Alumni: 95,000   Students: 16,000

Laura vonKampen ’18

Laura vonKampen ’18
Director of Human Resources
JD Beauty/WetBrush

What three words best describe who and what you are?
Mom. Hard-worker. Resilient.

What inspired you to earn your college degree? What was your “moment”?
I was laid off from my job. I interviewed with a recruiter for another position. The recruiter thought that my 20 years of experience would make me the perfect fit for the job. I learned a few day later that the firm would not even consider me because I did not have my degree. I also felt a little bit like a hypocrite, telling my children how important a college education was while not having one.

Why did you choose to attend ESC?
I knew that at ESC I would receive credit for what I had learned throughout my career. ESC also offered flexibility of classes and class types, along with a mentor who helped guide me along the way.

Who supported and encouraged you along the way?
My biggest support was from my friends and family. I credit one of my friends often, as I would say to her, this is going to take me years to complete. Her reply to me was always the same. The time will pass anyway. Whether you do it or not, but if you do it, at the end of those years, you will not still be saying, its going to take me years to complete…It will be complete!!

What, if any, obstacles did you overcome?
I was a newly single mom. I had to continue to work full time along with raising my children, my youngest was still in high school when I began.

What advice would you give to a prospective ESC student?
JUST DO IT!!! I now give the same advice that I received from my dear friend. Time will pass anyway. Why not have an accomplishment to feel good about? It is worth the work!!

Why do you give back to SUNY Empire?
I feel it is important to encourage others to reach for their goals. Maybe my story will encourage someone else.

Anything else you would like to share?
Just GO FOR IT!!! As I put on my Graduation Cap!! GOT IT DONE!! FINALLY!!!