Student Spotlight – Meet Claudine Bradford
It’s not often that we get to speak to a student attending Carrington College California from the heart of New York City. Claudine, who is studying our online Business program, lives in Brooklyn, is a Yankees fan, and works for the City of New York in the Human Resources Administration (HRA).
A single mom to daughter Jasmine, who her mom says is 14 going on 25, Claudine started her Associate’s degree program in July and hopes to graduate this time next year. She discovered Carrington when she was an online student at DeVry University, while studying an Accounting degree.
“When I first enrolled at DeVry I was working as an instructor at a college so I had the time to continue my learning. However I wasn’t making enough money, so I had an interview with a city agency and got a job working with the HRA. Finding the time to devote to the bachelor’s soon became an issue for me.
When I started speaking to my managers, they told me that I really needed a degree in Business to move up in the organization. I saw an email from Carrington and learned that they were affiliated with DeVry University; I love DeVry, so I thought I’ll get my Associate’s degree in Business at Carrington first.”
Claudine intends to go back and complete her bachelor’s once she has graduated from Carrington; she figures she’ll have about another year to complete her degree at DeVry once she has earned her Associate’s degree.
” I’ll probably go straight back to the DeVry program once I’m done here – if I take a break I think it will be difficult to go back. I’m going to switch my major from Accounting to Business though. I’m going to try to finish before my daughter is done with High School so we won’t be in college together! She definitely wants to go to college, she’s thinking NYU but we’ll look at another couple of schools too.”
Claudine worked as an instructor at a college for a couple of years, where she taught people how to prepare a good resume, how to write cover letters, and how to use Microsoft products like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. She has also worked for a construction company doing reception work and payroll, and for an insurance company. But she now finds herself in a role and in an organization that she enjoys; a place where she can see a career path in front of her.
“In 3 years I want to be an investigator for the HRA; it will be a challenge, but I like challenges! The HRA is part of the Department of Social Services so you get to meet different people and help them.”
Studying an online program does take some getting used to, especially for someone like Claudine who really enjoys getting to know people. But for those with particularly busy lives an online program can often be the only viable option.
“For me it’s just a schedule thing. As a single mom, with my daughter just starting High School, a full time job and a home to run, I just couldn’t fit in school any other way. I can attend a class at 3am if I have to, or do some studying late at night if I’m behind.”
Claudine admits that she would prefer to learn in a classroom environment with a professor in front of her. She’d prefer a textbook that she can carry around and work through making notes, but she is enjoying the online program at Carrington. But even with the flexibility of an online program, finding time to fit life in while trying to do everything well can be challenging. Although she still has about a year to go, Claudine is already looking forward to graduation.
“At times it can be overwhelming. With a full time job, being a full time mom, cooking and cleaning and managing an apartment – that’s a full-time job in itself… and then trying to fit in study time? Right now it’s a challenge.
My daughter is just starting High School, so we’ve been visiting different schools, and I’m trying to keep on top of her schooling. I have to say that this semester has been a big challenge as I’ve had even less time than usual. I’ve got a little behind, but I’m making it up now.”
While it has been tough at times, and although she’s only been studying with Carrington for a few months, Claudine is very happy with the support network that Carrington provides.
“When I enrolled I told my advisor that I would need support and I have to say that they’ve been very supportive. I get a call almost every day from my advisor. If I need to speak to an instructor I email them, they pick up the phone and call me. I have a tutor now, and that helps too.
Sometimes I just need someone to tell me – ‘You know what Claudine, you can do this – come on!’ I got that just this last week. I was almost ready to quit, but that support really helped me get my momentum back. She told me to look at my past grades; those grades prove I can do this and that really helped me.”
Claudine believes that you have to work to a schedule if you want to be successful; you have to make the most of your time…and not only when it comes to studying.
“Time management is the key to your success; having lost both my parents and had brothers pass away I know how precious time is. So I try to keep everything on a schedule; I keep my daughter on a schedule so we are able to spend time and do the things we want to do together, and still get what we need to get done.”
Even in the short time that she has been a Carrington student, Claudine has learned something new about herself, something that she is keen to pass on to her daughter.
“I’ve learned that I can do what I set out to do, regardless. That’s what I’m learning right now…that I can still do this…I just lost my momentum for a second. I believe in myself, but I also believe in my daughter. And she’s the reason I’m going back to college. Being a single mom I have to do this for her; to show her that even though I’ve been knocked down a few times I still got back up. I want her to understand that.”
Thank you for your time Claudine, and for agreeing to be our Student Spotlight this month. Good luck with the rest of your program, and with your future career.
For comprehensive consumer information on our online Business program, visit carrington.edu/online/business-degree/