Business Major Student Earning Her Associate Degree in 1 Year

Bella Jones is a business major at Kent State University Geauga Campus. She also works as a hairstylist at Jennifer’s Hair Obsession in Middlefield. She is also a student employee at Kent State Geauga in Burton. Bella enjoys multitasking and getting a lot accomplished quickly. That’s why she loves the partnership that Kent State Geauga has with Auburn Career Center so she can earn her associate degree in half the time.

While she always knew she wanted to attend college, as a Berkshire High School student and varsity cheerleader, Bella didn’t know what major to pursue or which college would be the best fit for her. But after attending and excelling in Auburn Career Center’s cosmetology program (earning the Darrell Park Scholarship and state-level Skills USA awards in 2018 and 2019), she realized she wanted to own a salon.

“So having a business degree will help me achieve this goal because it will teach me what I could do to make sure everything runs smoothly while owning a business of my own,” she says.

Convenience, opportunity, and savings all played into Bella’s choice of where to go for further education. A Burton resident, Bella lives just five minutes from the Geauga Campus, so it’s close to home. Bella also earned a Merit Scholarship.

Even better, the partnership between Auburn Career Center and Geauga Campus allowed her to start her first semester of college last fall with 30 college credit hours — essentially entering as a sophomore — since she had completed the Auburn cosmetology program and had already earned her cosmetology license.

“With this program, I’m able to get an Associate Degree for Business in just one year,” Bella explains. “Doing this program gave me a head start on my college experience. Doing this program is just going to help me get my degree faster.”

After earning her degree, Bella plans to continue working at Jennifer's Hair Obsession to build up her clientele. Then, “I believe that if my clientele gets good enough, I would like to one day open or manage a salon.“

Meanwhile, Bella also works at the Kent State Geauga student services desk. “It really affects my working abilities in a positive way,” she says. “While I’m working, I answer phone calls, make appointments, deliver mail, and help organize and do anything that needs to be done. I believe that it helps me get a head start on the business experience.”

The campus workplace has also become a source of encouragement for Bella. Bethany Begeot is an admissions advisor at Kent State Geauga and was also Bella’s First-Year Experience instructor.

“With Bethany as one of my instructors and working with her in the office, she has really helped me through a lot,” Bella says. “She never lets me give up. She pushes me to continue further. She is someone where if you need help with anything, she is there. She is also someone where if you are having a bad day, she will do anything to get you to laugh or smile.”

Bella goes on to say that the Burton regional campus offers opportunities and support for students on any track. “Kent State Geauga provides an amazing environment. I would suggest people to come here anytime. They have amazing staff and faculty that are such wonderful people. They are always willing to help in any way.”

Learn more about articulation agreements between Kent State and area high/tech/vocational schools.