Abbey McIntosh graduated from UNH with a major in communication and a minor in art. Right out of school, she was fortunate to turn her part-time internship at Catchfire Creative, a digital marketing agency in New Hampshire, into a full-time job. Working as a social media coordinator, she wanted to become better versed in Adobe Suite. While Abbey had been learning every day at work, she found herself missing the academic aspect from her life. She craved a classroom environment without the commitment of going back to school for a master's degree. That’s when she remembered something she had heard of the previous year.
During her senior year, Abbey was having a conversation with Tyler Wentworth, her Career and Professional Success mentor, when he suggested she take some classes through UNH’s Professional Development and Training. She was looking to learn more about graphic design and further her abilities in social media. As a College of Liberal Arts major, she could enroll in any class with the fees covered by the school. The idea piqued her interest, but at the time she was juggling classes, a job, and her internship and couldn’t find the time to take on another responsibility.
A year later with a more open schedule, Abbey was ready to follow up on taking the courses to receive a Digital Design Certificate. Her supervisor, also a UNH graduate, was excited for her to develop new skills and introduced her to a company program that helps fund job-related professional development. Fortunately for Abbey, with the UNH alumni discount, the cost to receive the certificate fell right under what her company would finance.
Abbey took her first class, Introduction to Adobe Creative Suite, in September and instantly felt her need to be in the classroom satisfied. She felt the classes were not too demanding and enjoyed the pace the instructors set. Her favorite part was having no extra work after class, which made it easier for a person with a full-time job to continue their education.
While Professional Development and Training certificates can be earned over the span of a year, Abbey chose to take all her classes in one semester. She felt she had a lot of leeway in completing the classes; enrolling in two during September and four between November and December. She believes if you are truly passionate about expanding your knowledge and want to extend your education, arranging six Saturday classes over a year is not challenging.
“COLA forces students to choose their own path and built their own college experience. If you’re a student, you can just take one class that you’re really interested in and have better understanding in just that, or take a few more classes and leave school with another certificate to add to your resume.” Abbey McIntosh
By the end of the year, Abbey will have completed all the classes required to receive her certification in Digital Design. Receiving this will expand her career knowledge and create new opportunities in her field. Abbey looks forward to the rest of her classes and hopes to take more classes with Professional Development again in the future.
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