L-R: Dr. Joe Sinclair, administrative consultant; Laura Rector, office manager; and Deanna Hanlin, interim director.

Wilkes Community College student Laura Rector got a head start on her Business Administration career through the Work-Based Learning program. Laura completed the requirements for the Business Administration program December 2017. The Northwest Regional Educational Service Alliance (NWRESA) offered her employment prior to graduation. She is currently working as the office manager at the organization under the direction of Deanna Hanlin, interim director and Dr. Joe Sinclair, administrative consultant.

“NWRESA is very happy to have Laura as part of our full-time staff. She is professional, mature, efficient and has a good grasp of current technology. WCC prepared her well for the workforce,” stated Hanlin. Dr. Sinclair agreed, “Laura does a super job and has a great future ahead of her.”

NWRESA is located in Wilkesboro. Their mission is to provide professional services, quality staff development, and support for our educational community in a proactive, efficient, and cost-effective manner in order to make a positive difference in student learning. NWRESA serves eight county schools systems including Alleghany, Ashe and Wilkes, three city school districts and the NC School for the Deaf. They seek collaboration and develop learning opportunities for school personnel in the area, including working with superintendent’s, curriculum and instruction staff, and principals through regional meetings. They also work with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to coordinate sessions for their members in a variety of subject areas.

“My work-based learning work experience has helped me in my efforts to accomplish my career goals. WCC best prepared me to meet challenges in the use of technology skills, business communication, understanding business models such as non-profits, and accounting skills. My challenges in transitioning from being a full-time student to full-time employee were lessened by my internship. The planning and performing of workshops helped me gain a positive experience while at my work-based learning assignment. I was able to interact with others in a professional manner while performing duties assigned to me by my supervisor,” said Rector.

Laura’s advisor, Kim Tetzlaff states, “It’s been a pleasure to work with Laura, both as her advisor and instructor. She always came to class and advising sessions exhibiting those professional skills that we stress. She was well prepared, dedicated to learning new things, and professional in her interactions with others. It’s always exciting to see our students achieving their goals through the combination of classroom and work-based learning experiences.”

Matt Baldwin, Business Administration lead instructor stated, “Laura took both traditional and online classes to accommodate her schedule. She was an excellent student and took advantage of what WCC had to offer to set herself up for success.”

The Business Administration curriculum is designed to introduce students to various aspects of the free enterprise system. Students are provided fundamental knowledge of business functions, processes and an understanding of business organizations in today’s global economy. Whether you are interested in working in financial institutions, industry, or business, this program will prepare you for a variety of employment opportunities. The program includes classes in management, marketing, human resources, accounting, communications and finance to name a few. For more information please contact Matt Baldwin, lead instructor at 336-838-6161 or mjbaldwin795@wilkescc.edu.

The Work-Based Learning Program is an academic program designed to give students the opportunity to combine theory from the classroom with on-the-job, career-related work experience. Work-Based Learning allows students to clarify career goals, make contacts in their field and increase marketability in post-graduation job searches. “The work experience at NWRESA gives Business Administration students a focused experience within the agency. Students learn what is expected in a business administration setting. In short, it is hands-on work in the real world,” states Beth Foster, director of the Work-Based Learning Program. If you would like more information about the Work-Based Learning Program, contact Beth at 336-838-6173 or at bafoster167@wilkescc.edu.