By: Elijah Phillips, Business Administration Graduate

Looking at the picture above feels kind of bittersweet. In a couple of weeks, our journey will come to an end. I, along with my colleagues, will be graduating, and we will walk across the stage at the Prudential Center May 5, 2017. It feels like just yesterday I walked through the doors of Berkeley College. I had no clue what I wanted to do. All I knew that was my education was important and I had the ambition to obtain a degree. Fast forward close to two and half years later and I can honestly say my experience at Berkeley College was nothing I had ever expected. I do not regret a single moment with our Berkeley College family.

When I walked through the doors of Berkeley College’s Administration, I was greeted with the warmest of welcomes from our very own Michael Lincoln. He was the adult admissions rep at the time. He sat me down and asked me a few questions about myself, and I felt very comfortable talking to him as he walked me through what my college experience would be like. I recall him asking me, “Do you want to pursue your Associate’s or Bachelor’s?” I wasn’t sure if I was ready for a Bachelor’s degree. So, Michael said, “Well, how about we start you off with your associate’s and we will see what happens”. And from there, I became a Berkeley College student.

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Within the first month, I had found myself joining different clubs, meeting different people, creating life-long lasting friendships, really developing a support system with the school. I had joined FBLA-PBL (Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda) and SGA (Student Government Association). These clubs are where I met great people like William Jimenez, Zahin Hossain, John Cedeno, Kevin Rocha, Antoinette Kassas, and last but not least, Kristen Young. These were students who I knew (and still do) were destined for greatness and I am grateful that Berkeley College provided us with opportunities to come together and be a family. Also, Student Development and Campus Life played a huge part in my growth with Berkeley College. With the guidance of Dr. Dallas Reed, Janelle Giles, Ashante Barnes-Connor, Nancy Purohit, Sandra Coppola, and Santa Rock, I was able to develop the skills and knowledge to do great work for others.

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Emceeing the Berkeley College Fashion Show

Another memorable moment I can never forget, was on March 26, 2017. This is the day Berkeley College allowed me to be a part of a project bigger than myself. I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to watch my very first hockey game in a sky box, with my good friend William Jimenez and Berkeley College staff. The next thing I knew, I was getting dressed up in my cap and gown awaiting to ride the Zamboni to promote our upcoming graduation. This was definitely a dream come true, being able to ride on the ice and see the faces of the little kids light up as I rode past waving, sharing laughs, and making the game memorable, not just for myself, but for all the families sitting in the stands.

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Aside from the campus life, the classrooms are where most of my appreciation for the school came from. My professors were all amazing and inspirational. The classes were small which allowed me to get to know my professors and for them to get to know me. The one thing I truly admired about my professors was that they notice your potential and they help you to capture that fire within you and help you expand on it in the most rewarding way. Not to mention, all of my professors had experience in the subjects they were teaching so I felt I could absorb the real-world experience I would need to make it my career. There is no price I can put on the knowledge I have acquired from my time at Berkeley.

Berkeley College has provided me with many opportunities to shine and live up to my potential. With everything I have learned, I can honestly say I feel prepared for Graduation. My plans are to look for work in Public Relations. I would like to have the title Public Relations Director someday. Anything with Marketing, Advertising, anything that keeps me working with people, surrounding myself with diversity. My goal is to make the Forbes 30 Under 30 list by the time I am 27. In conclusion, I can say attending Berkeley College exposed and introduced the world to me in a different light. They have really helped turn my dreams into reality and I am forever grateful I got to meet every person I did, and I am blessed to have attended Berkeley College and accomplished the things I have so far. LET’S GO GRADUATE!!!

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About Berkeley College

Berkeley College, established in 1931, is a regionally accredited college providing excellence in teaching and learning through a student-focused approach to career education. Berkeley College offers Bachelor's and Associate's degrees, Certificate programs, and non-degree professional courses at campuses in New Jersey, New York, and through Berkeley College Online. A Master of Business Administration degree is offered in Woodland Park, NJ, and online. The college enrolls over 7,100 students (more than 440 international students, representing nearly 75 countries).

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Berkeley Alumni, BerkeleyCollege, Graduation, Student Life

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