What did you study while you were at COCC?
Creative Writing and Spanish.
What is your career now?
I’m a self-employed investor.
What are the most valuable skills you gained while in college?
To be clear, I was only a student at COCC as an adult, many years after my time college. My time at COCC as an adult was very valuable because I got to learn without the pressure of completing a degree; I learned for the sake of learning. I learned to listen in the classroom, something I wasn’t so good at during my college years. I also would add that I took the time to get to know my instructors as best I could, getting their insight on my work and taking an interest in them as people, which is essentially “networking”, and that’s a skill I continue to use in all of my work these days.
How are the skills you learned in writing, literature, film, or humanities classes relevant to your career and life today?
I only really took the one writing course—that said, I was very much inspired by the course and got exposed to a wealth of information by way of the instructor. I was given the tools I needed by the instructor to go forward from my very novice level and explore the vast world of writing on my own. With my teacher’s guidance, I recently self-published my first book, Tea with Zoltan, which was written during that time, and it actually includes a story from my COCC writing instructor, Mike Lankford. It was a very rewarding course.
What is your advice for students taking writing, literature, film, or humanities classes?
The arts are so amazing to study—making a connection with the teacher(s) you are inspired by is very valuable. Going the extra mile with such a teacher (like having conversations after class, asking for extra help, and asking about their own background and influences) can really open up doors for one’s journey in the arts. My Spanish teacher at the college required we attend various events put on by Humanities, and I enjoyed them all very much. I suggest not missing out on those things.
What is your advice for community college students?
COCC, in particular, is a quality community college with a great staff and a lovely campus. It all was pretty impressive to me. My suggestion to the students: make the most out of your time at any community college, even if you’ll for sure be moving on elsewhere, and utilize the many resources available during one’s time there. Also, the Humanities Department puts on a lot of great extracurricular activities to be enjoyed. There is a lot to be had in the way of school sponsored events, but it takes the effort to plan on attending and make it there outside of a busy class schedule and so on. I say: Jump in!