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Graduate Thrives in Retail Management Career

Mar 31, 2014

Lexington Campus graduate Toccara Parks loves being responsible for keeping her store running smoothly in her work as the assistant manager of Dollar Tree. “It’s challenging, but I like it all. I don’t dread going to work. I actually look forward to what’s going to happen that day.”

Toccara’s education from American National University helps her excel in the large variety of duties that she performs while managing the busy retail store. She earned a diploma in the office technology professional program, and then carried those credits into her business administration-management program to quickly earn her associate’s degree.

“The Microsoft Office…the Excel, the Power Point—those were my favorite classes,” said Toccara.  Other classes helped her to develop strategies for providing superior customer service, and she enjoys sharing those with her employees to help them interact professionally with the many personalities that they encounter.

While her education has been a key factor in her career success, Toccara didn’t think that college was in her future until she visited National.  “I really didn’t plan on going back to school.  I just came to National with a friend who was signing up. I talked to Ms. Sharon, and I filled out the paperwork, and she said ‘You should go,’” she recalled of her first visit with admissions representative Sharon Rodgers. “She gives you a reason to believe that you can do it.”

As she neared graduation, Toccara also gained confidence as career center director Cheryl Howell assisted her with her job search. “She sent me a whole lot of job leads, and she helped me re-do my resume.  She told me to go for what fit me the best,” she recalled.

Her goals for the future include being the best mother possible to her young daughter, and she also hopes to eventually manage her own clothing or home accessories shop.  “I’m looking forward to excelling in retail,” she said proudly. 

Tocarra feels that her education at National has opened the door to opportunities that she never expected to receive. “It gave me a start to a beginning that I never even knew was in me,” she said. “If you’ve got the chance to better yourself, do it.”

Lexington Campus graduate Toccara Parks, who is working as an assistant manager of Dollar Tree, was not planning to go to college when she visited American National University with a friend.

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tags: KY-Lexington Computer Technology: Office Technology Professional - Associate Degree (OTP)