Alumni: 95,000   Students: 16,000

Patricia Festa ’14

Patricia Festa '14

Patricia Festa ’14
District Treasurer
Auburn Enlarged City Schools

Why did you choose Empire State College? What do you think is the best thing about the college?
Obtaining my Bachelors degree was always a personal goal for me and after receiving my AAS in Accounting many years ago, life seemed to take priority with marriage and children etc. Turning 50 a few years ago brought many drastic life changes and it was time for me to achieve my goal. I chose Empire State College because not only was it affordable, it allowed me flexibility and the ability to use my life experience as credits towards my degree plan. The PLA process was one of the best tools that enabled my to earn my degree in one year instead of two.

How did Empire State College help you shape your personal and professional goals?
Empire State College challenged me in ways I never knew possible. Having been out of school for more than 30 years I was very apprehensive that I wouldn’t be able to do the work or understand the process. Not only did it give me confidence to move forward, I was able to write about my life experiences and realized that my life and career were very important in shaping my future personal and professional choices.

What is your career highlight or proudest career moment to date?
I have been at my current position for almost twenty years but I realized that I would never be able to move into a new field without my 4 year degree. Having my degree has allowed me to seek out new opportunities that would never have been obtainable even with my years or experience.

What advice would you give to a current Empire State College student?
My advice to current students would be not to give up, even when things become overwhelming because there is nothing better than that feeling of accomplishment. Also, there is so much help available, so make sure you take advantage of everything out there. I also found that taking courses outside of my comfort zone really challenged me and I was able to learn new skills and different ways to approach things that has also helped me in the workplace.

Anything else you would like to share with fellow alumni and students?
Never doubt yourself, I am proof that you are never to old to reach this goal and hardwork definitely will pay off!