BGTC grads take step toward careers By JUSTIN STORY, Daily News
On Friday, the Russellville resident took a big step toward her next career path, earning an associate’s degree in medical information technology from Bowling Green Technical College.
Lacy was one of 408 graduates – along with her brother, Marion Joseph Reardon – who were honored Friday at BGTC’s spring commencement at Sloan Convention Center.
Balancing her academic efforts with the daily commute to campus, part-time employment and her home life, which included raising a son with Down syndrome, proved to be Lacy’s biggest challenge.
“It would get hectic occasionally,” Lacy said. “There were a lot of days I wondered how I would have the gas to get there, but I had a lot of help from family and friends, a lot of encouragement.”
They haven’t been in any classes together, Connie Lacy said, but the family members have supported one another’s efforts, and Lacy parlayed her college experience first into an internship and now a job at MNT Inc., where she sets up appointments and does filing and reception work.
Lacy’s experience demonstrates what Kentucky Community and Technical College System President Michael McCall talked about during his commencement speech Friday.
McCall, who oversees a network of 16 community and technical colleges in the state, told graduates that changes in the global economy brought on by technological advances are occurring rapidly, and professional and personal success depends on new graduates discovering and cultivating their talents and thinking of themselves as a brand to market to employers.
Urging the graduates to think of themselves as “the CEO of your life,” McCall said that networking would be a vital skill for people entering the workforce to better pursue professional goals.
Kenneth Trent of Hart County is hoping his degree in electrical technology and his excellent grades over two years as a BGTC student will translate into a job as an electrician.
Trent said he has interviewed with a company and will be required to take a test with the company as part of the job search process.
“By the time I get my other two courses done online, I’ll have a 4.0 (grade point average), so I shouldn’t have too much trouble,” said Trent, who was enrolled in vocational school in Glasgow for two years between high school and BGTC.
While many graduates are moving on to the job market, Tonni McKinney of Franklin plans to continue her education.
After accepting her degree in math and science from BGTC, McKinney will return to Western Kentucky University, where she studied for a semester before going to BGTC.
McKinney has an eye on a career in math education and said she hopes to graduate from WKU in two years.
“My last semester was really stressful, I was working three jobs with the school,” McKinney said. “It was a little difficult in the area of finding time to study.”