Jennifer Bird – Staff Highlight

When you walk through the doors at West Virginia Junior College in Cross Lanes, you can always expect a welcoming greeting from the administrative assistant, Jennifer Bird. In 1998, Jennifer graduated from WVJC and earned a diploma in Clerical Word Processing. Jennifer loved her caring instructors and hands-on educational experience. Shortly after graduation, she was contacted about an employment opportunity at WVJC, and she knew it would be a great fit!

Jennifer heard about college classes at WVJC in 1998 from her grandma. She said, “I remember my grandma finding an advertisement in the newspaper for classes at West Virginia Junior College. I made a phone call and completed the admissions process and started classes the next month.”

Jennifer wears many hats as WVJC’s Administrative Assistant. She offers support to students, graduates, staff, and faculty. She said, “I believe in the mission of WVJC and the best part is seeing students graduate and fulfill their dreams.” Jennifer is currently enrolled in the Business Administration degree program through WVJC Online. “I am enjoying my Introduction to Business course and my favorite part is learning how to start a business,” she says.

Jennifer enjoys spending time with her family in her spare time, working on her farm with her many animals, and horseback riding. A fun fact about Jennifer is she has 10 children, 20 dogs, 25 cows, 3 horses, 8 chickens, and 2 cats and she still greets everyone with a smile when they enter WVJC.

To learn more about WVJC, request information here!

Bullock Properties, LLC – Externship Highlight

West Virginia Junior College Business Administration program is grateful for the relationship established with Bullock Properties, LLC. The owner of Bullock Properties, LLC, Mr. Tighe Bullock, serves as a great resource to WVJC students. Bullock Properties is a real estate development company specializing in historic preservation and small business development. Bullock Properties works with prospective tenants to select and redevelop historic properties in the Elk City Historic District of Charleston’s West Side.

The company’s climate has shifted slightly since the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has expanded its product offerings and now contracts out work for specialty historic preservation projects, in addition to providing specialty hardwood slabs, light fixtures, and other unique offerings. Bullock Properties hopes to expand its service and product offering beyond Charleston to other historic properties and neighborhoods in West Virginia. As the company grows and expands geographically, it also hopes to expand its offerings through vertical integration.

The WVJC Business Administration student externs at Bullock Properties are provided an opportunity to learn about real estate acquisitions, property taxes and tax maps, contract drafting and execution, human resources management, legal compliance, finance, and banking relationships, among other skills. Mr. Bullock stated, “Bullock Properties is afforded a great opportunity through the externship program to meet young emerging professionals and hear new approaches to old problems. The externs are sharp, caring people who add a new element to the regular office workday. The externs also allow other employees to interact and get to know the students.”

Mr. Bullock has several pieces of advice for WVJC students entering college in 2020/2021:

  • “Take this opportunity to grow yourself and your work habits.
  • Double the amount of studying you did in high school. You get what you put into your work.
  • Make friends and stay in touch with them. You will thank yourself later in life.
  • Learn to appreciate helping others. We find intrinsic meaning by giving ourselves to our fellow human beings.
  • Be professional, but have fun.”

To learn more about WVJC’s exciting externship program, request information here!

Travis Gyorko – Student Highlight

Post-secondary education is generally a big change for a student that recently graduated from high school. Depending upon choice of program, maturity, comfort in new environments, and a host of other factors, new post-secondary students can find it difficult to transition from the high school environment to college.  Travis Gyorko, WVJC Business Administration student and Student Government Association President, found himself in just this situation after high school. “It [traditional college] was a very different experience for me and I wasn’t able to fully adjust to it. “ His transition was so difficult that Travis was not successful in his first attempt at college.  Like so many others, he found himself at a crossroads. “I bounced around from odd job to odd job not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life.”

As time passed, Travis began a hobby that would change his life.  He began craft-brewing ale.  At first, it was a hobby to do after work.  Over time, Travis found that it might be more than just a hobby.  It has been said that when you love what you do, you won’t work a day in your life and this is exactly what Travis began to feel.  His concern was that he did not know how to take this skill and turn it into a business.  Not feeling comfortable going into something like this blind, Travis began searching for education options that would work for him and his new found passion.  “I heard about being able to get a degree in 18 months [at WVJC] and that they had a business program.”

Travis decided to enroll at WVJC Morgantown. “I chose WVJC…to turn my hobby…into a full-time career.” Travis had a very different experience at WVJC than he did at his first college. “I love the hands-on approach my professors have given me and each one has taken the time to get to know me.  I never would’ve had an experience like this [in his first college attempt] and that really has appealed to me since joining the junior college.”

Travis has excelled as a student at West Virginia Junior College Morgantown and is even the SGA President. “My favorite class has been Fundamentals of Taxation. It was a lot of work but I appreciate being able to have the knowledge of how to do my own taxes.” He also added, “The professors are really passionate about helping their students succeed and the college offers a very student friendly environment.”

