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NewsTuesday, May 1, 2012
Linda DiComo, who was a student in the 1990s, points to a photo of former instructor Ron Rash, featured on an historical mural in the College's Library. DiComo will graduate with an Accounting degree May 7.
Internship Leads to Full-Time Job for Tri-County Accounting Grad
CONTACT: LINDA DICOMO, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 5/1/2012 (By Lisa Garrett)
PENDLETON --- When Linda DiComo returned to Tri-County Technical College three years ago, at age 47, her goal was to complete the 13 credit hours she needed to earn her associate in arts degree and to secure a job in this struggling economy.
She will graduate May 7, at age 50, during the College's 50th anniversary graduation, with an associate in science degree, in addition to an accounting degree and four accounting certificates. She also has a full-time accounting position waiting for her at Millard & Moore P.A. in Greenville where she did an internship this semester.
DiComo's academic and career goals changed over the last three years she has been a student at Tri-County. "My life changed for the better. I changed my career direction and I have a job I want and enjoy. It's been a hard road but it's been worth it," said DiComo, who, in addition to a full-time class schedule and the internship, she and her husband are full-time guardians for their five-year-old grandchild.
DiComo was a student at Tri-County in the 1990s, earning university transfer credits to go on to Clemson to study chemical engineering. It was during that time that her mother developed breast cancer so DiComo took over her mother's business, an investment firm in Easley. She was 13 credits shy of a degree when she quit.
"I took over the business while she underwent chemotherapy and radiation. In preparation, I had to get my stockbrokers license to do so. I stayed in the business when she returned to work because it was a good living. Then several years ago, the economy tanked and my mother sold the business," said the Easley resident.
She decided to finish her degree and talked with a counselor who told her with 15 credits she could earn both associate in arts and associate in science degrees. That was the plan until she added an accounting class to her schedule. "I discovered I loved it. So I decided to change my major to Accounting," she said.
She has maintained good grades and the respect of classmates and instructors.
"Linda is a standout student," said Brenda Mattison, accounting instructor. "She is always prepared and asks great questions. She is never satisfied until she masters the concepts. She thinks beyond the textbook problems to real-word implications. Linda is unique in that she is an inspiration to older students by proving that you can come back to college and be successful. To our younger students, she shows that dedication to your studies leads to rewards."
"One of the reasons I have been successful at Tri-County is the quality instructors who really care," said DiComo. "You get out of your education what you put into it. If you are willing to do the work, I've always found that instructors will bend over backwards to help you, for example, in securing an internship."
"Linda is smart and dedicated and has done a great job in her internship," said Michelle Moore, vice president and partner of Millard & Moore, P.A. in Greenville. "In the beginning we were hesitant to bring in an intern to help us during the hectic tax season. For years, former employees have come in to work during this busy time. But Linda has done a fantastic job, especially in multi-tasking, which is a big thing in a small firm like ours. She is a team player who is willing to do whatever is asked of her. Attitude is so important in today's workforce. She has the right attitude and does what needs to be done. It was unanimous among our office staff to hire her. We are excited for her to join our team." DiComo's first day on the job is the day after graduation (May 8).
"My internship has given me invaluable work experience but the biggest plus is the confidence I've gained in my ability to do the work. Three weeks into the internship Michelle told me she was hearing good things about me and asked if I was interested in working there after graduation. She suggested we talk later. This is a dream job. I want to learn all I can," said DiComo.
"I had two goals in my internship - to make Tri-County proud and to build my confidence. I believe I have achieved both," said Dicomo.
Scholarships through the Foundation have made the road smoother for her and her husband. She received the G.B. Nalley and the Mina Lee Lesley scholarships, along with lottery tuition assistance. She has a small student loan that she calls very manageable. "To get a quality degree and have only a $2,000 debt is awesome. This is as close as it gets to accomplishing the goal of getting an education without being deep in debt," she said.
"At age 50, I am receiving my first college degree and am the first of my siblings to earn a college degree. I have a new career. Good things happen when you come to Tri-County," she said.