May 29, 2024

Education Empowers: Monica Burkes

Monica Burkes is a highly motivated lifelong learner. After working as a Medical Transcriptionist for over five years, she felt unfulfilled and realized that she wanted more opportunities that would challenge her to grow and develop. Monica began exploring other career paths within healthcare and was intrigued by the variety of administrative roles. Once she secured a job as an Administrative Assistant, she discovered an associate degree program for Executive Assistants that offered her a clear path to advancement and an opportunity to challenge herself to grow in her career.

Despite facing numerous challenges during her educational journey, Monica was determined to experience a sense of accomplishment and prove to herself and others that they can achieve anything they set their minds to.


Overcoming Fears: Age is Just a Number

Monica enrolled in an associate degree program in her late thirties. Initially, she felt nervous about returning to school and was intimidated by the idea of being the oldest person in her class. However, those concerns quickly dissipated when she discovered that there were a number of adult learners in the program. This realization helped Monica gain confidence and reassured her that age should never be a barrier to pursuing education.

Having successfully completed her associate degree, Monica now stands on a steppingstone that has opened the doors for her to continue her education further.



Balancing Act: Overcoming Challenges and Achieving Academic Success 

Monica encountered multiple obstacles while pursuing her associate degree. From juggling a full-time job to getting married and attending to the needs of elderly parents, she could only manage to take one or two classes at a time. Then, adding to her already challenging schedule, just nine months after their wedding, Monica’s husband encountered some health challenges that required a transplant. However, Monica wasn’t going to let anything delay her progress; while he was recovering in the hospital, she was right by his side completing classes and modules online. She attributes her success to surrounding herself with a supportive network of individuals who genuinely cared about her well-being and academic achievements.



The Power of Online Learning:  Flexibility to Learn from Anywhere

Taking courses online was a game changer for Monica. The flexibility offered by online materials played a crucial role in her success compared to attending classes in person. With the ability to access course materials, complete assignments and take assessments anytime and anywhere, Monica gained the freedom to adapt her studies to her unique circumstances. Whether she was at the hospital supporting her husband, at her parents' house or seeking solace at her favorite study spots like Starbucks and Panera Bread, Monica found convenience in being able to work on her coursework remotely.



Championing Success: Education for Employment

Throughout Monica's education journey, her manager played a pivotal role as one of her most enthusiastic supporters. They maintained regular check-ins to discuss Monica's progress, providing a valuable source of encouragement and motivation. Whenever Monica felt discouraged or faced challenges, her manager was there to provide reassurance.

At Cengage Group, we firmly believe in the transformative power of education. We recognize that education not only leads to personal and professional success but also opens doors to increased earnings potential, flexibility, and freedom. Monica's manager shared this belief wholeheartedly and witnessed her unwavering determination to enhance her knowledge and skills.

Impressed by Monica's dedication, her manager made the proactive decision to promote her even before she completed the program. Recognizing her drive for continuous improvement and growth, they saw the immense value in investing in her professional development.

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Learn more:

From MindTap to ed2go and Infosec, Cengage Group’s products and services give students the choice in how, where and when they learn. Learn more about what we do at Cengage Group.


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