Pinon Real Estate Group, Buena Vista, Colorado
Paralegal AAS Degree, 1983
Even for the most successful high school students, the transition from high school to college can be overwhelming as they navigate new ways of teaching and learning, adapting to new social norms, sharing close living spaces, and becoming an adult.
For Julie Kersting, coming from the relatively small community of Buena Vista, Colorado with a senior graduating class of 90 to the large lecture halls of UNC Greeley, her sense of overwhelm was more than she could manage. “There was not a high commitment by my UNC professors to my personal success, or even interest in what I was doing. Despite my involvement that first semester with on-campus student activities, I still just felt like a number.”
The awareness that she desired a personalized college experience was the first step to recognizing that she was not enrolled at the right institution. By the end of her first semester, Kersting had researched her options, cut ties with UNC and moved to Denver to attend Community College of Denver (CCD).
“I wanted to get right to it," she said. "I knew what I didn’t want: five years of school, a lot of math, and big classes.” So she narrowed in her focus and decided the paralegal program at CCD was the perfect fit.
She recognized almost immediately that the staff and instructors in the paralegal program were able to not only offer her a personalized experience, but to do the same for all their students, despite coming from a wide variety of cultures and experiences.
She recalls, “There were older students, there were single moms trying to go back to work, there were young people like me, there were men trying to change career directions. Day one when I got in there, I had a new and very different community, totally opposite from my previous experience. I had a new support system that was perfect for me.”
Today, Kersting has single handedly built a successful boutique real estate brokerage business that relies on the same principles of personalization that she received at CCD. Her value proposition is that her clients will receive the attention they deserve so that they can receive their desired result. Everything in Kersting’s work is about personalization because she values that every person and their situation is different. Her paralegal AAS degree has played a huge role in her success, affording her the opportunity to look at contracts with a critical eye and attract clients that want that level of expertise on their side of the negotiation table.
In 2015, Kersting’s excellence in business was recognized by her peers and was awarded VIP Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.