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Recent Stories From Our Blog
11 June 2013 - 10:31 pm
“I was nervous being a full-time mom and a full-time student. Everybody I came across at Ivy Bridge was very helpful and that helped relieve a lot of stress and anxiety about what to expect… I couldn’t ask for a better school.”
I’m 25, have been married for six years, and have two kids, ages five and one. My husband was in the military for the past six years and is medically retired. I just started working again and have gone back part-time. We live near Ft. Hood, Texas, and we’re on the go a lot. Once I graduate and get my associate degree, I plan to find a position I’m qualified for and transfer to Tiffin University to earn my bachelor’s in healthcare administration.
My husband has been my greatest support while I’ve been earning my degree. Even though he was active duty military, he helped insure that I had time to study for each course. Now that he’s medically retired, it’s been him and my mom that are making sure I can do well and finish each assignment before it’s due.
I’ve had several coaches since I’ve started at Ivy Bridge and each one of them have been very supportive. If I had an issue with an instructor or understanding the coursework, or if I had a question about financial aid, each of them was always there to make sure my question was answered.
I’ve also had supportive instructors. One term Leslie Lewis was my instructor for both classes, one of which was Healthcare Laws. She was a great teacher, really interacted with the students, and provided feedback for understanding the materials and how we could improve what it was we were learning. At that time my husband had three blood clots in his lungs and I was driving an hour a day to see him. I remember I was very stressed out and overwhelmed at the time. I had made a mistake on a PowerPoint. I hadn’t sent all the slides. I’ve always been a very dedicated student and I was upset I had made a mistake. I emailed her and she said, “You focus on your family. Stay in communication with me and I will help you.” So I was able to take care of personal as well as do well in that class.
What I’ve enjoyed most about Ivy Bridge is that everybody I’ve worked with has been very caring and compassionate and very interested in making sure I was successful. That was one of the things I was nervous about – how all this worked. I was nervous being a full-time mom and a full-time student. Everybody I came across at Ivy Bridge was very helpful and that helped relieve a lot of stress and anxiety about what to expect.
I feel very comfortable at Ivy Bridge. I’m able to learn at my own pace, and it’s a lot easier to manage than if I had chosen another school. Ivy Bridge allows me to have a life outside of school. I couldn’t ask for a better school. I feel it’s the right place for me.
7 June 2013 - 12:28 pm
As many of our students know, Ivy Bridge College has transfer agreements in place with over 150 colleges and universities throughout the U.S. Our mission is to provide you with a high-quality, affordable associate degree and a smooth pathway for you to transfer to a first-rate four-year school. To help you get to know our transfer partners, we're highlighting them here on The Bridge blog. This month we’re featuring Walsh College.
Walsh College Transfer Highlights
The mission of Walsh College is to deliver a business education that integrates application and theory to prepare graduates for successful careers; but we are so much more than just those words. We are an all-business college that allows you to make the most of your undergraduate education and experience, all in light of shaping you for that new career or promotion.
Since our founding in 1922, we have stood by our model: those who work in a particular field by day should be the ones who teach within that field by night. This provides our students with the opportunity to see just how the theory they learn from a textbook actually applies to their day-to-day work and personal lives.
Walsh College is serious about business. It’s what we were founded on. And it’s why we continue to challenge students like you to grow and strive for greatness.
Take an Interactive Tour of our programs.
Locations: While the main campus is in Troy, Michigan, we also have a campus in Novi, Michigan. Walsh also has two branch campuses in conjunction with local community colleges in Clinton Township and Port Huron. You can also attend our programs online.
Schedule: Classes are each 11-weeks long. Classes begin four times per year in the Fall (End of September), Winter (Beginning of January), Spring (Beginning of April) and Summer (End of June).
Tuition and Financial Aid: Cost per credit hour is $360.
Scholarships: Walsh College offers over 30 scholarships to incoming students!
Transfer office contact:
Vita Romberger, MBA '10
Assistant Director of Admissions
Walsh College Admissions & Academic Advising
3838 Livernois Road, Troy, MI 48007
Alumni Network: Walsh College has an expansive list of benefits for Alumni including lifetime access to the library database, travel and legal services, and discounts on car rentals and merchandise.
