A perfect fit
SC4’s office administration program provided exactly what Nichole Smith needed
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 her degree.
“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.”