Major: Office Technology Information
Kristin Beemer was originally planning to attend a trade school for interior design but a family friend recommended College of DuPage.
“This friend, who had attended both the trade school and COD, praised COD for its superior curriculum, teachers, environment and lower cost,” she said. “I will forever appreciate her recommendation.”
While Beemer completed an associate degree and two certificates in interior design, she had another experience at COD that would change her path. She took a position as a student worker in the Facilities, Operations and Maintenance department and was primarily tasked with data entry and answering service requests by phone. She enjoyed the work so much that she began thinking about a new career.
The opportunities COD offers are vast and the skills, knowledge and connections you will gain are priceless.
“Because of my love for COD, I dreamed of being an administrative assistant specifically at COD,” Beemer said. “I began applying for positions at the College, and while it took me many years, I was finally hired on as a part-time administrative assistant in the Continuing Education department in May of 2017.”
Before finding this position, she worked as an office manager for a small, family-owned business and then was a store manager for Fannie May Candies. During this time, Beemer also returned to the classroom to pursue a second degree, the Administrative Assistant Associate in Applied Science offered through the Office Technology Information (OFTI) program.
“I have used so much of the knowledge I gained in past occupations that it led to a wealth of opportunities,” she said. “While taking a business management class as part of my OFTI degree, I was encouraged to pursue a management position at the retail location where I was working at the time and was promoted right away. The demands of that position required me to postpone my OFTI classes for a few years. Now working at COD, I have not only had the time to continue my courses but received encouragement from my managers as well. College of DuPage prizes education in its staff as much as its students.”
Beemer took advantage of opportunities outside the classroom, such as being part of the planning committee for the Student Services Center, working as a student election judge and becoming a commencement volunteer.
COD also had a positive impact on her personal life. It was the place where she first met her husband, as they both served as president of the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Club.
Once she completes her second degree, Beemer plans to pursue a third one, the Administrative Assistant and Meeting/Event Planning Associate in Applied Science, also offered through the OFTI program. She already completed the Wedding Planning certificate through the Hospitality and Tourism Management program and loves to plan weddings and other events, something she has done as a hobby for friends, family and her church.
As her children grow older, she would like to get a full-time position at COD while building a client base for wedding, meeting and event planning. Beemer strongly recommends COD as a place that offers something for anyone who is willing to learn.
“If you are looking to earn a certificate, an associate degree or to pursue a higher degree elsewhere, COD should be your first stop,” she said. “The opportunities COD offers are vast and the skills, knowledge and connections you will gain are priceless. Don’t stop at the degree, either, because COD offers personal enrichment classes as well. Never stop pursuing knowledge!
“For those specifically interested in office technology, I highly recommend the OFTI program. If you don’t feel ready for the commitment of pursuing a degree, aim for a certificate. Even just taking the classes a la carte can benefit nearly every person, no matter their current or future occupation. Go for it!”