If you're interested in learning more about any of Ivy Bridge College's transfer partners, please schedule a meeting with your IBC success coach who can discuss next steps as you move forward with your educational and professional goals. Here’s to your future!
6 June 2013 - 12:45 pm
By creating your own internship, you have the chance to tailor your interests and geographic requirements. Start by asking yourself the question, “Where would I love to work?” Many organizations would love to have a college student help with a range of assignments or a single project, but they may not have a formal intern program. If you as the student can identify an organization of interest, you could possibly open up a world of possibilities in which to gain meaningful internship experience.
Preparing for Your Search
• Keep in mind that internships are often unpaid. You will probably need to consider other employment while doing the internship. The short-term financial setback will provide long-term gains in valuable career-related experience!
• Establish your goals before you begin to approach organizations. Identify and create a clear vision by asking yourself the following:
Tips for Locating the Right Organization for Your Internship
Join professional organizations. Many organizations have student rates and opportunities to meet professionals in the field. There are professional organizations for every career field.
Talk to your family and friends. Many students find their own internships by networking with personal acquaintances. Ask them to help you come up with the top ten organizations in your area.
Search using keywords. By using a search engine such as www.google.com and plugging in a variety of keywords related to your area of interest, you are likely to come up with information about organizations dedicated to the field you would like to explore. Example: ‘law enforcement + Cleveland + internship’
Use your local Chamber of Commerce. Any sizable city or town has a local Chamber of Commerce which promotes business opportunities in the area. The national website www.chamberofcommerce.com will have links to Chambers in your state and city/town.
Access your local phone book. In the back of your local phone book under Yellow Pages, many non-profits are listed under the “association” section. Also in the phone book, the Blue Pages list human services agencies, local, state and federal government agencies.
Reach out to your professors. They are experts in their field and can often provide you with suggestions and possible contacts in your field.
Use your local United Way. The United Way provides support to many social and civic organizations in the community. The United Way often has a list of social/civic organizations in your area.
Contacting Organizations to Propose an Internship
Before you approach an organization, identify your skills and ask yourself what you can bring to the workplace. Examples: customer service, writing, analyzing, problem solving, computer, team work, clerical, communication, etc.
Email is a great way to contact organizations. Emails are fast and they make it easy for employers to get back to you. This sample email below is short, simple, and effective:
Dear Mr. Smith:
I am a student at Ivy Bridge College, majoring in Corrections. I am very interested in learning about the operations of the Drug and Alcohol Council of Northwest Ohio. Although I realize you have no official internship program in place, I would be very interested in working with your organization as an unpaid intern this fall.
I have nearly two years of experience working in the Wood County After-School Program with at-risk high school students. During that time I have developed some effective communication, organizational and problem solving skills. Additionally, I have recently completed my Introduction to Criminal Justice and Criminal Procedures courses. I am excited about learning more about the Corrections field from your team of professionals.
Each day I pledge to come to the internship on time with a positive attitude and desire to learn. I would be interested in meeting with you to discuss this exciting opportunity in more detail. I am available at your convenience for an interview and references can be provided at your request. Please feel free to contact me at (419) 555-5555 or e-mail me at JamesRodgers@hotmail.com to arrange an interview. I look forward to meeting with you. Thank you for your consideration.
Telephone is another option for reaching out to organizations. Before getting on the phone, be sure to rehearse what you're going to say. A great method is to create a 30-second commercial by finishing the sentences below.
My name is...
Currently I am a student at Ivy Bridge College majoring in...
My experience (describe)
I am (strength), which I demonstrated when I (accomplishments)
I’m looking for a position where I (goals)
I can be of immediate benefit to your company because (how?)
Here's a sample phone script based on the 30-second commercial. Shape and/or shorten it to suit the situation or the person you're talking with:
My name is James Rodgers. I am a student at Ivy Bridge College majoring in Corrections. I will be graduating next year and am eager to continue to expand my knowledge of the Criminal Justice Corrections field. Specifically, I am interested in careers related to Drug and Alcohol Treatment and Prevention. I have experience in working with at risk high school students with addiction. I am looking to broaden my career knowledge with an internship or volunteer experience. Would you or someone at your organization be available to speak with me about developing some type of opportunity?
