It’s Never Too Late to Chase Your Dream - Chris Chong President, Chong Enterprise

11/17/2012

Who says you have to go to college right after high school? I’m living proof that you can go to college when you’re ready to go – and find success on your own terms.

When I graduated high school, my family urged me to go straight to college, but I just wasn’t ready to go. I managed to finish a year, but I failed a class and dropped out. I found a job to help pay the bills, but it wasn’t what I wanted to do as a career.

After about 3 years, I finally found a job doing what I wanted to do – paralegal work at a law firm. After working there for over 8 years, I was finally ready to go back to school to get the degree I needed to move ahead as a paralegal.

I chose TCI because of their good paralegal program, and because they were flexible with the financial aid I needed to make college possible.

My TCI Experience – Real Legal Professionals Teaching Classes

At TCI, my instructors weren’t just college professors who taught law out of textbooks. They were legal professionals: district attorneys, prosecutors, attorneys and paralegals.

These professionals understood that with law, the book can only tell you so much. The law is always changing – no book can possibly keep up. Instead, these pros taught me about law in the real world. They’ve done this work and are still doing it. They taught me the broader aspect of how things work in the legal field. They taught me how to handle real-life situations, like how to handle an irate client. No book could ever teach me that.

Instead of telling me to remember a lot of information that will likely soon change, my instructors taught me how to do the research to find the up-to-date information I needed. They taught me valuable skills I will use throughout my career.

My instructors even gave me recommendations for jobs and have kept in touch to see how I’m doing.

My Life After Graduation – Moving Forward

I graduated in August of 2012 and moved forward in 3 different directions. First, I worked to grow my own personal business – Chong Enterprise. Second, I was hired as a full-time employee at TCI in the college prep program. Finally, I planned to continue school to get my bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies. I start at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in January. I expect to graduate in 2015.

I love working at TCI. The people here are great, and I’m able to stay in touch with my instructors and fellow students. I also enjoy working with my own clients and growing my personal business.

My Advice to Other Students: Take Your Time and Do It!

I learned the hard way that you can’t follow someone else’s agenda. My advice to students is to go to school when you want to go and when you feel you’re ready. Then you can commit to getting it done.

Take it one day at a time, and don’t get stressed. Talk to your TCI instructors – they’re there to listen and have helped me tremendously. Stay focused on your goal and don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed.

If you follow this advice, you can graduate like I did – and achieve your goals on your own terms.