If you have any questions about the Business Administration program at WVJC or would like additional information, please contact West Virginia Junior College at 304-296-8282 or wvjc.edu.

Business Administration Graduate Highlight – Shana McCormick

Shana McCormickShana McCormick is a Business Administration diploma graduate of WVJC Online. When Shana was looking into online schools, she wanted to find a good fit for herself and her family. She stated “I really wanted to be able to better support my family and get this for myself.” Shana chose WVJC Online because “I heard from a friend how wonderful it was, along with how well the school works with a hectic schedule.” Shana is married with 3 children and needed flexibility to be able to maintain her home life while achieving her educational goals. After choosing WVJC, Shana chose the Business Administration program because she is very organized, has a take charge attitude, and has the ability to get things accomplished. Shana said the skills she learned within the Business Administration program can be applied in all aspects of her career. Shana’s favorite part, if she had to pick one, about WVJC Online was “the one on one help that you can acquire just by simply reaching out to an instructor. They will walk you through what you need and make sure you are learning the skills you are going to need in the work place.”

Like Shana, not everyone knows what they want to do straight out of high school. They may not even know in their 30s, but that should never stop someone from trying. If Shana could give new students one piece of advice, it would be, “Go into your program with an open mind and ready to learn. Do not rush through. Listen to your lectures and don’t wait until the due date to do all your work! Make a weekly plan with all your assignments and do them accordingly. You get what you put in with an online degree. Find someone that has your back. Find your “village.” These are going to be the people who are cheering you on when you want to quit. They make you want to be better. Do not listen to people who think it is too much for you.”

As Shana neared the end of her school journey, she encountered a few hardships. She wanted to personally thank Brittany Nuzzo, WVJC Online’s Academic Dean. “Thank you Brittany for everything that you did for me during a very hard time in my family’s life. When you go to school, you become family!” Shana couldn’t have put it any better. We at WVJC are family.

Shana also has her husband to thank from top to bottom. Shana’s husband had several health problems during the time she was attending school, but he was always cheering her on. She said, “There were times life got tough and I wanted to quit. It’s human nature. He always built me up when I was crumbling down, even days he didn’t feel like smiling.”

In the beginning, prior to first starting school, Shana said that family life was calm, except chasing around two toddlers. Though, about two months in she learned she was going to have another baby. “College was a dream, but we were told months before we wouldn’t have any more children, so this was a dream too. I had several health issues with my pregnancy, but persevered. I remember hours after I had my son, I was in the hospital, doing schoolwork on my laptop. There is absolutely nothing you can’t do if you set your mind to it.”

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended the Business Administration program CLICK HERE

Business Administration Student Highlight – Jacob Mace

Jacob Mace is enrolled at West Virginia Junior College Charleston in the Business Administration program. Before attending WVJC, Jacob felt lost. He was tired of constantly stressing about what to do with his life. Jacob had never attended college before but said “A week before my aunt passed away I promised her that I would go to school and do something with my life. WVJC was my choice. After the initial interview, I just felt like part of their family.”

Jacob decided on the Business Administration program because he was interested in learning more about marketing and advertising.  When asked about his favorite part of WVJC, he said “Would it be cliché to say everything? The classes, teachers, staff, my classmates, and the business club. West Virginia Junior College saved me from going down a dark path.”

Jacob said his favorite two teachers are Mr. Batman and Mrs. Katie and that he has really enjoyed his marketing class.

In five years Jacob would like to be able to say he kept his promise to his aunt.  He sees himself being successful in a job he likes and maybe starting a family. He said he may also want to relocate, “Don’t get me wrong, I love West Virginia, but I want to explore and see what else is out there.”

For important information about the educational debt, earnings, and completion rates of students who attended the Business Administration program CLICK HERE

Business Management Student Highlight – Mallory Colsmann

Mallory ColsmannMeet WVJC Morgantown student, Mallory Colsmann!  Mallory is a Business Management student who is quickly approaching graduation. She chose to attend WVJC Morgantown because it’s not only close to her house, but also because “the admissions staff was really good” and she “enjoyed the small class sizes.”

When asked about her favorite aspect of WVJC, she said, “My teachers are my favorite part, because they are all amazing. I love the people and the school!” Mallory contributes a huge part of her success at WVJC to the support she received from her instructors.  “My business program coordinator Rreze Zejnullahi is such an upbeat person and a huge motivator to me.”  Mallory also said instructor and Student Services Director, Brittany Arruda “is remarkable. I feel as though the way she teaches is tailored to me and my learning style.”

Mallory’s father owns his own business and she said that she hopes to work for him one day and eventually own the company. Mallory stated that she knew “a business degree is essential to being self-employed.”