For 15 years Jeannine Lake has been a part of the University of Phoenix. For the past five, she has been a resident of Lee’s Summit.
Lake first joined the university in 1998 after obtaining an undergraduate degree in 1995 from Saint Thomas Aquinas College in New York. In 2008, 10 years after first becoming involved with the school as an academic advisor, Cook completed her master’s degree at the University of Phoenix, obtaining an advanced degree in management via the school’s online campus.
That was also the year Lake became director of the school’s Kansas City campus, and subsequently moved to Lee’s Summit from Colorado.
“My passion has always been education,” said Lake, who studied education in social sciences as an undergrad. “Grew up back east in New York and I went to school there for education. Right after college I moved to Phoenix and worked a few odd jobs in elementary education and at a technical school. I was able to join the university back in 1998 as an academic counselor.
“I’ve always wanted to be on the administrative side supporting students, advising them, counseling them to make sure that – encouraging them to say ‘you can do this.’ It was just a wonderful fit for me. I’ve grown up in the organization. I’m very excited to be here personally and professionally. This is where my heart is.”
Lake will be on hand Aug. 7 when the campus host “Fine-tune Your Career Path,” a career symposium event to connect current and prospective students, alumni and the community with new career services and opportunities.
The event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the University of Phoenix’s Kansas City campus, 1310 E. 104th St., Suite 101 in Kansas City.
At the event, university staff and faculty – along with local business leaders – will share important information about factors impacting the Kansas City job market. Attendees will also have to opportunity to gain new insights into tools, services, strategies and techniques that will help them connect with their interests.
A career fair where local employers will talk one-on-one with attendees about employment opportunities in the area is also on tap.
“Not only are we providing our students an education, but we want to make sure that our students – and the community in general – have a place to come to really master their skills,” Lake said of the symposium’s purpose. “They’re navigating the job market, they’re utilizing social media. They need to learn how to conduct strong interviews, dress for success; things like that. We want to make sure their resumes are standing out because of the competition these days. How can we help support? Not only for our students, but the community as well.”
Lake knows the University of Phoenix – and similar for-profit colleges – has faced skepticism from some, but through her experience, the school is ‘constantly innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world.’
“I think because we serve the non-traditional student and we do have open enrollment, we want to make sure that students know they have the opportunity to go back to school,” she said. “We talk to them about responsible borrowing, and we want to make sure that they know their options when they come in.
“They can attend a local campus – we have over 100 campuses across the country. Also, if they’ve chosen online – and that’s where we’ve seen that growth – our focus is making sure that we do deliver that quality education. We’re a for-profit, but we want to make sure that our students are successful.”