Accepting an Internship
Be sure to evaluate the offer carefully. When an organization says that it will accept you as an intern, it is important for you to understand clearly what type of work assignments you will be given, how you will be supervised and any other conditions for the internship. Once you have this information, evaluate the offer carefully before you accept it.
For more information on internships or volunteer experience please contact your success coach or the career services consultant.
30 May 2013 - 7:28 pm
Internships have become an important part of a college student’s education. As author John Keats puts it, “Nothing ever becomes real until it is experienced.”
Through internships you can gain experiences in different fields, test career interests, establish contacts that can assist you with networking, and receive letters of recommendation. Internships can also make a sizable contribution to your resume.
In addition to these benefits, internships act as a way for you to gain experience without committing yourself permanently to a specific field. For students who don’t yet know exactly what they want to do, internships allow them to work in different fields with the hope of finding a job they really enjoy. For other students, internships confirm their interest in a particular course of study and reinforce career goals.
As you continue to work toward achieving your degree and set goals for your career, it’s important to understand that just having a degree is no longer sufficient in and of itself to secure a job in many competitive fields. Gaining experience while in school through internships or a volunteer experience will give you the competitive edge over other students when seeking a full-time job after graduation. Most employers of recent college graduates give preference in hiring to students who have previous internship experience in their industries. In today’s competitive job market it is essential that you gain career skills and make the most of your time at Ivy Bridge College. Internships provide you with this opportunity.
Stay tuned: Next week we'll share with you the necessary steps to take to create an internship this summer... or anytime!
28 May 2013 - 8:45 pm
My name is Matthew Baldwin. I am 26 years young, originally from Syracuse, New York, but my home has been Tampa Bay, Florida for 20+ years of my life. I currently reside just outside of Birmingham, Alabama. I moved here to live with my older brother, sister-in-law and twin three-year-old nephews after working 84 hours a week (yes, you read that correctly) in North Dakota while also attending Ivy Bridge College of Tiffin University, full-time. I am here to share my experiences of how I have made my way to where I currently am in life. My journey into the college life was long and rough, but I am here and couldn’t be happier with the decision I made to go back to school and further my education.
As a troubled youth, I experienced a lot of what much of the youth experiences growing up and then some. Having learned the hard way on a plethora of occasions, I finally matured into a fine young man by learning from past experiences. Not only did I heed my own lessons in life, but others' lessons as well. It took some time to do this but as they say, it is “better late than never.” Even through all of the ups and downs that took place throughout my life, I, as well as those around me, have always known that I possess an unlimited amount of potential and upside. I have always been a friendly, kind-hearted individual but at times maintained an erratic way of living and thinking. My outlook has changed drastically on life, and in the past year I have made many strides towards being the man that everyone, including myself, knows I am capable of being.
As of June, 2012, I’ve been enrolled here at Ivy Bridge College of Tiffin University, majoring in Sports Management & Recreation, in hopes of obtaining my associate degree. I can honestly say that ever since enrolling I was anxious to get started. And ever since I completed my first assignment, I have felt a sense of accomplishment within myself. By going to college I feel extremely proud of myself and very confident that my future is as bright as I allow it to be. Honestly, at first, I asked myself, “What have I gotten myself into?” But with the easy access to my course material and the awesome convenience of having the help I need to stay on track, and the help of my success coach Rachael North (she’s pretty awesome) as well as the tutoring and all of the great assets provided by the staff at Ivy Bridge, I am very pleased that I enrolled and will continue to take pride in all that I accomplish while here.
I will forever be grateful for all that Ivy Bridge has offered me and will continue to provide for my future. After obtaining my associate degree, I plan to enroll in a four-year university to obtain a bachelor’s and eventually a master’s degree. Having completed 22 credits thus far, with a current GPA of 3.14, I feel that I am well on my way in completing my educational goals. If I could give advice to anyone who has doubt about returning to school, I would tell them that there is no better way to help secure your future than education. “Education is endless.”
