Alumni update - Charles Thompson, bachelor of science in business administration

Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree with Columbia College–Lake County in October, 2008. We caught up with him one year later to find out how he has benefited from his degree. Read the interview below to find out:

1)Why did you want to complete a bachelor’s degree?

A bachelor’s degree is essential for a stable career path. Businesses have raised the bar in terms of education and I knew a bachelor’s degree would help me meet and exceed those standards. It demonstrates to employers that you are striving to learn and expand your business knowledge.

2)Why did you choose Columbia College–Lake County?

The tuition was less expensive than other programs, and the location is very convenient. Accelerated eight- week courses were also appealing as I would be able to obtain my degree faster. The professional and friendly staff cemented my decision and made the journey enjoyable.

3)How have you benefited from your bachelor’s degree?

More opportunities are available to me now. My degree has definitely provided a more satisfying career path and opened new doors.

4)Tell us about an important concept or lesson that was covered in one of your classes. How have you applied this information, either personally or professionally?

In my strategic management course, I was able to focus the theory I had been studying into creating a business plan. I apply this knowledge directly in current projects I manage. An employee’s value is noticed when you strategically achieve cost efficient and effective processes and the material covered in this course enabled me to do just that.

5)Tell us about an instructor who had a positive impact on you, either personally or professionally.

My favorite part of class discussions is enjoying the perspectives of my classmates and especially the instructor. Critical thinking was always encouraged and this had a great impact on me. I enjoy new ideas and I believe everyone can learn from each other. My accounting instructor, Joe Sebek, was very patient and a great help. He always explained material clearly and tied it to real world applications. Layne Wigle made learning statistics not just tolerable, but fun. Everyone felt the energy he brought to class. He always put a practical perspective on the material we covered and demonstrated its application and importance. I can honestly say I enjoyed all my instructors because everyone brought their special abilities to the students. I would like to say thank you to all my instructors for their hard work. Once I complete my master’s degree, I would like to teach, following the great examples they set.

6)What advice do you have for students who are considering pursuing their bachelor’s degree with Columbia College?

There will always be times when juggling your job, family and other commitments seems hard, but pursuing your education is definitely well worth it. It has even encouraged me to start a master’s program this year. I always appreciated the staff at Columbia College, including the directors, advisors and administrative assistants. The Lake County campus is a great environment to learn in, and the diversity of students and instructors will expand your competencies for teamwork and leadership.