Melissa Mullis Prepares for Advancement Opportunities through OFTC
OFTC – Technology has always been intriguing for Melissa Mullis, but she never had the confidence to pursue it as a career until now.
Mullis didn’t complete high school and fell into a mindset that caused her to believe she didn’t deserve to be successful. So, she settled into a career that was comfortable and never worried about advancing herself.
But when she met her husband in 2011, he began sewing positive seeds of encouragement into Mullis; even though it took a few years, those seeds started to grow and Mullis started to believe that she could do more.
“My husband encouraged me to get my high school equivalency and I graduated with my GED from Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) in 2012 with honors and high scores,” Mullis said.
And it didn’t stop there. “He then encouraged me to get a better career, and I did,” Mullis added. “I started working for the Georgia Department of Transportation and after a couple years I applied for a more demanding position in the Information Technology field and succeeded in that.”
Through her husband’s encouragement, Mullis found her way to a career field she’s always loved; and now she wants to go even further and advance in her current job.
Mullis found her way back to OFTC and enrolled in the college’s Computer Support Specialist program.
“The decision to go back to school while working full-time, at my age, was scary and overwhelming to say the least,” Mullis said. “It was more of a way to prove to myself that I could do it if I put my mind to it.”
Despite her hesitation, Mullis persevered and started taking classes toward her associate degree in January of 2022. “I was worried I was going to set myself up for failure,” she said. “But once I got into the class and started building relationships with my instructors, I overcame my fears.”
The support from her daughter, Amber, was also reassuring for Mullis. “My daughter had recently completed college at the time I started taking classes and really helped me navigate through course materials and how to locate information in the syllabus,” Mullis added. “She has been a calming influence and constant encouragement to me throughout this journey.”
Mullis knew she had the support and encouragement from her husband and daughter – it’s what got her to believe in herself – but when she got to OFTC, she was surprised to have the support and encouragement of so many at OFTC.
“The staff are by far the most fantastic part of OFTC,” she said.
The ability to take classes online has also been instrumental for Mullis. “The convenience of attending a college with online class options for people my age with full time jobs and families – it makes getting your degree seem like so much more of a possibility,” she added.
“The online classes made it possible for me to advance in my current career and I think that’s one of the best attributes of OFTC.”
A Future of Possibilities
The entire college experience has been less intimidating than Mullis originally thought, and she’s confident that the knowledge, skills, and hands-on experience she’s receiving at OFTC is giving her everything she needs to help her achieve her goals.
“I feel like my OFTC classes are preparing me for a successful career,” Mullis said. “The classes I’m taking are teaching me in depth and in detail the very things I am already around in my current job. Gaining a better understanding of these principles and having the opportunity to participate in and practice these various skills is giving me so much more experience when it comes to key principles I deal with every day.”
What started out as a way to prove to herself she could do it has turned into a future of possibilities for Mullis who now feels empowered to take control of her future and find success doing something she loves.
“Education takes a person farther than their expectations,” she said, “and I plan to use my degree to move up in my career.”
“The education I am receiving now from OFTC will lead me in a positive direction no matter which path I choose to take in life,” she added. “Attending college has sparked in me a desire to want more. It has made me feel worthy and more confident. It has made me proud for my husband and daughter. It has made me feel whole.”