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After setback, student Megan Ohm enrolls at NICC to pursue career in banking

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Megan said she has always loved math, working with people and is planning a career in the banking industry.

Megan Ohm news photoStudents who are paying for their own college education tend to pay close attention to return on investment. If tuition at a college or university includes room and board, fees, perks and full access to programs and resources, they expect these things to be part of the deal.

And the pandemic’s adverse effects on activities, athletics and gatherings at college campuses across the state left many students, like Megan Ohm, wondering if they were getting what they paid for.

In fall 2020, Megan enrolled at North Iowa Area Community College (NIACC) to complete a two-year business administration degree. “My original plan was to get my gen  eds done at NIACC and then transfer to University of Iowa. The experience was great at first, but then COVID-19 had us only meeting in class once a week. Sitting in my dorm room the whole time, I wasn’t really getting a college experience. I was paying for college with my own money, knowing that others, including my brother, had gone to bigger colleges and were still paying student debt,” she said.

After a disappointing experience that first semester and her business career on hold, Megan dropped out, regrouped back home and enrolled at Northeast Iowa Community College in January 2021. Half of her credits transferred to NICC as she enrolled in the Business Administration program. Megan said she has always loved math, working with people and is planning a career in the banking industry.

“I worked part-time at Fidelity Bank and Trust in New Hampton last year and then it become my full-time summer job. I’m planning to complete my degree at NICC and continue with my career. I’m working my way up at the bank. I’m a customer service representative and want to become a loan officer or go into the marketing department,” she said.

College and Career Connection (formerly called Career Learning Link) helped Megan identify interests and potential careers when she was a student at New Hampton High School. She participated in job shadows and business tours to plan her career path.

“I wouldn’t be where I am without College and Career Connection. I wouldn’t be working at the bank now, advancing my career and gaining opportunities that will progress to my future self and career. It’s so amazing and makes a tremendous difference for so many students,” Megan said.

Holly O’Brien at NICC worked closely with Megan during her high school career planning process.

“Engaging with your College and Career Coach and getting involved with job shadows, internships and career exploration field trips through College and Career Connection is a great way for students to take their future plans to the next level. This experience both introduces students to potential careers and helps to open the door to potential references, mentors and even jobs,” Holly said.

This year the NICC student also received a Golden Ticket scholarship to support her education at the College.