24 May 2013 - 1:14 pm
Healthcare Administration Majors – we have good news for you. Healthcare is currently the largest industry in the US and jobs within this industry are emergent. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects 22 percent growth for careers in the healthcare sector until 2020.
As we continue to see changes in the healthcare delivery system, job opportunities for administrators are swelling. With the US population aging rapidly, the demand to move healthcare facilities outside of the hospital setting and into the community increases. This move to a more community-based healthcare plan also escalates the career opportunities for healthcare administrators. Finally, with the intensification of the integration of technology into all areas of healthcare, hiring managers in the industry are attempting to find employees with exceptional technology skills.
Your associate degree from Ivy Bridge can help to prepare you for entry level opportunities in healthcare administration. Jobs such as medical records clerks, administrative support workers, patient representatives, insurance policy processing clerks, office managers and billing clerks are good starter jobs. A bachelor’s degree from one of our partner schools will give you the education to launch into more specialized fields. In addition to your college degree, hiring managers in healthcare look for a variety of skills, qualities, and experiences. Take note of some of these important strategies to be sure you are prepared to compete in a competitive job market!
For additional help with your job search or future plans please contact your Ivy Bridge College success coach or the Ivy Bridge career services consultant.
22 May 2013 - 2:04 pm
You made the decision to go back to school, which is great, but now the real test begins. You learned to balance school, family and work through endless trial and error exercises, which is no easy feat. It’s been a long two years, and your brain feels fried, but you’ve finally done it. You’ve completed your last class and there is now an associate degree behind your name. But what’s next?
Is it time to jump right into the job market, or do you continue to push forward for that four-year degree? This is the question that plagues many students at the crossroads of their higher education journey, and determining whether or not to transfer can be confusing.
Much research has been done on the benefits of earning a bachelor’s degree, and some of the findings may surprise you. Below are four reasons why it might be worth your time to consider those two extra years.
You’ve already succeeded in obtaining that coveted associate degree despite continued struggle and adversity; why not take the next step? Invest in yourself, invest in your future, and invest in your family. The sacrifices you make today will result in benefits you will reap for a lifetime. I won’t tell you it will be easy, and I can’t tell you that you won’t have second thoughts when things get tough. But I will tell you that twenty years from now, when you look back on this moment in your comfortable home, with the job you love, surrounded by the family you’re providing for, you will never regret this decision.
The choice is yours; choose wisely. But never fear – you won’t have to do it on your own! We are here to help you make the decision, and find the school best suited to you. Contact your Ivy Bridge College success coach today and start the next journey into your future. Your dreams are out there; let’s go make them come true.
21 May 2013 - 5:52 pm
You are revved up and excited at the idea of walking across the stage, flashbulbs and phones snapping pictures of you in your cap and gown as you’re flashing your degree for all to see. You rush home to post your glowing pictures on Facebook and other social media sites. You’re proud and want everyone to know it...
This portrays one of the many images that run through a student’s mind as they near the end of their journey of obtaining a degree. With the help of some of our students I decided to write this post to help you in your journey to making this dream a reality. My name is DeMya Wimberly and I’m a success coach at Ivy Bridge College of Tiffin University. The purpose of this post is to provide online students practical tips to make their decision to pursue an online degree a fun, rewarding, and enriching experience.
Special thanks to the students whose conversations helped me piece this together.
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
16 May 2013 - 8:37 pm
What does your online presence tell potential employers about you?
Did you know that employers are using sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ to learn more about their candidates applying for jobs?
According to a recent Microsoft survey, nearly 80 percent of employers research job applicants on the Internet. When asked why employers use social networks to research candidates, 65 percent said they do it to see if the job seeker presents himself or herself professionally.
Is your online image professional? If not, your online profile could hurt your chances for getting hired. In a recent Forbes article, employers said they chose not to hire someone because of evidence of drinking and/or drug use on his or her social profiles. Other reasons they decided not to offer the job: the candidate’s profile displayed poor communication skills, he or she bad-mouthed previous employers, made discriminatory comments related to race, gender, or religion, or lied about qualifications.
