Student Success Stories | Coppin State University

Student Success Stories

Student Success Stories

Elaine Jenkins
Class of 2008; Interdisciplinary Studies

I am Elaine Jenkins, a May 2008 graduate from the Interdisciplinary Studies (IDST) Professional Program. This is my story.

I returned to college after going through the home buying process. Prior to my purchase, I used the excuse that I could not afford college. It came to me that despite all the money I was paying for my house I could possibly lose it, but my education could never be taken from me. Early in the year 2000, I decided that I would complete the journey to obtain my degree. I returned to college part-time, as a non-traditional student.

In 2007, I went to the Dean to discuss my program line-up because I felt uncomfortable with my track and progress. After reviewing my records, I was directed to the IDST office. Much to my surprise, I discovered that I only needed 25 credits to graduate with a concentration in English and Management Science.

The capstone class changed my life. We were required to create a resume, confer with Career Services, and attend a job fair that was going to be held on campus. As a non-traditional student, established with a career as the Diversity Development Specialist with the United States Postal Service, I was just going through the motions to get a good grade for the project. I didn't have a desire to change my employer. I just wanted to get my degree.

After meeting with Mrs. Bowie, for Career Services, my whole perspective was changed. I made the suggested changes to my resume and attended the job fair. I gave my resume to three vendors. Through this process, I was contacted and have since been hired by the Department of Defense (DoD).

I am very happy to have participated in the Interdisciplinary Studies Professional Program. I was able to have a major that allowed me two concentrations. It worked well for me because I was able to pick classes that afforded me the opportunity to contribute to the workplace immediately. I not only contributed ideas, but wrote proposals, remarks, letters, and responses for congressional inquiries. I assisted my colleagues with completing applications for promotions and was consulted on various occasions to edit the writings of others.

The insight I offer to students which can be used in the workplace is:

  1. Get to know your employer - Surf your company's website to learn their mission, goals, and financial situation. Learn what they are best at doing and what direction they are going. Be proud of your employment - one of the most impressive things I encountered was being able to apply my learning in real world situations. Coppin's professors are right on target with what is happening in the world.
  2. Apply yourself - My "going through the motions" attitude could have been counter - productive but, Mrs. Bowie ignited an excitement in me which moved me out of my comfortable stage and produced a different set of actions and results. Go into the workforce with a mission in mind. Stay focused until your mission is accomplished.
  3. Take advantage of your resources - The Career Services Center is a resource I feel is not used by a lot of students. I never used it, or knew about it until I was enrolled in the Capstone class. There will be programs in your organization that will be useful to you as well. Seek them out!
  4. Read your emails - My people perish for a lack of knowledge. Emails keep you informed about activities and changes.

Thank you Coppin! What a change you made in my life...

Monica Lang
Class of 2007; Management Science

Today's work force is very competitive and in order to succeed you have to stay focused and determined by setting goals. When you set goals you have to stick with them. Don't deviate from your plan. No matter how hard life can become the only thing that people can't take away is your education.

The education I received from Coppin State University jumpstarted my career. Upon graduation I received a $10,000 increase and gained exposure that I wasn't able to achieve without a degree. Society, and the company I work for, admires and look upon earning a degree in a higher regard. Without my B.S. in Management Science, my present situation wouldn't have been possible. I would have probably been working two jobs to make ends meet or in a job that I didn't enjoy.

I presently work for Target and enjoy my job and look forward to growing with a company where leadership and education are valued.