When Tammy Retzlaff took her computer to a shop for repairs little did she know it would lead to a new career.
Tammy had taken a few accounting courses and was working as an office manager in the healthcare field when her job was eliminated. She learned about funds to help dislocated workers gain new skills, but didn’t know what she wanted to study.
A trip to a local computer repair shop became the first step to her future.
“My computer broke and I took it to the shop,” she explained. “$150 later it still didn’t work, but I realized this is a growing field with good job security.”
She enrolled in the Software Development program at Nicolet College because it had the courses she wanted and was close by. Tammy met a lot of people and got involved in a few campus organizations including the Business Professionals of America. Her web development team earned first place in the state competition and traveled to nationals where they took second place.
Tammy’s family has been very supportive of her. She couldn’t have accomplished this without the support of her husband. Her daughters are proud of their mom and one even enrolled in the Graphic Arts program during Tammy’s second semester.
In her third and fourth semester Tammy worked as a lab monitor and a tutor at the college. Then in January of 2015 she started as an intern at Laser Pros, a company that sells printers and printer parts. After graduating in May, Tammy became a full-time employee responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the company website. She also does some trouble shooting and computer replacement for the company’s 60 employees.
Tammy decided to go further with her education and is currently enrolled in the Support Specialist program at Nicolet.
“I always wanted to go to college,” she said. Getting her associate degree has given Tammy self-confidence.
Her advice to adults: “It doesn’t matter how old you are. Go ahead and take the step (to further your education). It is all worth it.”