Annita Sampson began her career as a receptionist / secretary in 1982. She was quickly promoted to banking representative, and then client services manager, and then department manager, and she continued up the ranks in the organization. There was no stopping her! Annita worked very hard eventually becoming the Vice President of Technology. At the age of 55 and after a very long, successful career, Annita envisioned that she would continue to work at this organization until her retirement. Unfortunately, Annita, along with many of her coworkers were informed that their jobs were being outsourced overseas and they would be laid off. Annita found herself in job search for the first time in 36 years!

“I had no idea what route I wanted to go. I had worked in various capacities over the years,” says Annita. Prepared with a lifetime of experience and knowledge, she still recalls being concerned about being competitive in today’s workforce. Anita wanted the credentials to support her experience. “I had almost finished my bachelor’s degree, so I thought maybe I could complete that,” says Annita. She worked with her career coaches, Leanora “Nora” Arellano-Linard and Mayra Salgado, to apply for the Trade Adjustment Assistance Program (TAA) which qualified her to not only finish her bachelor’s degree but to also pursue and earn a master’s degree – all within two years.

Annita hit the ground running taking four classes each semester with no summer breaks. She was pursuing her education side by side with her son, she recalls. “I only missed one class because I had to take my son to his own college orientation,” says Annita. She finished her studies and is now looking toward a career pathway in technology and is excited about her future.

Of her career coaches, Nora and Mayra, Annita has this message: “Your encouragement was key and I will never forget sitting with you and working through the process. You and the team set me up for success. I am forever humbled and thankful.”