This month, we are shining a spotlight on CSU alumna, Heidi Drake. Heidi earned her B.S. in business administration from CSU and her MBA just one year later. Heidi has worked extensively with the CSU Career Services department over the past two years in order to pursue her dream job. From that initial phone call to Career Services, Heidi was adamant that she knew what she genuinely wanted to do. Her dedication and persistence paid off because Heidi is now working in her dream career.
CSU: What did you enjoy most about your classes at CSU?
Heidi Drake: I enjoyed the classes because I knew the expectations upfront. The due dates were all lined up for me. I also really appreciated having access to my instructors. They were always available to help out or answer any questions I had.
CSU: What benefit provided by CSU appealed to you the most?
HD: Career Services was great from the get-go. They helped me build a much better resume and the instruction from the counselors was ongoing. They set me up for success.
CSU: What advice would you give a new student on his/her first day at CSU?
HD: When I first started, I was coming from a traditional classroom where I had been for about a year, but then switched to online learning to complete my associate’s degree. I had to adapt to the online environment. My advice to new students would be to get very familiar with navigating the website and don’t to be afraid to ask questions. CSU wants you to succeed and do your best.
CSU: What excites you about your career?
HD: I am currently in the business department at a local company. I’m mostly excited because I have finally found my career. Previously, I worked in marketing and was doing some substitute teaching. The substitute teaching was sporadic at best, not very rewarding, and I felt that I was underpaid. At the time, I had been in marketing for nine years. I was looking for something I could do the rest of my life; I wanted a career versus a job.
CSU: How did you get your foot in the door?
HD: I applied to many different places and I followed up with the contacts I made through email. I attended an open house and was led to my current company. The whole experience was nerve-wracking but exciting! I got to see who my competition was.
CSU: What expert in your field do you admire and why?
HD: I don’t have one particular instructor that inspired me, but just receiving feedback and encouragement from my professors and knowing that I could succeed was helpful. They inspired me to keep moving forward and earn my degree. I love the higher education field and love to keep learning.
CSU: What are three adjectives to describe you?
HD: Persistent, driven, and tenacious. I’m very goal-based. I have both short-term and long-term goals and I really work hard to reach them. I won’t stop until I accomplish what I set my mind to.
CSU: How has pursuing your degree with CSU changed you or your life?
HD: I feel like a leader now. I have my education. People can look up to me. I became someone because of the education. You can go two ways in life: you can say to yourself, “I’m just going to graduate from high school” or, “I’m going to pursue higher education and something bigger than myself.” I can be a role model for my entire family. Hopefully, they will look at me and think, if Heidi can do it, so can I. Knowledge is power.
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