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Ashworth College graduate success stories

Carolyn McDale

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"You can achieve your goals here at Ashworth College. You can go at your own pace..."

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Pham Awarded ACCESS Scholarship for Marketing at Ashworth College

Success Stories Why Ashworth Pham Awarded ACCESS Scholarship for Marketing at Ashworth College

We recently had the pleasure of catching up with Diana Pham, a student in the Associate Degree of Marketing program at Ashworth College and recipient of the prestigious Gary Keisling ACCESS Scholarship. The Gary Keisling Ashworth College Continuing Education for Student Success (ACCESS) Scholarship program awards up to $25,000 annually to new and prospective diploma and degree students. Winners are selected based on essay submissions, work/volunteer experience, and grade point average.

Here’s what Diana told us about her journey with Ashworth College.

Q: What drew you to Ashworth College?

A: I knew I didn’t have the time or the resources for a brick and mortar college, so I began researching online. After a year of doing research, I chose Ashworth. It was affordable and convenient.

Q: Did you intend to attend college earlier? What deterred you?

A: I entered the workforce after high school and then became a mom. I waited to pursue my degree until my daughter was old enough to be more self-sufficient. She’s 11 now, and it is definitely the right time.

Q: How do you plan to use your Associate’s Degree in Marketing?

A: My husband and I own a residential real estate and property management company. I think this degree will help us market our business better and ultimately help us grow.

Q: What inspired you to pursue your degree?

A: It always bothered me that I couldn’t check the box with college degree listed as my highest level of education. It seems that a college degree is the minimum requirement today. I’ll be so excited when I can check that box!

“It always bothered me that I couldn’t check the box with college degree listed as my highest level of education. I’ll be so excited when I can check that box!”

Q: What do you like most about learning online?

A: My schedule is full with my business and family. I love that I can complete the lessons on my schedule and at my pace.

Q: What did it mean to you to receive the ACCESS scholarship?

A: I was thrilled! A college degree is a major undertaking. The scholarship has made getting a degree even more feasible.

Q: What advice do you have for others considering a degree?

A: Just do it! Pursuing college online makes a degree attainable for those who either don’t have a lot of time or don’t feel that a traditional college is right for them. Also, I would tell them to take it seriously. Just because you work at your own pace doesn’t mean it’s easy. It’s harder than I thought, and I have had to be dedicated to the process. My professors are demanding, and I feel like I’m getting a quality education. I have been encouraging my nephew to pursue his degree online. You can do it as long as you put in the time and effort!

Congratulations Diana! You and all our students make us proud, each and every day. To learn more about the ACCESS scholarship, go here. Or, feel free to call us with any questions at 1-800-957-5412.

What do employers really look for in a resume? Three things to include and three things to avoid.

Career Life Hacks What do employers really look for in a resume? Three things to include and three things to avoid.

When it comes to what employers want to see in a resume, you may be surprised. Certainly they want to see the standard bits of information, such as education, job history, and training. But what they’re really looking for is a means by which to determine if you’re the right hire for the job. This means they’re also looking at information such as results, relevance, signs of motivation, and an indication that you have a genuine interest in the company and position.

No matter where you are in your educational journey or career, you can write a resume that helps employers identify you as the best person to hire.

Here’s what employers look for in a winning resume – and three things they don’t want to see.

1. Keywords

Keywords help match your resume to relevant job openings. It should be a no-brainer to realize that an employer searching for a “veterinary technician” needs to see that specific phrase in your resume (and not just the abbreviation “vet tech”). Beyond the job title, you should include other important keywords in your resume, too.

Go over any job posting carefully and make a list of the skills and attributes the employer is seeking. For instance, if a job posting lists “the ability to create pivot tables in Excel,” and you have this experience, then be sure to include the phrase “pivot tables” in your resume. If a posting requires “ability to work with minimal supervision,” and your prior work history includes such a position, then you should be sure to write something like, “managed the department with minimal supervision.” Including specific keywords like this helps employers find you when searching for resumes online and also helps the hiring official match you to the opportunity when scanning resumes to determine which people to interview.

2. Action-oriented verbs

When you write about your employment history, use strong action verbs and focus on accomplishments instead of tasks.


Example: “Achieved 25% year-on-year sales growth,” NOT “Was responsible for managing the sales department.”

Example: “Reduced patient billing errors by improving the efficiency of work flow within the department,” NOT “As part of management responsibility, changed the department’s work flow.”


Be sure to quantify your achievements whenever possible. If you can use numbers to communicate the concrete results of your efforts on the job, it will help a prospective employer better visualize what you can contribute to the organization.

