My name is Julia Barton and I came to Pennsylvania Highlands Community College unsure of what career I wanted to pursue. During my first semester at Pennsylvania Highlands, I was an avid fan of the local hockey team, the Johnstown Tomahawks. After a pep-talk from a friend, I headed to the Tomahawks office to ask about doing an internship for the 2014-2015 season. In a surprising turn of events, I did an interview on the spot and received a position as a Communications Intern for the remainder of the 2013-2014 season. At the end of the season, I was invited to return to the Tomahawks’ team as a Statistics Intern for this upcoming 2014-2015 season.
Several months later, I was contacted via my LinkedIn profile (which I created in my First Year Experience course at Pennsylvania Highlands) by the Head Coach and General Manager of the North Jersey Avalanche 18U Midget Division hockey team, Coach Billy McCreary. Along with my Tomahawks Internship, I was also a volunteer writer for the Avalanche in the 2014-2015 season.
Then, when the news was announced that Johnstown won the Kraft Hockeyville USA 2015 competition, I received a phone call asking if I would like to keep statistics for the Pittsburgh Penguins. On the night of the game, I sat with the Penguins’ head statistician and recorded shots on goal and plus minus. I got to meet members of the NBCSN news crew and the owner of the Penguins: Mario Lemieux. It was an experience like no other and I will treasure it forever.
As a transfer student to Penn State, I will be working with the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams. I will try to get an internship with the Penn State men’s team, as well as the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Pennsylvania Highlands has made all of this possible for me and for that I will be forever thankful.
What field of study are you in?
I am currently studying General Studies.
Why did you choose to attend Pennsylvania Highlands?
I was not sure what career I wished to pursue. Pennsylvania Highlands is a great fit for me because many students spend a ton of money trying to prolong figuring out what career best fits their personality. Pennsylvania Highlands is not only affordable, but the staff really works to help you find the perfect major.
Have any instructors influenced you, and why?
The instructors who really inspired me were Dr. Cope and Professor Wojcik. Both of these instructors really cared about how I was feeling and how well I was doing in their classes. Both professors made me realize that my writing was solid and that with the right amount of work my writing could be at a professional level in no time.
Another person who really influenced my career at Penn Highlands (although she is not a professor) was Sue Brugh, Director of Student Activities and Athletics. Sue will never give up on you and teaches you not to give up on anything you want. She is someone you can count on to help you; she’s our Momma Black Bear. She is someone I hope to keep in touch with for a long time to come.
What are some of the things you like best about Pennsylvania Highlands?
I like the fact that the classes are small enough that you can build a relationship with your professors and classmates. I also like the fact that every staff member wants to see you succeed.
What is next for you after attending Pennsylvania Highlands?
After attending Pennsylvania Highlands, I plan to attend the Pennsylvania State University College of Communications. At the College of Communications, I will pursue a Major in Journalism and a Minor in Kinesiology, while pursing my Sports Journalism Certification.
Has Pennsylvania Highlands changed your life?
Pennsylvania Highlands has given me the confidence and the guidance that I need to feel ready for my future, and I will forever be grateful to them.
Is there anything else you want people to know?
If you are interested in a specific career, try to get an internship to see if that career is right for you. It can never hurt to try to do what you love when you are a General Studies student; it may just lead you down the path to success.