The classes Nichole Smith took at Yale High School
made her want to pursue an office administration degree, and SC4 proved to be the perfect place for her to earn it.
“Going through high school I took accounting and
computer classes so I learned the basics and wanted to extend on that,” The
Lynn Township native said. “(Office administration) was something I always
wanted to do – I like paperwork I guess you can say. SC4 was close to home and
had the program I wanted.”
Smith graduated in 2009 with her associate degree in office
administration – administrative executive assistant, and now works with the
City of Port Huron as the community development program coordinator. She earned
the position after completing her second internship with the city and feels she
wouldn’t be where she is today without gaining the basics at SC4.
“They didn’t want to lose me here,” she said. “They
said I was a good worker and I think SC4 gave me the everyday skills like
answering the phone and knowing about how to work all of the computer programs.
They could hand me anything and I could get it done with little or no training.
“We get interns from different schools including SC4
and everyone has different skills, but I find the interns from SC4 have better
job skills because you learn the basic skills that you need in an office
setting, and interns coming from the bigger schools sometimes lack that.”
In her position, Smith oversees the city’s home rehab
grants and said a typical day consists of meeting with applicants, doing site
visits and completing lots of paper work. She said it is very rewarding to help
people of our community.
"I have a lady in particular who we were able to give
a new roof to,” Smith said. “She was so happy, and we don’t like to take
anything because we are just doing our job, but she brought us each flowers and
insisted we take them. It definitely touched us.”
She credits professors Carol Desjardin and Marilind Roff
with helping her achieve all-around success.
“I did my first internship with
Mrs. Desjardin when she was the chair (at SC4) and I was one of her interns.
She is a very smart woman and I learned a lot from her.” Smith said. “I had
Mrs. Roff for my business communication class and it was one of the toughest
classes I had, but I took a lot out of it. I was always shy and I don’t like to
talk in front of people but that class opened me up. Mrs. Roff was so good
about making you feel comfortable.”
Smith thought so highly of the
program she encouraged her sister to enroll and she is actively working toward
“She saw how I did and wanted to go down the same path
because I enjoyed the program and she wanted to go through the same thing,” she
said. “It’s a great program that SC4 offers, and I wish more people would get
involved in it.”
Smith’s advice to students: “Keep fighting through it. It
gets hard being in school and working but you have to keep fighting through it
and it will pay off in the end.”