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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

Mother/daughter team takes on Business Administration program

July 6, 2015
Business Administration students Renee and Tory'a
Renee and Tory’a make a great mother/daughter team at home and at school in the SJVC Business Administration program.

Renee Taylor and her daughter, 19-year-old Tory’a, have completely different reasons for enrolling in the Hanford Business Administration program, but that doesn’t mean they are tackling this important step in their career preparation any less enthusiastically.

“With this education, I can go and get bigger and better jobs in Japan,” says Tory’a, who spent several years in Japan when her dad’s military assignment took the family there. “They are looking for managers with education and with my degree, I can get those positions.”

Renee, who might start her own business, has a different plan for putting her degree to work. “I feel like this opens the door to limitless possibilities for what I can do for work,” she says. “I’m adding another piece of education to my record and will have job qualifications that follow me everywhere.”

Both Renee and Tory’a are used to working very hard to achieve their goals.

Renee has tried on several careers for size, after completing studies and training to get there. But, somehow each new role fell a little short of the match she envisioned. She has been a legal secretary and Respiratory Therapist, and even got her certification to be a personal trainer.

For years, she owned her own business selling guns and knives. But, nothing seemed to fit. She decided that a degree in Business Administration would give her the professional skills that would support any direction she might take. She made the call to SJVC.

“I’ve been to a lot of other colleges, but here it is geared toward exactly what you’re going to do,” says Renee. “It is more fast-track without all the extra courses you have to take at 4-year colleges.”

Tory’a has been working since she was 14 years old. She has worked in the produce fields of Japan, as a nanny, instructor for military spouses who needed to learn the basics of cooking and cleaning, and most recently as a cashier at the Navy Exchange on the military base in Lemoore.

“I saw that my mom had come to SJVC and thought since I’m about to turn 20, I need something that would not take a long time,” says Tory’a. “And, it’s nice to have the person I always rely on right there.”

Renee adds, “Tory’a was watching and encouraging me as I did my homework, so I decided I might as well get her to join me at SJVC.”

They are great study-buddies and both hold a 4.0 GPA and regular inclusion on the Dean’s List. “We study together every day,” says Renee. “It’s a joint effort, and we share the things we’ve learned.”

“Renee and Tory’a have been a perfect fit for this class,” says Matt Glasgow, Business Administration instructor. “Both mother and daughter committed to tackle the business degree program, and find the program challenging, yet rewarding.”

They are a family within a family.

“I love the fact that it is more close-knit here,” says Renee. “The family environment and comfort level we have gives us all a confidence boost. Teachers make sure if there’s something you need, or if they can improve your experience, you get it.”

Tory’a especially likes the professionalism students are taught to project both in and outside the classroom.

“When we are out doing public activities, people come up and ask if we are staff or teachers because we are displaying such professionalism,” offers Tory’a. That is the image she plans to carry back to Japan that will showcase her newfound business skills and education.

Tory’a is surprised that what she is learning in class already affects how she carries herself outside the classroom.

“Public speaking tends to be a big problem for a lot of people,” she says. “It helps a lot to practice in front of our small group so that when we immerse ourselves in the community, we can use what we learned in class.”

“She is a very disciplined young lady, and this is building her up to the best that she can be,” says Renee of her daughter. “She makes me very proud.”

One of their proudest moments awaits them next spring when they complete their program and take to the graduation stage.

Recently, both Renee and Tory’a got to help set-up a graduation exercise, and ended up staying to watch the ceremony. “Just the pride on the faces of those who walked, as well as their families and friends, keeps me motivated to keep on going,” says Renee, a life-long learner. “Just knowing that one day, that will be me and my daughter.”

Tory’a seconds that emotion and plans to hold onto whatever it takes to get there: “You have already lit the match. Don’t let the fire burn out.”

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