3. Education

Even if you’re applying for a job that doesn’t specify an educational requirement, be sure to list all of your degrees and relevant diplomas or certificates, starting with the highest degree you’ve earned. You do not need to include the year you graduated unless you are still taking classes, in which case you should share your anticipated graduation date and your current GPA:

Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education (anticipated degree date June 2020)
Ashworth College
Current GPA: 3.9

To highlight your commitment to continuing education, be sure to include relevant career diplomas and certificates you’ve earned:

Career Diploma: AutoCAD
Ashworth College

Career Diploma: Medical Office Assistant
Ashworth College

Three things an employer doesn’t want to see on your resume

Just as employers are looking for the inclusion of certain items on a resume, they are also actively scanning to make sure certain items are not a part of your resume. Don’t make these common resume mistakes! No employer wants to see these errors on a resume.

  1. Typos. Make sure to carefully proofread your resume before you post it online or send it to a prospective employer. In fact, you should have a couple of friends proofread your resume, too, to catch any stray typos.
  2. Inflated skills or credentials. Be honest on your resume and only list the skills and qualifications you actually possess. Never lie on your resume, whether it’s about your educational level or past career history.
  3. Lack of links to social media profiles. These days, many employers dive deeply into the backgrounds of their job candidates. On your resume, include links to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter handle, personal website, or other relevant social media so prospective employers can get to know you better.

BONUS: Add a new degree to your resume’s education section

You can increase your chance of getting a good job by pursuing a degree, certificate, or career diploma in a field that pairs well with your interests. Talk to an admissions advisor today to find a degree program at Ashworth College that suits your interests, schedule, and budget!

What do employers look for in an interview? These 4 interview secrets will help you land the job.

Career Life Hacks What do employers look for in an interview? These 4 interview secrets will help you land the job.

During an interview, a prospective employer wants to get to know you better as a person. Your resume tells a prospective employer everything he/she needs to know about your educational background, work history, and job skills. You’ll be expected to answer questions on these topics but, to ace an interview, you need to be able to speak beyond your resume.

Different companies have different ways of approaching interviews. Some ask every candidate the exact same questions while others take a more open approach, allowing the conversation go where it may. As a job applicant, you should be able to do four things in any interview setting: speak knowledgeably about the company, articulate your successes, talk about your weaknesses, and ask questions about the job.

1. Speak knowledgeably about the company

Before you even sent a resume in response to a job posting, you should have researched the company to find out exactly what products or services it offers, where it operates, how it’s structured, and other important details. During the interview, you can use this knowledge to demonstrate you know how you and your job skills can help the company meet its goals.

Instead of offering generic answers to interview questions, tailor your responses to show how you will address the company’s specific needs. You might say something like, “All of my experience in healthcare compliance has been in Texas, so I’m well-qualified to oversee risk reduction activities in your nine Texas-based nursing homes.” This response shows the hiring official you’ve done your homework and understand where your skills might fit in.

2. Articulate your successes

Many people fear “tooting their own horn” or sounding egotistical by “bragging” about their accomplishments, but in a job interview you absolutely must be able to discuss your successes. To make it easier, you should come prepared with two or three anecdotes about things you’ve achieved – at work or outside it.

Maybe you want to tell a story of running your first 10k race, how you trained every day, and how you felt victorious even by coming in last. Or maybe you want to relate an incident that occurred at work, when a colleague left without warning and you stepped in to take on additional responsibilities until the role could be filled. Rehearse these stories by telling them to friends until you feel comfortable talking about them.

3. Talk about your weaknesses

Gone are the days when you could couch a weakness as a strength by saying something like, “My biggest weakness is working long hours.” Employers don’t want to hear that from you.

Instead, prepare to talk about two or three genuine deficits – and how you plan to address them. For instance, if you’re asked about your greatest weakness on the job, you could respond with something like, “I wish I had a better grasp of bookkeeping now that I’m moving into positions that require more budget responsibility, and I’m planning to take an online course to improve my skills in that area.”

4. Ask questions about the job

Always remember a job interview is a two-way street. You don’t want to work for just any firm or take just any job. You want to make sure the company, position, and people are a good fit for you and your career goals.

So come prepared with three to five questions that will provide the insight you need to determine whether or not to accept the position, if it’s offered to you. A few questions you might consider are:

  • What caused this position to come open?
  • What has been the position/department’s biggest challenge over the past year?
  • What is the departmental culture like?
  • What are the top priorities for this position over the next six months?
  • What type of staff or resource support will I have to accomplish the department’s goals?

These types of questions demonstrate that you want to be successful in the job, and any hiring manager will appreciate that!

Advance your education to be interviewed for better jobs

Employers may not always ask about your education in an interview, but you can guarantee they’re looking at it, and that having the the right training for a job can help ensure you get your foot in the door. For those ready to take the next step in their current career – or start a new one – talk to an admissions advisor today to find a degree, diploma, or certificate program at Ashworth College that will propel your career to the next level.

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