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”Why I Chose”

Jan 31, 2014

Career College Central - the definitive voice of the career college sector of higher education - recently featured ANU/National College graduate Juliann Poff in the "Why I Chose" section of its most recent Magazine.

”Why I Chose”

By Juliann Poff

I had been in the hospitality industry for many years after graduating from high school and had never felt the need to get a college degree.  When moving to Virginia, I had seen an advertisement for National College.  I always had an interest in the legal field and they offered an associate’s degree program for legal assistants.  I went to visit and had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Ron Smith, who was an admissions representative at the time.  As an older student, I was intimidated by the thought of going back to school, but was reassured by Mr. Smith that would not be an issue as there were students of all ages and diverse backgrounds that came to National College.  Mr. Smith was correct and I felt right at home at National as I completed the courses required to earn my associate’s degree in 1992.  

I then started a family and worked in several organizations until I landed at CCS-Inc. in 2004.  While working at CCS-Inc. as a sales coordinator, I noted that most of my peers within the organization held bachelor’s degrees.  Seeing that my growth within the organization might be limited, I then called up Mr. Smith, who was now the director of admissions, to see about going back to school.  It was a natural choice to come back to National as I had a very good experience the first time.  In 2008, I re-enrolled for my Bachelor of Business Administration-Management degree.  

I took two night classes a term while working full-time and raising two children with my husband.  I really enjoyed the classes and the course choices necessary to complete my degree.  National’s emphasis on career education meant I learned more about my chosen career field; yet my general education electives had a great influence on me.  Courses in ethics and world religions, taught by the challenging and thoughtful instructor, Mr. Jamie Willis, were thoroughly enjoyable.  The students in my classes were all of diverse backgrounds, races and ages.  All of this has expanded my breadth of experience and will be instrumental in helping me work with all types of individuals in my career.  

I started the MBA program immediately upon the completion of my bachelor’s degree and will be completed with the classes by the end of 2013.  Dr. Annette Chamberlain, who is responsible for the program and has been my instructor on many occasions, has pushed me to think, do, and act in ways I would have never imagined during our classes.  Through presentations, debates, team and individual projects, and reading assignments, I have been able to learn many things that I have been able to apply directly to my work.  Since attending school, I have received many promotions, been asked to be a guest speaker at several events, and now have the confidence in my abilities and self-esteem to know that I will be successful in whatever venture comes my way.  I sincerely appreciate the students, faculty, staff, and administration at National College (now American National University) for helping me to launch my career and take my personal and professional growth to a whole new level.