Office administration grad starts career after 17-year hiatus

HAMLET — Emily Lamonds-Canter put her life on hold for 17 years to focus on her family, but last May she finally realized her dream of re-entering the workforce and having a career.

Lamonds-Canter is an associate accountant at TDA Consulting Inc. in Laurinburg. She started working there two weeks before earning an associate’s degree in office administration from Richmond Community College. At TDA Consulting, she provides support to the finance department and helps maintain budgets, work plans, contracts, task assignments and other routine office procedures.

time to change

After being a stay-at-home mom for so many years, Lamonds-Canter decided it was time for her to take care of herself.

“I was ready to re-enter the workforce, but I knew I needed to update my Microsoft Office and my job skills before returning to work,” she said. “I decided to go into office administration because I have always enjoyed and excelled in administrative positions.”

The first-generation student decided to graduate from RichmondCC because so many people praised the college, its faculty and staff.

“I also liked that many of my credits would transfer to a bachelor’s degree, should I decide to go that route,” Lamonds-Canter said.

Lamonds-Canter knew she was going to need financial help to go to college. She filled out the free federal student application and was able to get the funding she needed to pay for college.

Balancing college with life

While Lamonds-Canter was working on her college degree, she was also a single mother raising a son and taking care of her elderly father.

“During my first semester, I was convinced that I couldn’t finish my degree. It was too difficult and I was very overwhelmed,” Lamonds-Canter said. “I was also concerned that I hadn’t worked for 17 years. At that time, I felt that no company would want to hire me.

Despite her doubts and worries, she received encouragement and support from her instructors, especially her advisor, Kim Parsons. Parsons also encouraged Lamonds-Canter to apply for an on-campus position with RichmondCC’s Accreditation and Compliance Department. She got the job and was able to gain real work experience, plus a paycheck.

“My supervisor allowed me to create my own schedule, so I was able to juggle everything with ease, and I’m very grateful for that,” Lamonds-Canter said. “This part-time position at RichmondCC also allowed me to regain my professional confidence and prepare me for a full-time position after graduation.”

While the decision to go to college after so many years away from a classroom was daunting, Lamonds-Canter is glad she did.

“RichmondCC has changed my life for the better, and I would definitely recommend the college to anyone,” Lamonds-Canter said.

administration office

The Office Administration program at RichmondCC prepares students to work in a business environment by providing administrative support. Students will become proficient in the Microsoft Office suite, able to generate reports, business letters and memos; organize data into charts and tables; manage, organize and store files; create marketing materials; and create dynamic slideshows.

RichmondCC enrolls students for the fall semester, which begins August 17. Come to the Hamlet or Scotland County Campus to meet with a University Counselor and schedule classes or call Student Services at (910) 410-1700. Applications are free and can be completed online at www.richmondcc.edu/admissions.com.

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