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Alumni Spotlight

How being passed over for an job inspired Christina Garbarino to pursue her online associate's degree

Christina Garbarino

I have two kids to care for. I need to focus on my current job. I don't have the time.

These were just some of the reasons Christina Garbarino waited almost three years after hearing about New England College of Business before deciding to enroll. Her company, Mutual One Bank in Framingham, Massachusetts, is a corporate partner that helps cover the cost of her education, but money wasn't the only thing holding her back. She had her husband and two kids to think about.

Then an accounting position opened up at the bank. She interviewed for the job but didn't get it because she didn't have a degree and lacked accounting experience. This spurred her into action. She talked to her sister-in-law about career paths to pursue and settled on accounting because nearly every company needs an accountant.

Christina began her journey in 2009 with full support from her husband and family. She started with a certificate program so she would be able to see if online learning would be right for her. By the beginning of 2010 she started to pursue her online associate's degree in business administration with a focus on accounting. She graduated in May 2015 and started working toward her bachelor's degree in business administration in October.

“School became a part of my life,” Christina says. “It became part of my routine, part of my schedule.”

Her sons are 15 and 7, and her oldest has been especially impacted by watching his mom head back to school.

“He did better in school last year after seeing me walk at graduation,” she says.

She knows she's setting a positive example, and is confident the nights of studying (and the time she finished a paper on while on vacation) will pay off.

Interacting in the online classroom has made Christina a better communicator, and she's looking forward to staying at Mutual One Bank and eventually working in the accounting field within her organization.

When she walks into her next interview, she can be confident that she has the years of practical experience and the degree that's not only required for the job but that represents her dedication and hard work.

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