My Crooked Walk to Success with Becca Warden, Class of 2017

I’ve spent five years at JMU, the greatest school in the world. Since I was 12, I’ve wanted to come to JMU. A family friend graduated from JMU, and I didn’t consider going anywhere else until my senior year in high school. I applied to several schools, as I was concerned about being accepted. I was accepted to JMU and, even better, was accepted into the Centennial Scholarship Program.

The Centennial Scholars Program (CSP) provides financial assistance and a multi-level academic support network, to retain eligible under-represented students. CSP provides a financial aid package in the form of grants. These funds cover tuition and standard room and board rates.

warden-beccaAs the first in my family to attend college, I had no idea what I was getting into. I came in as a Biology major with a pre-med concentration. That lasted less than a year. I then switched to Health Science, Pre-med. Shortly after, I figured out I didn’t want to be in medicine at all. So I switched to Computer Information Systems in the Business school, as I had been good at it in high school. It still didn’t fit. I went to my Career & Academic Planning (CAP) adviser, and he put me through all sorts of personality and aptitude tests. Together, we figured out that General Business fit me well. I switched to a Hospitality Management Major with a general business minor. There, I found my niche. I have excelled in this major and will be graduating with a job already in place, as Marriott International’s Manager in Training.

This brings me to CAP’s Employer Relations and Recruiting Services (ERR) team. I’ve volunteered in their office for almost four years now. I owe a good bit of my success to them. In the office, I learned how to write a great resume, dress for success, and shine in an interview. Through CAP’s career fair, I secured my internship as a banquet intern at Farmington Country Club, and my job with Marriott.

In addition to CAP, you should take advantage of JMU’s other great services, such as the Counseling Center. While at JMU, I’ve dealt with depression and anxiety. During my freshman year, a friend convinced me to go to the Counseling Center on campus. There, I found support from a therapist and a psychiatrist that have helped me through some of my worst times, and made me a better person. I also became a dog mom because of their advice. I always loved meeting with the therapy dog Francis in the Counseling Center. Once I moved off campus, my therapist suggested I get a dog of my own, which I did. He’s my baby, and he has helped me as well.

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The health center is free, the counseling center is free, movies at Grafton by UPB are free, and CAP is free. Use these resources as a student! CAP can help you find a major and get a job. No matter your situation or problem, JMU has resources to help you. Experience everything. Get everything you need. All while getting a diploma.

My line to success and starting a career was a long and interesting one. But at the end of the day, I am graduating, with a job! I have learned and grown more than I ever thought possible. And I owe all of it to James Madison University!

 

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