Marylhurst and Portland Community College entered into an official agreement in May 2016, aiming to remove barriers for PCC students to complete a four-year degree at Marylhurst.
Jenny Davis began by testing the waters with just one public relations class, on her boss's recommendation.
"I already had a bachelor's degree in political science, so I was not interested in pursuing another four-year degree. Plus, I was still working, so I needed night classes in order to fit with my schedule," she said. Marylhurst fit the bill, she said, with its professional certificate program and evening and weekend classes.
In Jenny's first class, "I got the shock of my life," she said. "I was one of only four students. At first, I was intimidated. But in the end, I loved it."
The class was Writing for the Media with instructor Jim Mitchell. "He believed in my talents and was willing to help me improve my skills. My classmates made me feel like I had a support group cheering me on," she said.
Early in her education, Jenny left her financial services job for a new opportunity – as marketing communications specialist for a Web conferencing company. "My very first week, my boss was embarking on a press tour, and I found myself scheduling photo shoots with media photographers." Jenny soon was given more responsibilities, overseeing all the marketing programs for the company's event services division.
She also took advantage of an internship opportunity on campus, in Marylhurst's Office of Marketing and University Communications, coordinating the development of a reporter resource on the university's website.
At 27 years old, Jenny had more experience and a higher skill level than most of her peers, she said. "Recently, someone told me I was overqualified for a prospective job. That was an amazing confidence builder. I am very excited for the future."