Continuing Education

Adding the Finishing Polish Julie Dawson

When Julie Dawson enrolled at Southeast Technical, she already had 20 years of professional experience working in an office setting. “It was Southeast Technical that filled in the gaps, brought me up-to-date and added that finishing polish,” said Dawson.

When she moved back to Minnesota after 20 years, she found herself struggling to find work. Many of the jobs she applied for were inundated with applicants due to a challenging economy. After going to the Minnesota Workforce Center for help, Dawson found that she qualified to participate in the Workforce Investment Act, a federal program that gives workers the chance to learn the skills and information needed to compete in the new economy. This led her to Southeast Technical’s Administrative Support Careers program. “I was presented with an opportunity to go back to school and earn a two-year degree. It was daunting to go back to school at my age,” said Dawson.

Dawson says her academic advisor and Administrative Support Careers Instructor, Ramona Coron, made the decision to go back to school an easy one. “I met Ramona for the first time during mass registration. In the midst of chaos she gave her full attention to each individual. She was like a mirror that reflected all the potential inside you. Ramona is still my mentor today.” Coron comments, “Julie’s professionalism and soft skills are top notch! It was truly a pleasure to prepare Julie to gain the competitive edge necessary for today’s job market.”

After graduation Dawson was hired into a newly vacated position at Waumandee State Bank. In less than three months she was promoted to Deposit Operations Manager. “She has shown a lot of motivation and ambition to learn,” said VP Controller, Kathryn Michaels. “You can’t teach someone those qualities; it has to come from within.”

Dawson’s advice to others considering a career as an Administrative Assistant: “An Administrative Assistant A.A.S. degree can prepare you for a lot of job opportunities, many of which don’t include that title. Don’t be afraid to look outside the box. Almost every field out there has someone working for them with the skill you acquire from this degree.”

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