In order to keep your online personality from hurting your chances at gainful employment now or in the future, you need to follow three simple tips.
For more information about career coaching contact your Ivy Bridge College success coach or the IBC career consultant.
10 May 2013 - 7:05 pm
Last weekend was a weekend that I will not forget. I had the pleasure of participating in the 125th Commencement of Tiffin University with numerous Ivy Bridge College graduates. It was the first time that I got to meet in person some of our amazing students (now alumni).
I enjoyed visiting with our students and their family and friends and talking about their college adventures – their accomplishments, challenges and future opportunities. I left Tiffin feeling energized because our students consistently astound me with all that they accomplish while attending college online.
The events of last weekend caused me to reminisce about my own undergraduate graduation. For me that was 22 years ago (oh, my!). I remember having feelings of great accomplishment! Neither of my parents graduated from college so they too had a great deal of pride that day. I remember feeling excited about my future, but honestly I was also probably feeling more scared. It was a time to launch my career, but as I think back to those days I recall I had very little knowledge about how to get started in my field.
Over the last 22 years I’ve been blessed to learn a great deal about this important subject. Today I want to share with you three important tips – things I wish I had known when I graduated from college. They are designed to give graduates a foundation to begin their quest for a successful professional career path.
1. Embrace lifelong learning
Thinking back, I can honestly say I was a good college student. I got good grades and enjoyed learning – especially in the classes related to my major. BUT, during senior year I came down with a mild – well maybe a major – case of “senioritis.” The thought of continuing my education after graduation did not at all initially appeal to me. I remember my advisor saying, “You should consider graduate school.” He mentioned that this would open more career options for me and allow me to advance in the field of education. He was right.
Earning a college degree is a huge accomplishment! I challenge you to continue. Keep striving to learn more – more about your field, your industry, yourself and the professional workplace. Find ways to advance your education. Earn a bachelor’s degree, maybe even a master’s, a certificate or simply attend training classes or professional development workshops in your field.
“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” - WB Yates
2. Find a mentor in your field
A mentor is a professional adviser who agrees to provide expertise to mentees in order to help them build and succeed in their career by developing their skill set and experience. Mentors also help newbies connect to other professionals in the field. In my early years in higher education I had some awesome mentors. They were like professional friends who gave me advice and coaching on subjects that where often not discussed in the classroom or in work meetings.
Seek a mentor in your network. Start small with someone you might already know – maybe a former boss, friend of your family or community leader. Mentoring can start with simple meetings. If at all possible try to meet in person, but in the busy world we live in this might be hard. If you have a relationship with someone far away you can still have a successful relationship over the phone, through email or maybe even through Skype. (Give it a try – it’s free!)
“Mentoring is a brain to pick, an ear to listen, and a push in the right direction.” - John C. Crosby
Volunteering can help you develop or refine specific skills in anticipation of a job search. Volunteer experiences are great places to enhance skills with computers, organization, writing, leadership, problem solving, project planning, office administration and much more. Some volunteering opportunities provide extensive training programs that can really enhance your knowledge base of your career field. I took advantage of several volunteer opportunities while I was in college. One volunteer program my senior year led me to choose my career path in education. When you get involved in volunteer work you get the chance to meet new people and really grow your network. These contacts can serve as great resources for job leads, career advice and mentoring.
I suggest starting with your local community. Follow your passion. Volunteer opportunities are everywhere. Some good web sites to look at for volunteer opportunities include www.volunteerMarch.org, www.Idealist.org, and www.SERVEnet.org.
“Volunteering can be an exciting, growing, enjoyable experience. It is truly gratifying to serve a cause, practice one's ideals, work with people, solve problems, see benefits, and know one had a hand in them.” - Harriet Naylor
College graduates are often filled with many emotions. I know it’s not easy to know what you want to be when you grow up and even more challenging is getting started. But don’t sit on the sidelines too long. Get in the game! Keep learning, find a mentor and volunteer.
There is an old saying (one of my very favorites) most often attributed to Woody Allen that "90% of life is showing up." Allen's point is a good one. Show up – get involved! Your adventure continues.
For more strategies for career success contact your Success Coach or our Career Services Consultant.