Marcia Nieman is originally from Negaunee, Michigan, a small town in Michigan’s U.P. She now lives in near Two Harbors, Minnesota. She is the mother of two adult children – 20 and 24 and owns a home with her boyfriend of a little over 10 years. Neiman enjoys reading, hiking, snowmobiling and spending time with her friends and family.
Nieman has worked in the administrative professional career field for more than 25 years, most recently with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the last sixteen years where she is still employed. In 2004, she decided to attend Lake Superior College. “I originally thought I would try to get into the Radiological Tech program, then the Dental Hygienist program so I took classes gearing up for one of those programs. I realized I couldn’t quit my job to commit to a program full-time during the day. I finally decided to obtain a degree in the field I’ve been doing for years.”
She completed the AAS Administrative Office Specialist program in 2017. Nieman is also scheduled to teach a “Computers in the Law Office” course for LSC’s paralegal program in 2018. She earned a Health Unit Coordinator certificate from LSC in 2010, and completed many other courses since 2004. She plans to take additional courses to earn her legal secretary certificate. “It took me a long time to decide what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I will continue to take classes and learn so I will always have the ability to move on and up.”
What advice would she give someone considering the administrative office specialist field? “There are a wide variety of administrative professional jobs. Know that your role in an organization is vital to the operation of that organization. You are the support for the organization and its upper level managers and what you do makes them look good. You can be in customer service, or an office manager or an executive assistant – the options are endless.”
Nieman found the LSC program very welcoming for a non-traditional student, especially being able to take classes in the evening or online. “Everyone I encountered has been extremely supportive in my quest to get my degree. It was a little intimidating at first, but it was great to be with students who are my kids’ age in their twenties to students who are close to my age (I am over fifty). The program is very comprehensive in all of the potential areas that you may encounter as an administrative office specialist. I realize that I can take what I’ve learned and move on to another specialty and out of my current job situation. I have so much more confidence, thanks to this program.”
What has been the most difficult aspect of the administrative office specialist program? “I have been in this field for over 25 years so I thought I wouldn’t have much to learn. Well, I was wrong! Bookkeeping was the hardest to learn/re-learn. Always remember the old saying ‘if you don’t use it you lose it.’”
Nieman was also surprised to discover and learn new professional skills through her program. “Never in my wildest dreams, did I think I would make a good leader/manager, but after taking the Principles of Management class, I feel much more confident in my abilities to lead and manage in an organization. I am excited to apply these skills in my work environment.”