My name is Kristi Page, formerly Kristi Nelson,
from Crookston. My degree was in Applied Studies. Right now, I’m in a business field. I manage
the business and accounting for Crookston Welding, Napa Store that my brother and his
father-in-law, Mike Nelson own. Love what I do, I work with all the guys here and one
of the gals. It’s amazing. Life happened. I did a lot of fun things but
I never walked down to get my degree and never had that piece of paper. And I just think
that I started checking online. Why not go to my hometown? When I looked a little more, why
not go to UMC? We have an amazing school, amazing facility, and the online programs
are unbelievable. If you can, like in my case, get out there to do a little visiting and
check with your teachers personally, that’s just a big plus.
My schedule was really not flexible. But because my children were older at this time, I was
just able. I had the desire and the drive to do it. I did not know exactly what I was
getting into and the time it was going to take me to finish it. So going full time work
and full time school was tough. But with the help of the instructors out there and knowing
about what I needed to do and the time limits of getting projects done, I worked. I could
get up early in the morning and leave for work early. I was able to work at night, I
could go to the local library and I could use UMC and I could also use my office at
the law office. They were wonderful about that. So at night if I needed to take a tests
or study or my kids were at home, I could. The timing was right for me. It was tough,
it’s not easy to do both full time but it was definitely possible.
I don’t know if that piece of paper opened the door, but the entire experience did for
me. It changed how I perceived myself as a professional: that self esteem, that confidence
booster, going back to school, getting the grades that I wanted, crossing that huge thing
off of my bucket list. My experience was one of the best things I
ever did. I guess to get that experience, I had to just get out there. I had to just
start somewhere. The teachers do things a little bit different.
But they use a lot of online discussion so we were constantly in discussion panels. So
we were able to get other people’s viewpoints or we were able to actually discuss, maybe
it was business law or ethics, different viewpoints. We could do that at different times of day,
we could actually almost argue them. So the interaction was still there even though I
wasn’t sitting in the classroom. My kids have just moved to college. So that’s
why I get a little choked up because they’re in college. I tease them that I’ll have another
degree before they do. I was not going to go out to graduation. Michelle Christopherson
encouraged that. And I did go out that day, with the support of my family. Met my
teachers and professors, took wonderful pictures, had an amazing day. I do not regret that.
Some kids say that they’re too busy to walk. Walk. Go. It’s one of the greatest days of
your life. Life’s moving pretty fast, for kids, for adults,
for everybody. And I think that you just need to take that first step.
I will go back to school, maybe even this next spring, maybe even take a class at UMC.
I just now will never say no to something like that.