Positioning himself for continued personal growth and professional success
Mark Proctor has built a successful career as founder and owner of Uptown Sounds, a disc jockey and audio services company available for hire for weddings, parties, and other special celebratory events. Eager to continue to grow his business and position himself as a true industry expert, he enrolled at Prince George’s Community College (PGCC) a few years ago with two major goals in mind.
“I always wanted to get my degree but life was always so busy. It was time to make school a priority,” said Mark. “I also wanted to set a good example for my kids. I wanted them to see how important it is to go to school and get a good education, by seeing their dad do it.”
With many of his work commitments taking place in College Park, Mark has benefited from the option to take courses on the Laurel College Center (LCC) campus; typically a 10 to 15-minute drive. As he pursues an associate degree in general studies as well as an entertainment technology certificate, Mark has taken a diverse set of courses, some of which have fine-tuned existing talents and others that have helped him build new skills to integrate into his business.
“A lot of the courses I have taken cover what I do in my day-to-day work. But a good education raises your credibility in my industry,” said Mark. “I will qualify for more jobs and higher pay once I have my degree and certificate.”
Being able to interact with students at LCC who have similar career interests and goals has been an added bonus for Mark. He genuinely enjoys being on campus and says each class has been unique, giving him insight and perspective on how he can better serve his clients.
“The LCC campus is very small, so everyone there knows you and wants to help you,” said Mark. “It is a very encouraging and supportive place to be. For me, being in school hasn’t been about starting a career but instead being on a path toward something bigger and better. The people at LCC are kind and caring, and have been there to guide me.”
Mark is enjoying his educational experience so much that he intends to make it last. Once he finishes his associate degree, he intends to transfer to a four-year college to pursue a bachelor’s degree. University of Maryland Global Campus is on his short list of schools to consider. He is open to taking online classes in the future, now that he has a solid handle on how to learn virtually; a result of COVID-19.
“When everything transitioned to virtual in Spring 2020, I admit, I had a hard time at first,” recalls Mark. “But I’ve gotten used to it, and am still learning a lot even though I’m doing it from home. I feel very fortunate to be earning my education and to have so many opportunities ahead of me.”