Cassie Doggett used online job training to take her career to a new level, securing a position she loves with a legal firm as well as launching a bakery business.
“There’s no time limit and no finish line on education. You keep moving forward.”
Those are Doggett’s words on the topic, and she has the credentials to back it up. In her professional life over the past 13 years, she combined online job training with a traditional college degree, along with showing how to do more with job training.
Doggett, who lives in Bryant in central Arkansas, recently completed online training in the certified administrative professional program offered by the U of A Professional and Workforce Training division of the Global Campus. The Global Campus received a federal grant in 2020 to fund online job training for Arkansans who qualify, like Doggett, through the Reimagine Arkansas Workforce Project. People who live in neighboring states and work in Arkansas can also apply for the free training. Funds from Reimagine are limited to one course offered through Professional and Workforce Training. Other funding sources may be available for people interested in taking additional courses.
Doggett will move soon to the position of office manager at a Little Rock law firm, and she also operates a bakery selling cakes, pies, cookies and bread from her home. The administrative professional job training is helping her be successful in both roles.
“If given the opportunity, I would tell other people to take a class or more than one,” Doggett said. “It will never be a detriment to inform yourself, to better yourself, whether it is for your own company or a company you work for.”
Online Job Training
It’s not the first time Doggett has used online job training to advance her career. She was working as a receptionist for a law firm when she decided to earn a paralegal certification through the U of A in 2014. She worked her way up to a hybrid position that combined duties in administration and human resources before going to a new job last fall at a firm that specializes in mediation and arbitration.
She had earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Henderson State University in 2009, but as time passed she realized how online job training could improve her prospects. She had always stayed busy, working two jobs while in college, but by the time she looked at online education, it was the best fit for her life. She learned quickly to use pockets of time available to her while caring, with husband, Drew, for their blended family of five children. She’s happy to model for them the value she puts on being an adult learner.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do the paralegal training and the administrative professional training if I didn’t have the option of attending classes online,” Doggett said. “I got up early and worked out and then got out my laptop and sat on the couch working while the kids got ready. When I sat with them at the table, they thought it was cool that I was doing homework like they were. At first, they thought it was a ‘kid thing,’ and I told them, no, it’s real!
“I was able to fit it into empty spaces I had during the day versus setting aside hours in a day or week and the time and concentration it would take for an in-person class. It fit very well into the schedules I had, even with the kids and their extracurricular activities.”
The Law and the Kitchen
The administrative professional training course Doggett took through Reimagine includes a voucher to sit for the exam offered for certification through the International Association of Administrative Professionals.
She plans to take the exam this fall.
“I took this course to help me understand and continue to work efficiently on tasks,” she said. “The book that accompanied the course was very helpful. It gave scenarios about how to have person-to-person conversations. Instead of just having questions thrown at you, it took a step further to help you relate to situations at hand, tasks, projects.”
What she learned about business processes including budgets, timelines and communication also helps her run the in-home bakery she started in June 2021. She records electronically all notes from transactions with vendors and customers, and she implemented a customer feedback process.
Doggett started her bakery during the pandemic because she thought people working from home might want to order baked treats. Her customers are mostly people in Bryant, but she also delivers to Little Rock, where she works. The owner of a nail salon orders their favorite strawberry cake every week.
She also loves the law and working to make sure all parties in a mediation or arbitration case have the information they need and know their options.
“It’s all about justice and how it is served,” she said. “There is a process behind it, and if people don’t receive information in a timely and confidential manner, that is an injustice. I can’t give legal advice, but I can make sure people are aware of the paths they can take.”
Visit the Reimagine website to see if you are eligible for funding to pay for online job training.