Peg Imholte, Parent and Owner
Black Diamond Auctions
My husband and I have always believed it is important for our five children to learn beyond secondary education. In late high school, our son Michael was looking to find something that fit his career interest. He participated in Soo Bahk Doo, a martial art. He enjoyed gaming, reading, and doing things with his brothers and friends. Michael also loved music and was involved in marching band and drum line as well as playing drums at church.
Because of his love for music, Michael originally thought of pursuing a career in radio broadcasting, but he didn’t think a 4-year school would be good for him. Most of the schools he considered were pretty costly (and a longer distance from St. Cloud than I think either he or his parents wanted for him). We wanted him to find a career choice that would use radio and a related field like sales. He wasn’t ‘sold’ on that idea at 18. So, right out of high school, Michael started at St. Cloud Technical & Community College taking general education courses as a start while he figured everything else out.
Michael enjoyed the smaller atmosphere, found others he knew, and liked most of his classes. He didn’t like not having a strong direction or motivation for a career choice or his next college move. For three years, he attended SCTCC part time; then he decided to transfer to St. Cloud State University for one year. That choice just didn’t work well for him. In fact, he took a year off.
In the middle of that time out of school, Michael came to his dad and I; he said he was ready to go back to school and was interested in sales and marketing. What good news! And, he chose to re-enroll at SCTCC.
St. Cloud Technical & Community College is a good fit for him because of the dedication of the teachers and the connections he has made with them, the small class sizes as well as affordability. His instructors give him a very strong message of their commitment for student success, especially his success. Some of them have taken them under their wing and taught him much to help him grow as a person in the sales and marketing program (still with an interest in radio!).
Michael also has taken on a leadership role in DECA, an international association of students and teachers of marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. Michael has served as vice president of the club. He has competed in the state competition twice. He intends to compete at Nationals as well. Michael also spear headed the annual food drive for DECA, asking for a sponsor to match donations (it was our auction company, but still he pursued it and followed up to the end from promotion to buying and loading the food and delivering it to Catholic Charities food shelf). That is a big deal for him.
Michael has been inspired by classwork and discussions and shares many ideas about sales with human interaction often. He even recommends some of his class books for us to read for our professional lives. He’s also taken on a leadership role in our auction business by managing our lunch wagon for 2 years. That’s a lot of both mind work and grunt work.
I’m so proud of Michael and how he has changed while at St. Cloud Technical & Community College. His growth and maturity. His excitement for a career. His eyes being opened to possibilities. His willingness to listen to his teachers and glean what he can. His love of school and what it has offered him.
We are excited to see how Michael will take his next big step after graduation and know he can accomplish anything he sets his mind to.