Columbia College–Lake County alumni update, Lacy Cruz, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration

Lacy Cruz earned her bachelor’s degree with Columbia College–Lake County in July 2009. We caught up with her one year later to find out how she has benefited from her degree.

1) Why did you want to complete a bachelor’s degree?
I did not want to get to a point in my career that I could no longer move forward. In assessing both the job market and my company’s requirements for advancement, it seemed a bachelor’s degree was preferred, if not required. I also wanted to be one of the few people in my family to accomplish this goal.

2) Why did you choose Columbia College–Lake County?
The convenient location was a factor, but I had also heard great things about the quality of the instructors at Columbia College. The eight-week classes were also appealing.

3) How have you benefited from your bachelor’s degree?
I got a new job four days after finishing my final class! The new position required a bachelor’s degree, meaning I would not have been able to receive the position without it, so the benefit is infinite.

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?
I believe preparing and giving presentations at the end of every business class helped me. With each class I became more confident with presenting and speaking in front of a group of people. This really helps me with my current job because I am constantly presenting and trying to sell products.

5) Tell us about an instructor who had a positive impact on you, either personally or professionally.
Several instructors positively impacted me; however, I would like to point out three who really stood out:

- Joe Sebek – He was an excellent teacher, and he kept accounting simple (if that is even possible). He knew where his students were coming from because he also went to school at night. He had an awesome personality and a love for what he did that showed in his work.

- Dr. King – He made sure you stayed on your “A” game at all times. His method for writing papers helped me remain focused to ensure the paper flowed and made sense. Dr. King taught me to be very mindful that I have to be prepared at all times.

- Sharon Allen – Honestly, I was afraid to take Sharon’s marketing class, but it was a requirement. After completing her class, though, I realized she was one of the best teachers I ever had. She pushed us to our best because she knew that each and every one of her students could produce an “A” paper, even if we did not believe it. She was still active in marketing, so she had plenty of current and relevant material to bring to class.

6) Are you currently, or are you considering pursuing a master’s degree or other advanced degree?
I have considered going back for my master’s degree, but I am enjoying my time off from school. Within the next two years I will likely begin pursuing it. I am certain that it will benefit me as I continue to climb the corporate ladder.

7) What advice do you have for students who are considering pursuing their bachelor’s degree with Columbia College?
My advice is to keep going! There were so many times I wanted to quit, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I met some of the most amazing people at Columbia College, and we served as each other’s support system to make it through. The victory is worth the battle and after finishing you will feel like you can accomplish anything.