When Marilyn Orr moved to Peace River to provide a better educational experience for her teenage children, it certainly wasn’t her plan to resume student life herself. Already a graduate of the Northern Lakes College (NLC) Office Administration Certificate program, Marilyn had been working as a payroll clerk for a trucking company.
After arriving, and after her children were enrolled and settled in their new school, Marilyn wanted to find her own place in their new community. She reached out to her sisters for advice, and they encouraged her to consider building on her Office Administration Certificate. Both sisters had found success through the NLC Practical Nurse program.
“They said their programs had been really accessible and that they believed in me. So, I did it,” said Marilyn.
With the support of her family behind her, and having enjoyed her previous NLC experience, Marilyn decided to enroll.
Marilyn enjoyed working in an office environment. She thrived in the “busy-ness” of it, and she knew she had keen organizational skills. For these reasons, she felt earning a certificate from the Business Administration program would best align with her life goals.
To upgrade her mathematics prior to enrolling in the Business Administration program, Marilyn completed NLC Academic Upgrading courses. She particularly enjoyed learning new mathematical concepts.
Once she started the Business Administration certificate program, Marilyn further realized how interested she was in working with numbers, specifically in accounting.
“As my certificate program was finishing, NLC sent out an email asking program participants if anyone would be interested in taking the Business Administration Diploma program through a partnership with Portage College,” said Marilyn. “I thought, ‘Yeah, I’ll try that!’ I really enjoyed the small class sizes, and I found it easy to make friends at school. The instructors were also great. You can really talk to them, and they are very understanding.”
Upon graduating with a Business Administration Diploma in Accounting, Marilyn plans to use her new skills to manage office environments and perhaps move into business ownership or accredited accounting someday.
Reflecting upon her time in school, Marilyn remembers the support she received from loved ones.
“My spouse was a major supporter for me, especially when I felt overwhelmed. He always encouraged me and would often say, ‘I believe in you. I know you can do it!’”
Marilyn’s advice to others looking to further their education and get more involved is, “Just go for it. If I can do it, you can too!”