Our Student of the Year at Bridgerland Technical College for 2018 is Amanda Bunnell. She is a Business Technology student at our Brigham City Branch Campus.
Amanda’s story began when she was a student in high school. She says: “I didn’t know what I really wanted to do when I was done. I saw others around me applying for colleges but I didn’t really want to go to a traditional college. My senior year in high school, I decided I wanted to go to Cosmetology school. It was an easy year, learning something I was interested in.
I chose a technical school in my home town of Rexburg, Idaho, and attended 2000 hours of technical training to learn the art of cosmetology. I learned many things, included how to work with the public and work better with others, as well as the skills I needed to perform the job properly. I graduated from my school there, to then move to Logan, Utah, where my new husband was attending Utah State University.
I was able to, over the next few months, get my Professional Cosmetology License in the state of Utah and begin my career as a hairstylist. I worked a couple of jobs in this field at a couple of great salons, where I learned much and was able to put my husband through four years of college to get his BS in Computer Science.
During my time in Logan, I was able to attend a Microsoft Office class at Bridgerland. I loved learning all that I did there and preparing presentations and writing documents. For me, it was something fun and different that I wanted to learn. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
For some time, I didn’t have to work after my husband graduated from college. I was a stay at home mom of five children that kept me busy, so I babysat others children so I could continue to stay home with my children.
Many different opportunities came along throughout the years, including becoming a Mary Kay Consultant and being able to work with the public again. I was also able to continue to do hair at home for family and friends and eventually was able to work in a salon again.
I enjoyed the time I got to spend with the public and learning new techniques and ways to do things. I was able to eventually go out on my own and rent a booth for a short time. Then we purchased our home in Perry, where I was able to have an actual salon in my home and begin to run my small businesses from my home. I enjoyed doing this very much, but the part I struggled with was keeping my business records and all that I needed to have organized for them, organized and where I could find everything.
Fall of 2016, I decided to purchase Microsoft Office to use at home to track my expenses. I learned to love Excel and Word again and use them often. I also came to learn a little about Access and knew that it could be a huge benefit to tracking my customers and keeping my business organized, but I didn’t know the first thing about databases.
I decided to take a class at Bridgerland again and learn about the new software I had. I enjoyed the class so much and loved learning on my own, that I really wanted to get a certificate of some type to help better myself and my family. My instructor encouraged me to do this as well.
I finally decided in February 2018, that it was time for me to pursue something different. It was a good time for our family for me to go to school and I was ready and excited to learn. I signed up for the Business Technology program and have decided that I want my emphasis to be Business Administration. I love the technical side of business and the computer aspect. I’ve learned that I’m not all that keen on accounting, but that I am good in other areas.
During my time here at Bridgerland, I was needing to pursue a more full-time job. I had been able to do some work in the school district, but didn’t know that I really wanted to go back to that job, so I began looking around for something different. I applied for a few jobs, some that I didn’t even get call backs for, but some that I talked to and was able to get a feel again for the hiring process and interview process.
One day when I came into class, my instructor, Kristen, mentioned that a company down the road was hiring for help with Quickbooks. I was currently in the Quickbooks course and thought that might be a fun thing to dive into, even though I figured I wasn’t much of an accountant.
Kristen helped me clean up my resume and I was able to go that day and apply for a job. When I walked into the company, I was shown right into the CEO’s office, who had seen me from the window in the parking lot, and she was ready to interview me on the spot. We had a great chat and when we got done, she told me that one of her other employees was going to be doing the Quickbooks side but that she really needed a Project Manager and that I would be great for that job and that the job was mine if I wanted it.
I had never received a job this way, but I am so blessed to have been able to receive this job. They have worked with my school schedule and I was even able to use the job as an internship credit. I have been learning many things with this job and just recently there has been a change in the office and I am now acting as the Accounting Manager. It is a great opportunity to help run a national company and be appreciated for the work I have put in.
If it weren’t for the schooling I have been able to do, I would never have found my job, or learned the things that I have, from math and accounting skills, to writing documents and creating databases. I have so many more opportunities with my technical certificates than I had before and I feel so much bettered for having been able to be a part of the technical world and to learn and grow.”
What a great story. We are so proud to have such a great Bridgerland Technical College representative for the 2018-2019 school year!