree in accounting and information systems with tuition assistance from her husband’s Post-9/11 GI Bill. She is also benefitting from the American National University Blue Ribbon Grant, which she uses to pay for her books each term.

Rachel is particularly enjoying her online classes, especially during tax season when she works long hours. “I can work late here then go home and open up my books while I‘m relaxing there,” she said. Rachel is now considering continuing on with the college’s online Master of Business Administration degree program.

Additionally, Rachel has become a Certified Bookkeeper through the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers, as well as being certified as a QuickBooks Pro Advisor. She is also a member of the American National University LinkedIn group and encourages students to join. “They should get involved with LinkedIn before they graduate to start networking. You meet interesting people,” she explained.


DANVILLE, VIRGINIA
Graduates Start Computer Repair Business

Graduates Start Computer Repair Business

Three students from the Danville Campus recently opened their own computer repair business. Bobby Tanksley, Charlotte Dalton, and Jeffrey Scearce have opened “Computer Doctors of Danville, Inc”. Bobby and Charlotte are co-owners, and President and Vice-President respectively. They will graduate from the ISE program in February. Jeff is the Technical Services Manager and is a recent graduate from the ISE program. He is continuing his education in the Bachelor of Business Administration Management program at the Danville Campus. In addition, they work with Jon Griffin, another student, who creates custom graphics for customers.

Jeff designed the logo for the business and Jon provided the graphics for the outside of the shop. They have already built a base of loyal customers from the community as well as from the student body. Computer Doctors of Danville, Inc. provides services in areas such as trouble shooting, software updates and upgrades, virus and spyware removal, and custom computer builds. In addition, they sell new and used computers, and perform repairs. 

Jeff has already obtained his A+ Certification and Bobby and Charlotte will take the examination upon completion of their respective associate programs. Business has been excellent for the shop and continues to grow. Word is spreading quickly of their quality service, honesty, and excellent customer service.


KNOXVILLE
Cell Phones for Soldiers

Cell Phones for Soldiers

National College campuses in the Tennessee and Indiana Region recently collected thirty-five cell phones in support of the Middle Tennessee Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America’s Cell Phone for Soldiers project. Each cell phone donated equals approximately sixty minutes of prepaid call time for an airman, marine, seaman, or soldier. The goal of the association is to amass 1 Million prepaid calling minutes for our troops by January 31, 2012. With the help of National College, these thirty-five cell phones equate to approximately 2,100 minutes.

 


LYNCHBURG
Networking 101: No Resume Required

Networking 101: No Resume Required

On January 11, 2012, the Lynchburg Campus held a workshop entitled Networking 101: No Resume Required for current students. Career Center Director Kristen Caldwell, Regional Director of Agency Development Toni Freeman, and Community Resource Coordinator Lloyd DeLoatch created the third session in a series of workshops regarding first impressions and career advancement. Students sat through a crash course on developing professional networks, utilizing social media, and building relationships with potential clients and others who can aid in career development. A mock networking session was also put together for students to practice such skills. The event was a success and participants enjoyed introducing themselves to other students, staff members, and faculty.


ROANOKE VALLEY
Teaching from a Culinary Perspective

Teaching from a Culinary Perspective

Many students know Dorothy Herndon as the head of the tourism and hospitality program at the Roanoke Valley Campus, fulfilling the roles of advisor and instructor. What they may not know is that Ms. Herndon is also president of the Peacock-Harper Culinary History Friends. The organization preserves historic Virginia cookbooks through a special collection at Virginia Tech. The group formed in 1999 to preserve historic documents related to the “domestic sciences,” and to educate others.

Ms. Herndon, a charter member, has long been interested in the culinary arts. “When I was 10, my grandmother gave me a cookbook for Christmas, and I still have it,” she said. She now has over 350, not including individual pamphlets. Additionally, she received both her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in nutrition and management.

As head of the tourism and hospitality program, Ms. Herndon is able to draw from her lifelong experiences in food services and management, areas vital to the successful operation of hotels, restaurants, cruise ships, resorts, and other service establishments. According to Ms. Herndon, the hotel and wine industries are currently very successful in Virginia despite the slow-moving economy. “Wine is a big industry now. We now have 191 wineries in Virginia, and wine tasting is a big business, requiring a great deal of event planning and culinary knowledge.”

The service sector is currently the largest supplier of jobs in our economy. With over 200 million employees in the tourism and hospitality fields, it is a good bet that those with management and hospitality skills will have an advantage in the current job market. Ms. Herndon teaches a variety of classes including Food and Beverage Management, and Event and Convention Management.

For more information on the Peacock-Harper Culinary History Friends, see http://spec.lib.vt.edu/culinary/.


 
The National News is a biweekly publication designed to share the success and academic accomplishments of students and graduates from American National University and National College. For more information, contact the Communications Department.

In accordance with the regulations of the Tennessee Higher Education Council, all references to "American National University" refer to "National College" in the state of Tennessee.