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Kristina DiMartino, BA in Business Administration Marketing, Class of 2015

With almost 20 years of experience in the marketing field, Kristina DiMartino found herself out of work in 2011 and competing against other job seekers who were younger with less experience, but had one thing she didn’t: a degree.

Following high school, DiMartino earned an associate’s degree but never completed her undergraduate studies. Instead, she entered the workforce and began a life, always dreaming of a return to college. But as much as she wanted to go back, the time just never felt right.

“I had entered the workforce right out of college, was married, divorced and remarried by the time I was 30.  My 30s were dedicated to raising my girls, taking care of a family and working full time,” she said.

Finally, though, she found online programs offered by New England College.

“Classroom attendance was not an option for me,” DiMartino said. “I researched options and an online program was the best fit for my family. Once I built up the courage to pursue my bachelor’s degree at 44, I decided on NEC because they offered a marketing concentration. It’s given me pure satisfaction to simply attain my degree.”

The pursuit of a degree also provided DiMartino an opportunity to take courses that challenged her creatively and made her think outside of the box.

“Creative writing is at the top of my list when I think of my favorite courses,” DiMartino said. “Marketing is about creativity and connecting with your audience.  The creative writing course encouraged the free flowing of your thoughts onto paper and the instructor had a knack for bringing out the best in each student.”

DiMartino’s journey to a degree has had as deep an impact on her personally as it has had on her professionally.

“At 45, I am well established in my career as an Executive Recruiter. I hope that someday I can pursue a marketing position that will satisfy my creative side but until then, I at least have the satisfaction that I’ve obtained my degree,” she said.

Getting a bachelor’s was not just a mission she set out to complete for herself, but also to teach her two daughters a valuable lesson.

“My girls look at me as a role model, so every choice I make has them in mind,” DiMartino said. “Through my experience, they saw first-hand that no matter what life brings, you can conquer your dreams. There are no obstacles when you are determined to succeed.”

We talked with DiMartino about her experience at New England College.

What were the most important factors in your decision to choose NEC?

The helpful support from University Alliance, and student services representative specifically, the accelerated program and the marketing concentration.

Why did you decide to advance your education through a New England College program online and what kind of support did you receive along the way?

After extensive research, and finally building up enough courage to realize that at 44, I could pursue my bachelor’s degree, I decided on NEC.  I had spoken to a University Alliance representative who was not only helpful, but seemed to understand my situation.

What advice would you give other students who are considering enrolling in the program?

Just do it!  Whatever excuses you create for yourself, there is no better time than right now.

What is one fun fact about you?

Three years ago, after seeing an advertisement in Fitness Magazine of a woman rock climbing and thinking she looked really cool hanging on the side of that red rock, I trained, hired a guide, booked a trip to Tucson and climbed a 5 pitch at Mt. Lemmon.  It was one of my greatest accomplishments!

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