When Kelli Rose’s job was outsourced overseas, she decided to turn lemons into lemonade.
After more than 30 years of rewarding work, Kelli found herself collecting unemployment. But rather than let her career stall, she took advantage of the opportunity to go back to school. A federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program allowed her to earn a degree that would put her back in the job market.
Kelli finished her associate’s degree through the Community College of Vermont, then took those credits — along with a previously earned computer technology certificate — and applied them toward a bachelor’s degree at JSC, which she obtained as a distance learner.
At first, she wondered if she was doing the right thing. As Kelli puts it, her grades weren’t the best in high school, and returning to college was something she worried would take up time she could spend finding work.
But JSC’s ability to mold a program around the learner — and not the other way around — proved to Kelli it was the best possible option. “I got to pick and choose what I wanted to do based on my background and where I wanted to go,” she said.
JSC’s Professional Studies major was a perfect fit. Kelli was able to choose courses that built on what she already knew about business logistics and take others tailored to her passion in environmental sustainability. The combination led to a new interest – and career direction – in biodegradable packaging.
“Based on my experience, one of the best things about JSC is that it makes you think outside the box, and the everyone there has your back,” Kelli said.
With “tremendous assistance” from her professors and her advisor, Kelli is proud to say that JSC may have made a “perpetual student” out of her. It’s the type of thing you might expect to hear from someone who finished at the top of her graduating class, magna cum laude, which is exactly what Kelli did.