SME PRIME Launch Event at Horlick High SchoolSeptember 26, 2023
NC3 Master Instructor Spotlight | John GerardSeptember 26, 2023
NC3 has some impressive team members in our ranks and this Staff Spotlight series aims to highlight the incredibly talented individuals who work with us. We’ll be featuring a new interview in our monthly newsletters, here on our website, and on our social media pages each month.
This month we’re excited to put the spotlight on Renee Smith… NC3’s 3M Program Manager!
Prior to joining NC3, Renee had experience in other various areas of education including K-12 technology, high school tutoring, adult ESL classes, and higher education administration. She also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Morocco for two years and taught ESL in South Korea. In addition, she has worked at three different universities. In her spare time, she volunteers with Destination Imagination, a non-profit tournament where students display their creativity, teamwork, and problem solving skills. Between all of her jobs she has been to 10 countries and always ends up on a pilot program or starting a new initiative.
Check out our Q&A session below to learn more about Renee!
How did you become interested in career and technical education?
My high school had some career and technical education classes. I was already involved in so many extracurricular activities that I didn’t get to explore the classes myself. However, I loved hearing my classmates talk about their future goals that was tangible starting in high school. When I found my way into education as a career, I was always drawn to adult learners and ‘non-traditional students.’
What drew you to NC3 originally?
As I learned more during my time in higher education about the gaps between education and employment, I thought back to my high school years. I saw NC3 as my chance to do my small part in making career and technical education accessible to students whom other forms of education was not an avenue. I want students to be exposed to all possibilities for their future and not any one set path. Life doesn’t work that way.
What is something you learned the hard way?
Independence is cool and all but if you can have help, use it. We need our support systems, from family to associates. We can do our part, but we will only get so far by ourselves.
Do you have a motto or personal mantra?
Try everything twice and have no regrets. Life is all about experiences. Some experiences need a different chef, teacher, or location in order to enjoy it. So I’ll try anything twice before saying no to it because I want my life to be full. I want to have no regrets.
How would you describe the NC3 team?
Family, friendly, and fun! I was lucky to start my first week with NC3 at a Train the Trainer event at Gateway Technical College. It was great to meet my coworkers in person, see a little of the behind the scenes that goes into that event, and help out! Not only was I able to learn so much about the certifications I’m responsible for, but I also got to see, meet, and experience some of the other programs as well. I saw how the NC3 team came together to help each other and it was inspiring.
What motivates you to wake up and go to work?
There’s always something new to learn and do. I found a place where I have a balance of engaging with colleagues, clients, and customers but also time to work on tasks and projects by myself. In this way, I am able to continue providing access to education while learning so many nuances of programs and initiatives of my clients. I have ownership of my work but I’m not alone and I am well supported.