Article by Matt Dippel | Owl Staff
This month’s Reconnect with Harford features James Gilley III, a Harford Community College graduate from the class of ‘93. Speaking with James provided an opportunity for me to learn about the benefits of HCC firsthand.
After getting an Associate’s in Business Management at Harford, James went on to University of Maryland to get his Bachelor’s degree, also in Business Management. James had two solid pieces of advice for students here at HCC: the “five-year rule,” and an emphasis on following through on the goals you set for yourself. James’ five-year rule is something a professor here told him, and he told me that “If you are at the same job for five years and you see no possibility of growth, a raise, or a promotion, [to] go find something else.”
It is perhaps James’ outlook on his career and the path he took that offers the most value. James told me that he had “tried everything, and ended up wasting a lot of time finding something he liked.”
After changing jobs numerous times, from waiting tables to being a mason, and restaurant management to running a crab boat (which is the one that stuck with him), James came to the conclusion you should “set your goals, and don’t quit until you obtain them.”
After so many career changes, James now sees the value of picking one thing and following through to the end. These days, he runs his own part time crabbing business, “James Got Crabs,” and has worked full time at APG for 22 years, in the vehicle maintenance, project management, and technology management fields.
James remembers his time at HCC fondly, saying that “Harford was the base for my whole learning experience,” and encourages students to use their time here to the fullest to get the most out of it, noting the high quality of classrooms and up-to-date technology.
On a final word, James said, “Use your time here wisely, because it’s not the base for your education, but your careers too.” Wise words from a graduate who went on to make a unique name for himself and enjoyed his time here enough to come back 18 years later to Reconnect with Harford.