Thriving after A Layoff
Kelly successfully completed her training program at Aurora University, receiving her BA in Business Administration in August 2018.
Kelly needed to figure out her next move when she found herself laid off mid-career. After twenty-two years working for IBM in business operations management and sales support, her job security quickly vanished when her position was moved overseas.
It wasn’t too long, however, before she discovered an opportunity and grabbed it. At a job search workshop, she met someone in a similar predicament who mentioned they were getting financial support to go to school from the workNet DuPage Career Center. They shared the Center’s flyer detailing job seeker services for laid off workers setting off a chain of events. Kelly wasted no time and reached out to the contact on the advertisement, Rapid Response Specialist, Susi Pihera.
Kelly Doner, workNet DuPage client
While Kelly had real world job experience, she had always wanted to finish her college degree. “I was a bit older. I had 48 credits left to complete my degree and it was just something that needed to be done. I had been wanting for years and years to do it. Susi was incredibly helpful to know what I should be doing to make that happen.”
With support from workNet DuPage she signed up for training at Aurora University and successfully completed a BA degree in Business Administration. Were it not for the grant program at workNet DuPage, she says she wouldn’t have been able to do it. “I found workNet to be incredibly flexible, encouraging, supportive, and one of my biggest motivators. I cannot begin to say how well it worked out for me and how much I appreciate the opportunity to have gone through the program.”
“I would get down from the stress of finding a new job and all of the disruptions from being laid off,” Kelly said. “Deb was phenomenal in encouraging me and making sure I didn’t give up. She was part of a support system that I needed during a difficult time.”
During her studies, Kelly received one-on-one career assistance from her career counselor, Deborah Hoffman. “I would get down from the stress of finding a new job and all of the disruptions from being laid off,” she said. “Deb was phenomenal in encouraging me and making sure I didn’t give up. She was part of a support system that I needed during a difficult time.”
Kelly said the process of getting funding from workNet to finish her degree was very easy and the school was also accommodating. Given her firsthand experience and appreciation for the program, she’s become an advocate stating, “This is a program that works and should be expanded to help more people that need it.”
Shortly after she completed her degree at Aurora, Kelly got a new job in project management with Met Life as a Client Acquisition Consultant and her potential is only rising.
Getting her degree enabled her to move ahead. In her own words she notes, “Now that I have this degree, it’s increased my potential for higher paid work, work that I actually have the skill set for. It gave me a much better chance than I had before.”