Manor College Grad Shifts Disappointment in Layoff to College Degree

Thomasine Woods ‘23 (Northeast High School – Northeast Philadelphia) graduates Manor College with her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration.

Thomasine Woods ’23

Working in the accounts payable department of a large furniture warehouse, Thomasine Woods started to see the writing on the wall. Vendors were calling asking about unpaid checks and she had to respond about them. 

Even still, when the Philadelphia-based company shut its doors in 2012, Woods admits she was caught off guard. Woods started with the company out of Northeast High School and watched them grow from a single warehouse to an international operation. She grew with the company, too, working in different departments until finding a home in accounting.

“It’s a scary feeling,” Woods said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do or where I was going to go.” 

Woods began applying for jobs, but after several interviews, she realized that a college degree was a requirement, even though she had years of experience in accounting. 

“I thought that all the experience I had would help make up for it,” Woods said. “That’s when I decided, ‘let me do this.’” 

Woods enrolled at Manor College in Fall 2012 after discovering the college through frequent trips to Jenkintown. She took two years off of work, using her unemployment and her savings to get by. She stayed motivated by thinking about her future. 

“If this happens again, I didn’t want to think, ‘What am I going to do’ or “How am I going to make ends meet?’” Woods said. 

She graduated from Manor College in 2014 with her Associate’s Degree in Accounting. After a few years and with a full-time job, Woods enrolled at Manor College again to complete her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. 

During the time off, Woods began to expand work outside of her regular job. She became a notary and wanted to get into real estate, but she saw how a lack of business knowledge can derail a company. 

“Business classes help teach you to communicate with the customer,” Woods said. “A lot of people don’t have that skill. A lot of businesses fail because of bad management. Going back to school can help teach you the extra skills that help build your business.” 

Woods graduated from Manor College in May with her Bachelor’s Degree. She believes Manor College helped her dream because the institution made college convenient within their schedule. 

“If you’re someone who is working, professors made it very convenient and helped me through the process,” Woods said. “When I thought about taking a break because of work, they made it easy to come home, do the assignments after work or on the weekends and gave me the positive feedback I needed to keep going.” 

She hopes her story can serve as an inspiration for those, regardless of age, to keep learning. 

“You’re never too old to learn something new and no one knows everything,” Woods said. “Keep going if you’re thinking about stopping or think you’re too old, – you can do it.” 

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