January 10, 2023

Caitlin Cardoso enrolled at Great Bay Community College because she wanted to improve her leadership skills.

Two years later, she has earned a certificate in Leadership & Management, an associate of science degree in Business Administration, and, thanks to Great Bay’s seamless transfer process, she’s on her way to earning a bachelor of science degree in Business Management at Granite State College in Concord.

“I never really planned on getting a degree,” said Cardoso, of Kittery, who works in risk management at Northeast Credit Union. “It just happened.”

It happened because Cardoso was motivated to learn, and Great Bay encouraged and supported her goals and ambitions.

Cardoso enrolled in the Leadership & Management certificate program in 2021 to get ahead in her career in the world of finance. She had heard positive things about Great Bay’s program and was attracted to the scheduling flexibility that Great Bay offered.

The program focuses on organizational development and strategies to compete in evolving and complex socio-cultural, political, legal, economic, and technological environments.

“Great Bay set a good foundation for me,” she said. “I was 26 when I went back to school. There are a lot of skills you need to be successful – being able to articulate your theories and ideas in a way that people will listen to you and being able to support those theories and ideas, among other things. All the professors were supportive and responsive so we could do that and be successful.”

Her Great Bay education went so well, she decided to keep it going. “After I completed seven classes for the certificate program, I realized I was already halfway to an associate degree, so I decided to continue,” she said.

Great Bay’s associate of science degree in Business Administration emphasizes broad management competencies in finance, marketing, human resources, economics, and computers – skills that directly benefitted Cardoso’s work at the credit union.

She graduated cum laude in December and was a Winter 2022 Star Scholarship Award recipient, then followed the transfer pathway toward a four-year degree at Granite State. “When I was done with the associate of science degree, I said, ‘I can’t stop learning. I have to learn more.”

Great Bay’s transfer process was smooth and easy. “All my classes transferred. It was very easy,” Cardoso said. “I recommend Great Bay to everybody at work. I have a lot of friends who want to work on their degree, so that’s the first thing I say – ‘You have to check out Great Bay.’ It worked out so well for me.”