Student in Online Human Resource Administration program hits a triple
Celia Gonzales finds herself in the rare situation of claiming three major bases of accomplishment: Graduate, from SJVC’s Human Resource Administration certificate program, student in the Online Human Resource Administration degree program, and SJVC employee at the College’s Call Center in Corona.
This tri-fecta of success was hard won over several years of study and career advancement.
“I have always worked full-time – with kids you have to work full-time,” says Celia, whose daughters Kendra (26) and Christan (24) still live at home. “In Latin families, you can stay home forever!” she says. “We are very close.”
Celia, or CC, as everyone calls her, kept parenting in delicate balance with her devotion to lifelong education and fulfilling employment.
CC began working for SJVC almost 11 years ago; first as an Administrative Assistant to a Campus Director for two years, then as a Financial Aid Officer, transferring to the Call Center in 2012.
“I help students secure financial aid, loans and grants, and I establish relationships with them to ensure that their transition into college is a smooth one from the financial end of it,” says CC.
CC, who is winding up her Human Resource Administration A.S. degree program this month, reflects on the bumps and glides of Online classes. “It was mostly the anxiety of being a student and working full-time,” she says of her greatest struggle. Her daughters jumped in to lend support. “They can’t cook at all, but they were able to keep up with our pets and the housework.”
The intense pace was made easier by the support CC found at SJVC. “Interaction with the teachers was very hands-on, and they were wonderful to work with,” she says. “Student Deans were very motivated to keep us engaged.”
“Not only is it great to work with CC as her Student Advisor, but also as co-workers (at the Call Center),” says Tekla Patton, Student Advisor/co-worker. “She would leave her desk and find an empty cubicle to do her homework, and call Alex Nolasco or me for questions or tutoring.”
Not a stranger to online studies, CC observed, “I’ve been in online programs before, but this one was much easier because of the interface time, lectures and formatting of class schedules.”
CC will walk the graduation stage with the Ontario campus on July 31st. “I plan on making a fool of myself up there, jumping and down,” she says. “My mom (Martha) and daughters will be filming it, and my aunt in Hawaii will be there with FaceTime.”
CC will use her Human Resource Administration degree to bolster her side accounting consulting business where she provides Human Resources services to small businesses with no budget for an in-house position. “I do all of their HR for them; hiring/firing, payroll, medical testing, things like that,” she says.
So…mom, student, full-time employee, plus consulting business owner might need a little down-time, right? It does not seem so.
“I bike ride about 30 miles every weekend in training for a ‘Century Ride’ (a hundred miles) in Escondido in June,” she says. “It’s going to take a full day!” CC has worked up to the 60-mile mark that took her about 4 hours. “I’m still recovering,” she laughs.
When the going gets tough, CC has a tried-and-true checklist for recovery and refocus.
CC’s Rules for Success keep her on track:
- Stay hydrated
- Focus on horizons, not on the road in front of you
- Keep your legs moving, even when you’re going downhill
- Pay attention to your breathing
- Remember that it IS going to end
Whether biking or pushing through some difficult times as a student, parent or employee, CC perseveres.
“I’m a lot like my dad (Tony),” says CC. “I’m very independent and I’m not highly emotional. My dad always worked long hours, but he was always home on time to be with his family. We all have that same mentality of close family.”
CC wants to project that same sense of commitment and accomplishment to her girls. “Every time they graduate from a program, it says that I can do it too, no matter what.” Strong-minded thinking from someone who admittedly, “was a good student, until I became a cheerleader (in high school)!”
Her advice to those who may not have a close family to provide them with encouragement and support: “Keep your eye on the goal. If you don’t have someone in your life that helps motivate you, learn to self-motivate!”
CC’s biking Rules for Success would seem to be the same rules she applies to all worthwhile endeavors. She provides a clear, walking example of their truth.
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