I was able to do this. I went to school. I worked. I was able to help my family… The flexibility of it is something that can’t be beat.
Wake Tech Community College Grad
Business Transformation Specialist at Lenovo
As the daughter of immigrants from the Dominican Republic, Shantal knew she owed it to her parents—and herself—to take advantage of every possible opportunity, especially when it came to education. So, when she found out about the NC Career & College Promise program, which would allow her to get a head start on college courses (tuition free) while still in high school, Shantal jumped at the chance.
The dual enrollment program led her to pursue her associate degree in information technology (IT) from Wake Tech Community College, despite being accepted to several 4-year universities. Shantal’s hard work and ambition, along with a partnership between Wake Tech and Lenovo, helped her land an internship with the global tech leader.
Between the experience she gained there and the hands-on nature of her classes—many taught by professionals in the field—Shantal felt fully prepared to start her career. Lenovo agreed, offering her a job in software engineering even before she graduated. “I was only supposed to be there for three or four weeks, but I’ve now been there for two years,” Shantal reflected about her time at Lenovo.
By attending community college, Shantal was able to knock out her associate degree at night while working full time during the day. She now has a job she didn’t even know existed in a field she loves. And because so many of her classmates also got jobs in the area, Shantal already has a built-in professional network. “I feel a sigh of relief. I’m not in debt. I’m 20 years old and I’ve already graduated from school. And I already have a full-time job in my field,” Shantal explained proudly. “I can’t believe I’m so young and doing all these things.”