Hired Before Graduation: Displaced worker returns to retool

mary poster stands on outdoor path

Mary Polter knows the benefit of education and hard work.  In the late 1980s, she graduated from Moraine Park Technical College’s administrative assistant program while serving in the Army Reserves.  For 25 years she worked in accounts payable at two employers.  But when her department was outsourced overseas, she spent nine months searching for a new job.  She considered her options and accepted her former employer’s reeducation funding.

Mary took a step in a new direction with college that had helped her in the past.  She returned to Moraine Park to earn an associate degree in accounting.

“The things I like most about Moraine Park are that it’s close to home, a small school, and the teachers are more than willing to help you if don’t understand something.”  She added that her favorite thing is “all of the help that is provided for veterans.”

The Moraine Park accounting program includes an internship election; Mary interned as a cost accountant at Manitou/Gehl in West Bend.  At the end of the internship, she was offered a full-time position.

“I honestly didn’t think I would be hired full-time so quickly. It was a shock, but a welcome surprise.”

“My advice to anyone considering accounting is this: don’t be afraid to ask questions. No one knows everything, including myself. I’m still asking questions.”  Mary also recommends that students take advantage of Moraine Park’s clubs because they can help you build your résumé.

“My recommendation for displaced workers is to make sure to look at all of your options … Being unemployed isn’t a permanent thing.”  Indeed, in less than two years Mary retooled and relaunched a successful career path.

To learn more about Moraine Park’s accounting program, as well as other career offerings, visit morainepark.edu/programs.

Written by Joan Falter
Accounting Instructor