André Brumfield – Student Highlight

WVJC Information Technology Student André Brumfield began taking classes at WVJC in August 2020. Before starting classes at WVJC, Andre worked in a factory making ignition coils for Chrysler vehicles. He had never attended college before and was working 50 hours a week with only one day off in the factory. André decided to come to WVJC after seeing the success of his friends. André said, “I have a couple of friends who had graduated through the program, and I noticed that they were hired for jobs in their field almost immediately.”

André chose to go into the Information Technology field for multiple reasons. André said, “I have an interest in learning about computer hardware and software as well as learning how the devices connect to each other.” He added, “I also believe that Information Technology is a field that will only become more valuable as time passes.” Although André says he has enjoyed the entire program, his favorite classes so far have been Introduction to Computer Hardware and Introduction to Networking. His favorite experience in the program to date has been building his own computer. “Being able to apply the knowledge I learned in class in a physical environment with actual hardware helped tie everything in together,” André said.

Thinking forward to his time following graduation, André knows that there are numerous career opportunities open to him as an IT professional. He is excited about getting to apply the knowledge he is learning in a practical way. André said, “The ideal job after graduating for me would be working with PC’s hands-on in an environment when I can help people.” He also added, “In five years, I would like to be settled into a job that I’m comfortable and proficient at.”

If you are interested in learning more about the fast-track, career-focused programs at WVJC, such as Information Technology, please contact us by phone at (304) 769-0011 or visit WVJC.edu.

Cheslea Brown – Student Highlight

Clinical Medical Assistant student Cheslea Brown began taking classes at WVJC in September 2020.  Before starting classes at WVJC, Cheslea was a stay-at-home mom to her three children. She had never attended college before, but she knew it was time to further her education.  She decided to come to WVJC because of the small classroom environment and the welcoming staff. Cheslea’s motivation is to provide her family with a better future.

Cheslea said, “My favorite part about attending WVJC is how everyone wants to see you succeed, and they are there to help you.” Cheslea has enjoyed all of the instructors at WVJC. She said, “They are very kind and treat you respectfully.” Cheslea is looking forward to taking her medical assisting lab classes the most. During lab classes, students learn how to take vital signs, perform EKGs, phlebotomy, obtain specimens, assist with minor office procedures, and so much more!  She said, “The lab classes will help me better understand how things work, and I will gain the hands-on experience to prepare me for my career.”

In Cheslea’s free time, she enjoys spending time with her children, listening to music, and singing.  After Cheslea graduates from the Clinical Medical Assistant Program, she would like to further her education in the Associate Degree in Nursing Program at WVJC. In the next five years, she sees herself as a licensed Registered Nurse.  She said, “I want to fulfill my passion for caring for others and having job stability.”

Cheslea said, “I would recommend WVJC to anyone I know because it is a great atmosphere, the staff is friendly, and they truly want to see you succeed.” If you are interested in learning more about the fast track, career-focused programs at WVJC, request information here!

Six Simple Steps To Create A Budget

They say an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  What they don’t tell you is that the “simple task” can often be perceived as the most difficult.  The “simple task” on the docket today…. a budget.

Now, before you click the “x” in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, as you would an advertisement for car insurance, give the next few paragraphs a chance. You might find a useful nugget or two to make your life a little easier. It is not the task of budgeting that is difficult, but being honest with yourself AND holding yourself accountable can be difficult. In this blog, you will find some helpful and realistic hints that may make your financial life a bit easier to navigate.

We tend to make budgeting out to be this task that weighs us down, holds us back, and nags at us like a sore muscle. However, it is really a simple task intended to make our future-selves thank our past-selves.  So the question is, how do you make your future-self thank you, without draining more time and resources than your present-self needs to?

Thanks to the many apps for your cell phone (and any other device), along with some honest pre-work, a budget can be a fairly easy thing to get started.

Step 1:  Take a look at what you bring home, and what you have to pay.

