Many students work during their time in college to cover the expenses of a higher education. Juggling a job and a full schedule of classes can be a bit hectic. Former student Jodi Honea found a healthy balance between the two at UW-Rock County.
Jodi kept busy during her two years at UW-Rock County. She was an IT intern on campus and a server at a local restaurant. Jodi said, “Being able to hold down two jobs (one thankfully being right on campus) while still able to receive my associate degree so close to home was a lifesaver.”
Along with her two jobs and full class schedule, Jodi was a Student Ambassador on campus and President of Phi Theta Kappa. Through all of these experiences, Jodi became an expert in organization and prioritizing. Maintaining a social life among all of these commitments was important to Jodi.
“Having a local campus allowed for relationships to build on-site and grow off-site,” said Jodi, which helped her keep a balanced life.
After her time at UW-Rock County, Jodi transferred to UW-Madison. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies with an emphasis on African Studies and a language certificate in Spanish. After graduation, Jodi worked as a Marketing & Editorial Assistant and she now works as a software consultant for SWK technologies.
Jodi shares how her time as a student at UW-Rock County helped shape the person she is today.
Q. Why did you choose UW-Rock County?
A. I chose UW-Rock County for the price and convenience. At the time, the system was set up that if you received your associate degree at a two-year college then you were able to easily transfer to a four-year college without having to fulfill their specific general studies requirements. Being able to get those requirements out of the way, while receiving a quality education at an affordable price that was so close to home was a no-brainer for me.
Q. How did UW-Rock County impact where you are today?
A. How didn't it?! I learned that working hard pays off. That maintaining a work-life balance isn’t impossible. That you don’t need to move to the big cities to receive quality goods or to have lifelong experiences. I’ve learned that being part of a community that is full of so many different walks of life is a starting point for understanding things beyond yourself – which is one of the things that makes up an awesome life.
Q. What’s your proudest achievement since your time at UW-Rock County?
A. Probably odd to say, but my proudest achievement is that I realized what I was capable of. I had a lot going on between school, work to help pay for school, work to help pay for everything else, organization responsibilities, family obligations, and whatever else an 18-20-year-old has going on. I learned that I can do it all. I can challenge myself and I will be okay.
As she thought about UW-Rock County’s impact on her own life, Jodi shared some advice for current students on campus.
Be present. College life goes fast. Super fast. Don’t be so busy that you hop on campus, go to class, go home and do what you always did. When you’re so close to home and your high school buddies are still around the corner too, it is easy to do what you’re used to. Don’t forget to fully take in what can be learned and experienced from a two-year campus that is filled with people of all ages and backgrounds. Stay on campus a bit more, be part of study groups, chat with the professors and join some organizations. Don’t let these two years fly by as if they were just an extension of high school. Make them count, make them different, make them something to remember and make yourself a more rounded person in the process.
After finishing her degree, Jodi has grown to love traveling, camping, gardening and spending time with those she loves…including her puppy Charlie.
Interested in starting your own journey? Get started today with UW Colleges!