Some set out on their higher education journey knowing exactly what they want to do. For some, while the journey is not a straight line, the destination can be just as rewarding. Hannah White began her college career as a health science major interested in radiological sciences. “It wasn’t until my second year at North Central State College where I realized that my intended interest wasn’t for me,” White explains.
She then began her search for a new career. “The staff and faculty went above and beyond not only helping me figure out what my next steps were academically but also guiding and connecting me to where I would eventually succeed,” White says. “I connected with my advisor, Brandel Boyd, who was wonderful. She had multiple chats with me after class and was able to help me establish and complete my academic goals. Without her help, I would not have graduated with two degrees!”
White pursued both business management and marketing degrees while working two full-time jobs. She recently graduated with both degrees in December 2021. “I was lucky enough to schedule most of my classes as hybrids or fully online to help with my work schedule,” she explains. “I took a lot of night classes, so after work, I would drive straight to campus for my lectures and labs.”
She chose NC State because it is close to her hometown of Bucyrus. She began classes at the Crawford Success Center, a satellite campus of North Central. She wanted to attend a college where she could live at home with her parents and work to complete her education. Coming from a small town, she enjoyed the smaller class sizes and connecting with her professors, as well as other students. She also mentioned the lower tuition, which helped her financially.
“Thinking back to my first college classes and how I was the quiet kid sitting in the front row, not asking questions, and just trying to figure out what college is,” White says. “Now flash forward to last year where I was leading many discussions, not afraid to ask questions, and volunteering for any opportunity that came my way.” She goes on to say that, the only way to learn effectively is to assert yourself into the material. Whether it is applying items or practicing policies and procedures in the real world, White says you have a better chance of remembering it and even asserting it in your daily tasks.
In terms of personal growth, White has advanced her skills in technology and software and has learned how to work more cohesively in group projects. Her professional growth can be measured in her increased job responsibilities and assignments as well as the fact that she was able to create connections with a variety of business owners, customers, and representatives. “I was able to develop more of a growth mindset,” she says. “The more opportunities and challenges that are out there, the more I want to experience them and learn from each one.”
Before White began college, she was already working full-time which helped her gain experience as well as financial stability to pursue her academic dreams. But it was one of her college classes that helped lead her to her future career. “I was able to land my current job through a final exam for one of my business classes,” White says proudly. “Our instruction was to make a new business model for a local business, present it to the owner, and then conduct an interview to showcase the findings. After my interview was over, the owner simply asked me if I would like a job at his business.” She accepted the job opportunity and continues to work in the company’s marketing department.
White offers some words of advice for undergraduate students at NC State College, “Never give up, go into everything with an open mind, and make as many connections as possible with professors, faculty, and other students.”
“Remember that everything happens for a reason,” she says. “Obstacles tend to show up when you think it’s the worst possible time. By remembering that these obstacles are very vital in shaping your sense of character, you will be able to make each one a learning experience.” She wants students to know that the connections you make in college, whether they are friendships or acquaintances, will stick with you for life. “Keeping a positive attitude is the best attribute one can possess and will take you far in life. All your hard work will pay off in the end!”