“PVCC was a great stepping stone for me,” says Laura Besong. “I immediately felt at home.” Laura was not ready to go right on to a university out of high school, so she chose PVCC since it was close to home and she had taken a few classes while still in high school. She loves art, so she decided to make that her focus while getting her Associate’s degree. She describes her Art History class as “wonderful” and credits professor Gene Rister for making it a great experience.
When asked about her most memorable experiences at PVCC, Laura says being a Student Ambassador had a big impact on her. She had the opportunity to interact with many different people as she gave campus tours, recruited new students, participated in new student orientations and did some fundraising for PVCC.
Laura believes PVCC gave her a great launching pad to adulthood. She says PVCC was a safe place to grow up a little, help her mature and prepare for the next step to launch her to where she is today. She says, “if you are looking for an Associate’s degree or a gateway to help you make decisions in life, PVCC is a great place to go.”
Laura notes her involvement in activities outside the classroom helped her meet students of all ages and backgrounds. She liked the diversity that the PVCC environment offered. In addition, she says that her participation in activities outside the classroom set her up to say “yes” to future opportunities presented to her throughout her career journey.
And, it’s obvious Laura’s “yes” attitude has taken her far. After PVCC, she earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at ASU by attending night school while working full-time. Her advisor told her about internships offered through the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars in Washington D.C. She jumped at the opportunity since she had family in the area. She was first hired as a Community Arts Center intern and loved it. After working for several years at the University of Maryland, Laura went on to receive her Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Baltimore. She pursued her interest in the federal government and entered the Pathways Program which serves as an entry into government careers.
Laura began her government career as a Records and Information Management Specialist for the U.S. Department of Education. She quickly climbed the ranks on the government’s General Service scale. She is now the Assistant Director of Records and Information Management for the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. She says the position is perfect for her as it combines her interest in the history of the nation and her strong organizational skills.
Laura says she has fond memories of PVCC. She is an advocate for community college as it is a great place to figure things out. She admits to being a bit of a wild child, but she says, “when I was ready to do the right thing, PVCC was there for me.”