April 17, 2023

Mike Anderson of Somersworth chose Great Bay Community College because he wanted to change his career.

Great Bay offered him the smartest, quickest, and most economical path to new opportunities. Anderson, 46, recently enrolled in Great Bay’s Digital Media Communications program, with a goal of graduating with an associate degree in science in December, 2024, and beginning a career in graphic communications. He hopes to specialize in print, video, web, and animation.

Anderson earned a BA in history 25 years ago, but he learned that for him, a four-year degree in history was not providing the direct career path he was looking. “I was able to teach at a private school, which was great, but without an education degree I could not teach in a public school,” Anderson said.  “And without a Ph.D., I could not teach at a college. It didn’t make a lot of sense to get a Ph.D. at my age, so I decided to look at what actually would make sense for me right now.”

That search led Anderson to Great Bay. The college landscape has changed dramatically since Anderson graduated from Hanover College, a small liberal arts college in Indiana. For perspective, he didn’t have an email address until his senior year in 1998.

The digital transition has been a challenge made easier by the help and support offered by Great Bay. The advisors and staff have been able to assist with the enrollment process and course selection and his professors have been there when he needed them – online or in person. He has also completed one course online and has taken advantage of the resources offered by the Career Center, speaking enthusiastically about the College’s support of his transition to a new career.

“They are all very knowledgeable, all very familiar with the equipment and the program, and they’re all very passionate about teaching and encouraging us to get the most out of the courses. I’ve been impressed,” he shared.

In addition to his career as a teacher, Anderson worked as a newspaper reporter, and had a series of jobs in construction and hospitality. He chose to study digital media because he is interested in graphics, photography, and design. Courses he took in pursuit of his bachelor’s degree satisfied most general education requirements, allowing him to quickly immerse himself in his major.

He plans to take classes this summer because he is eager to keep up the pace. “I want to finish the degree as quickly as possible,” said Anderson. “It does not make sense for me to take a summer off for no reason. As soon as I finish my degree, I can start working in my career and on my other goals.”

Anderson is just beginning this chapter and has not settled on a career choice or specific trajectory. He could work for an ad agency, design firm, nonprofit organization, or somewhere else.

He is eager for whatever comes next.

“I have time to figure it out, and I’m excited about the possibilities,” he said.