Cynthia Garcia, Waubonsee Alumnus
Cynthia Garcia, Waubonsee Alumnus

When I think back to where I was just four years ago, I was a young homeschooler about to graduate and uncertain about whether to attend college or not. I was so nervous about starting my higher education because I was the first member of my family to go to college. 

Enrolling at Waubonsee eased all of my worries as a first-generation college student. I met with my advisor and learned about the Dunham Quick Path Scholars Award. This scholarship program provided a set schedule for me and it made me feel like I had a solid game plan to succeed. My advisor assured me that it would also give me the best leverage to transfer to a four-year university. Although I went in undecided about my major, meeting with my advisor helped me discover my passion and learn about additional opportunities. 

I look back in amazement at how seamless and smooth my experience has been since that time. While my Waubonsee experience started when I heard about the Dunham QuickPath Scholars Award, it certainly didn’t end with just that. About halfway through my time at Waubonsee, I decided to pursue an accounting degree. My advisor was fantastic in putting together the baby steps needed to get there. I remember him pulling together the pre-requisites for business programs at various Illinois universities. He mapped out how each of my courses would transfer. I was able to plan out my classes to get as much done before my desired transfer date. 

In addition, my accounting professor at Waubonsee helped me apply for the American Institute of CPA’s Foundation Two-Year Transfer Scholarship for $5,0000, one of just 25 awarded across the country each year. This scholarship made it possible to transfer to Northern Illinois University (NIU). My Waubonsee courses ultimately helped me hit the ground running once I arrived at NIU and move right into my upper-level accounting classes, making it possible to continue into my graduate program. 

My word of advice to Waubonsee students is to meet with your assigned advisor every semester to create and adjust your game plan to ensure a successful transfer. This person is in your corner, ready to help you win. Also, apply, apply, apply for every scholarship! You never know what opportunities and resources are out there and may be available to help you achieve your career and educational goals.

In 2018, Waubonsee featured me as an alumnus on her way to transfer to NIU. Today, I am living part II of my successful transfer story. I am currently studying for my CPA exam, and I am on the career path that I first discovered at Waubonsee. I am an Audit Associate at KPMG Chicago. 

I can’t thank Waubonsee enough for helping me get to where I am professionally today. My transfer experience at Waubonsee allowed me to achieve my professional goals because I said yes to meeting regularly with my advisor.

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