• October 25, 2020

GOOD NEWS: Academics, career resources help busy mom - Odessa American: Good News

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GOOD NEWS: Academics, career resources help busy mom

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Posted: Saturday, October 3, 2020 3:00 am

MIDLAND Adrianna Chavez definitely knows the demands of being a mother and holding down a full-time job.

In fact, the interview for this article was conducted virtually at 8 p.m. on a Monday following her 4-year-old daughter’s t-ball game while Chavez was at the softball field watching her 8-year-old step-daughter’s softball practice.

“It’s because of my children that I decided to enroll at Midland College in January 2019,” Chavez said. “At the time, I was a single mother of two and needed a job in order to support my family. I graduated from Midland High School in 2012 but never attended college. I needed a stable job with opportunities for advancement.”

Chavez decided to begin taking courses in Midland College’s Business Management program and started working part-time in the mornings as the desk clerk at Daniel Hall, one of MC’s residence halls.

“I chose the business program because I knew that with a degree in business there were a number of career possibilities,” Chavez explained. “I also had heard about MC’s bachelor’s degree in organizational management and figured that if I could first get an associate degree, I could eventually work toward a bachelor’s degree.”

Chavez managed to complete her courses in record time—just 18 months—by taking a full load each semester and also taking summer courses. In May 2020, she graduated from MC with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Business Management. She was able to complete most of the courses online, which helped her juggle a part-time job and family schedules.

“In March before I graduated I started looking for full-time employment—something where I could use the skills and knowledge I had obtained in the business management program,” Chavez said. “Just my luck—it was right at the peak of the COVID pandemic, and the price of oil had dropped drastically. Companies in Midland were laying off people—they definitely weren’t hiring! I actively looked for a job for approximately four months and didn’t have any luck. I knew I was prepared; I had obtained computer and accounting skills, and I had learned a lot about business organization and practical applications in my management and business courses, but I just couldn’t land a job.”

Chavez saw a post on Facebook about MC’s Career Resource Center and decided to give the center a call.

“When Chavez called in early August, she was very friendly and articulate, but I could tell that she was also frustrated,” Liz Zenteno, MC Career & Student Support Services advisor, said. “We scheduled a visit so that I could review her resumé.”

“Mrs. Zenteno gave made a few suggestions to revise my resumé and we discussed some interviewing tips,” Chavez said. “Within two weeks I was offered a job as the receptionist at Springboard Center!”

Chavez explained that her receptionist duties include the traditional responsibilities of answering phones and greeting visitors, but she also prepares and maintains daily business operations reports such as attendance spreadsheets and client service reports for the drug and alcohol treatment center.

“All of the reports require a thorough knowledge of Excel and some accounting skills—both things I learned at Midland College,” Chavez said. “I really like working at Springboard. I’d like to advance within the administrative unit of the organization. They are strong proponents of promoting from within, so I’m looking forward to a long career at Springboard.”

Chavez said that she credits a great deal of her affinity for accounting and finance to her accounting professor, MC Business Department Chair Doug Johnson. Another favorite class was Business Law.

Chavez and her fiancée have a blended family of two girls and two boys ranging in age from 4 to 14. Chavez said that her children are adjusting well to her new career. The children’s sports activities play a big part in their lives.

“We also enjoy swimming and going out for ice cream or frozen yogurt,” Chavez said. “Life is certainly busy right now!

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Midland College gave me and for the special assistance that I received through the college’s Career Center. In the near future, I plan to continue my education through MC’s bachelor’s degree program in Organizational Management. In the meantime, I’m enjoying my new job at Springboard and our family.”

Odessa, TX

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