This is the scary part for many. It can be intimidating to look at how/where we spend our money. However, in order to have a starting point, this has to be done. The key is not to make it harder than it has to be. Start with the income that you have, after taxes, for a one month period. Then gather up ALL of your bills and start calculating. This is designed to be a guide so do not dive too deep here. According to studentaid.gov, you should overestimate your expenses and underestimate your income.

Step 2: Determining needs and wants

The purpose of this is to look ahead. Sure, that beach trip you want to take sounds fun but is it feasible?  If it really is, you can create a monthly saving plan to get you there.  On the other side of that coin, we need our utilities and healthcare maintenance items. Healthcare maintenance items could still require planning, but are definitely a need. This step can also begin to determine if some of your expenses are as important to you as you thought they were. Sure, you wanted to see the final season of “Game of Thrones,” but do you still need the monthly expense of the premium app/channel on your television?

Step 3:  Create your monthly budget

Believe it or not, you are almost done!  You are aware of your income and expenses, you have determined what the must haves are, and what you would like to have. Now put all of that together into a monthly plan that you are comfortable with following.

Step 4:  Get an App to help you keep track

All you need is your cell phone! Some apps are better than others, but they all have the ability to give you some idea of where your money is going. Find common ones in the app store, and seek out the ratings and reviews. Try a couple on your own and see what works for you!

Step 5:  Live it out for a couple of months

Up until now, this is all pencil and paper, and an app…simple ideas. Take a month or two and put those ideas to practice to make sure that what you expected to happen is ACTUALLY happening.  Revisit the budget to see if it is holding up to the expectations. Most importantly, don’t be surprised if it didn’t quite work out like you thought. Adjust it with any changes in income and expenses, re-evaluating needs and wants along the way. Also, look to see if you saved any money through your plan. Did skipping the fancy coffee on Tuesday translate into more money…or did it get spent on something else. These little items can make a big difference!

Step 6:  Now that you have this short-term stuff down, take a crack at a longer term goal.

Once your budget has become a habit, and you are committed to it, you may be surprised to find spare change laying around. This is the moment that you can begin looking at your wants list and create a goal for yourself.  Still regretting not taking the trip to the beach?  How long would you have to save up the extra money you have saved via your budget?  Want to build up a savings account?  Build a long-term plan that makes sense in your budget, and stick to it. Pay yourself like any other bill. Who knows, you may surprise yourself.

If you have made it this far, we hope that you have learned something. Even if it is just that those side effects are a little easier to avoid than you thought!

For more information on building a better future for yourself, check out WVJC’s career focused programs, by clicking here!

Rachel McAllister – Student Highlight

West Virginia Junior College strives to create relationships with our students and community.  It is so important, that we consider it to be a core value within our school.  Rachel McAllister felt this very early on in her program with us.  Rachael came to WVJC after attempting post-secondary education at other institutions.  Like many of our students, she did not find an environment that helped her be successful.  We asked her why she chose WVJC and she said, “The culture seems a lot more conducive to my personality, and I love the ‘family’ feel among the staff and students.”  She went on to highlight the fact that our short-term, career-focused programs would allow her to get into a career more quickly.  “I won’t spend a bunch of time completing unrelated courses, as I have done at other institutions I have attended.”

Rachael is in WVJC’s Legal Office Assisting program and is a member of the Student Government Association. “I have always had an interest in law and the legal system,” McAllister said, “but I didn’t think law school was the right fit for me.”  Rachael said that after doing her research, WVJC’s Legal Office Assisting program would provide opportunities in the legal field that were a “perfect fit” for her.

The welcoming environment has been her favorite part about WVJC.  “I’ve been able to connect with other students and my teachers in ways I just hadn’t been able to anywhere else.  I feel like I’m really making friends and I matter to my instructors.”

Rachael has found herself in a learning environment that suits her, and has allowed her to excel.  She has been an integral part of WVJC’s Student Government Association and is a great student in her program. If Rachael’s story sounds familiar to you, and you would like to learn more about WVJC’s Legal Office Assisting program, visit wvjc.edu or call 304-296-8282 today!