When she graduates from Montgomery County Community College this spring, Christina O’Connell will possess something valuable in addition to her associate’s degree: the confidence to speak before a room.
“In my first computer class, we had to do PowerPoint presentations frequently,” says the Office Administration major. “It drew me out of any fears and enhanced the rest of my education. I could get up and make presentations comfortably.”
Public-speaking experience is sure to serve her well in the corporate world, O’Connell believes, along with her new computer skills, required in offices more than ever.
The Office Administration major bolsters knowledge of Word, Excel and other programs, with computers making up as much as 75 percent of the course load, she says.
A New England native, O’Connell began her higher education at MCCC while helping to care for her mother stricken with Alzheimer’s disease. She is completing it while working full-time in her current customer service job at Hatfield Quality Meats.
The 47-year-old Lansdale resident who has previously worked in an office, a factory and in retail thought she’d further her education “as something to fall back on” after many years out of high school.
“My mother had been a secretary,” she notes.
“I enjoyed Montco. It was a great experience, especially as an older student,” says O’Connell, a member of the Phi Theta Kappa International Honors Society.
“Walking in the hallways, the faculty and staff would greet me. There was a great deal of respect from the staff, the feeling that older students are there for an education.”
“I also enjoyed my English classes. I actually enjoyed writing papers. Once I was walking in the hall behind two ladies, and one was saying she couldn’t believe they had to write a two-page paper. I had to laugh!”
Although she’s acquired many skills that would help her get ahead in the working world, O’Connell she says she’s happy at Hatfield, “a very caring company.”
“If I ever wanted to change positions, it would give me an advantage,” she says. “And my boss agrees.”
~ by Rebecca Rhodin