photo credit: Pinterest
photo credit: Pinterest

If you recall a couple of months ago, I shared that I partnered to Virginia College as a reminder to women everywhere that it is never too late to pursue your dream career.

So many of us, based on life circumstances, have slid our dreams under the rug because LIFE simply happens. We know our big dreams that come about during night, but maybe we have suppressed those dreams instead of exploring them.

I will repeat myself:  it’s never too late to become who you want to be.

If you’re not familiar with Virginia College, some quick background if you missed the last post… VC has actually been around for 25 years, and offers associate’s degrees, diplomas, and certificates at their various campuses and online.

Virginia College offers training in fields such as business, information technology, healthcare, and more. To see all the program options, click on the drop down menu, and your jaw might drop too.

Click to see all the programming options

I recently had the chance to connect with Crystal Jalil and Dwiyana Owens, Directors of Career Development at Virginia College, and they shared some great career tips with me to help get your foot in the door when in the market for a job. I shared them in a blog post, but I also recently shared them in video format. If you prefer to WATCH the tips, here they are.

If you are on the fence about whether or not to go back to school, I will let these Virginia College success stories speak for themselves.

Success Story: Jennifer Aldridge – Surgical Technology

When Jennifer Aldridge enrolled in the Surgical Technology program at Virginia College, she was a wife and a mom to four children. She made the decision to dedicate time for school to create a better life for her family.

Jennifer worked two jobs and still made time for studying. “I wanted to give my kids something to look forward to, to show hard work pays off in the end,“ she said.

After graduating and working an entry level job in her field, she was offered a position with the hospital where she did her externship.

“I love being able to put what I studied so hard for into practice,” Jennifer says.


Success Story: Chris – Chef

Chris has had a passion for cooking since he was a kid. He even studied culinary arts in high school. Then his father kicked him out of the house and he was left homeless and without an income.

He knew he wanted to cook for a living, and once he found out about the Culinary Arts program at Virginia College he made it his goal to attend.

While in school, Chris enjoyed the teamwork and being able to eat the food they created at the end of the day. But one of the best parts of his experience came when he was the first student chosen for an externship at Walt Disney World.

“The on-the-job experience I got definitely helped me,” he says.

Chris graduated with a 4.0 grade point average and a job in his field.

“I have my own apartment. I live in a great city with many opportunities,” Chris says. “And I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am without Virginia College.”


Success Story: Sheenah – Business Administration


Sheenah Thrasher-Zamora is a U.S. Navy veteran who says she was “college hopping” before she finally found her direction in life. When she finally enrolled in the Business Administration program at Virginia College in Jacksonville she had just gotten married and was pregnant.

“My life was full of adjustment at the time,” she says.

With the support of her husband Miguel and her 12-year-old son Jaden, Sheenah was able to complete her studies. Her two-year-old daughter Atarrah also inspired her to finish her education.

Sheenah also credits the staff and instructors at Virginia College. “Virginia College really wants to set you up for success. I would like to send a special thank you to the staff and professors throughout my entire experience,” says Sheenah.

After graduating in March 2016, Sheenah is now the Assistant Marketing Coordinator at the Jacksonville Public Library. The job allows her to organize library event announcements and ensure that materials are updated at all library branches.

She also has her own business, Studio of Evangelistic Living Arts in Harmony (SELAH).

Sheenah believes that no goal or success can ever happen without having a clear vision that is written right in front of you. “This will make it much more of a reality to strive for,” she says.

What advice would she give to all future Virginia College graduates? “Do what you are passionate about and don’t worry about status quo. When procrastination faces you, kick it and run,” she says.

Pretty unbelievable, right?

Aaaand, a final fun announcement!


You don’t want to miss the Twitter party today, at 2:00 – 2:30 PM EST! No need to RSVP, just follow the conversation, on my Twitter, @EricaDiamond using hashtag #VirginiaCollege — I’ll also be giving away prizes! See you on Twitter today at 2. 🙂


And if you are thinking of a new career path, Virginia College might be a viable option right in your backyard!


Disclosure: I am a proud paid partner of ECA. All opinions are my own.