Earning Degree Put Pack in the Driver’s Seat
New York native Ashanti Pack earned her associate’s degree at a local community college in 2001. However, with less than great educational experiences, she decided not to continue on to her bachelor’s degree. Years later, when she realized how difficult it was to change jobs without that degree, she changed her mind.
“I had worked as an administrative assistant then office manager for a marketing public relations firm for 11 years before landing the job I have now, which is a regional sales manager,” she said. “I had been attempting to leave the prior job for about nine of the 11 years, with no success because I didn't have my bachelor's degree. Thankfully, the job I have now came from a referral and because I interviewed well, I didn't need to have a degree. But I swore to myself I never wanted to be in the same position again, which is why I decided to pursue a degree with Bellevue University.”
An Unexpected Educational Experience
Pack chose Bellevue University for its online offerings and affordability, and because she could transfer all of her previous credits.
“I travel for work from Monday through Thursday, so I needed a lot of flexibility when it came to obtaining my degree. I realized that online classes would be the best for me,” she said.
She began pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, and knew quickly she’d made the right decision. “Once classes began, I was so happy I made the choice to become a student at Bellevue,” she said. “My first semester professors were Kate Joeckel and Pat Artz, and they really were a great introduction back to school as an adult. They were patient, which helps a lot while completing your degree as a full-time employee and student! That first semester really helped propel me to continue to be diligent and focused.”
Taking Control of Her Career
With her degree in hand, Pack found she could pursue a new future. She recently began her own marketing company, and also does closet cleaning services for the elderly and families who have suffered a loss.
Pack said her Bellevue University experience taught her she can do “pretty much anything.” She still applies lessons she learned at the beginning of her degree experience in her business. “It was my best learning experience since first grade,” she said.Earning her degree and starting her own business also give her more options for living her life however she wishes. “Some time in the future, I plan to live in another state,” she said. “I haven't decided where, but I love California so I wouldn't be surprised if I ended up there.”
Celebrating a Milestone
Building on her recent successes, Pack traveled to Ghana and South Africa for her 40th birthday. “Ghana is where my name is from, and I have had the desire to go since I was a child and saw a photo of what an Ashanti woman looks like,” she said. “I truly felt like I was returning to a home I had never known.”
Though COVID-19 has provided some roadblocks to starting her new businesses, she knows that she is unstoppable now that she’s in control of her path. “The pandemic put a small damper on proceeding with my plans but know that it will start to take form soon enough,” she said.