Graduates of CNM: Connie Wayne

She took her first college class at 55—now she has a Digital Media degree that’s led to a great job and new horizons
April 11, 2018

Connie Wayne had been in the workforce for 35 years with jobs in real estate, marketing, and finance when all of a sudden things changed. Both her mom and husband were diagnosed with cancer at the same time, forcing her to become a caregiver. After some time off, she was ready to work again but quickly realized her rèsumè needed help.

“I looked at that piece of paper and felt like it just read ‘old lady,’” she says. “It was pretty clear that I wasn’t very relevant.”

To change that, she decided to enroll in the Computer Information Systems associate degree program here at CNM. That was back in 2015. This May, she’ll be graduating with the CIS degree with a concentration in Digital Media, which focuses on everything from graphic and web design to video editing. Now she’s equipped with 21st century technology skills, which helped her land a new job implementing the digital media strategy for a large real estate firm.

“It’s been totally obvious how my time at CNM has helped,” she says. “My boss clearly told me that she would never have hired me without this degree.”

Connie is also using her new skills to run additional projects including a website and a free yoga YouTube channel with instructional videos. She started teaching yoga when her family was fighting cancer because it was a way to overcome her depression and anxiety. The YouTube channel is her way of sharing what she’s learned and helping people who might be facing similar challenges.

“I don’t want anyone to feel alone or depressed and the channel is there for them,” she says. “For me, yoga isn’t about making money. It’s about helping people.”

Reflecting on her degree, Connie says that adults who are thinking about returning to school, or like her going to school for the first time, shouldn’t be scared. As an adult with work experience, she says she came into school with life skills that helped her succeed. She knew how to budget her time, knew how to dive in and complete projects, and wasn’t afraid to speak up and ask questions.

“I don’t think adults should be intimidated to walk on campus,” she says. “As adults, we’re ready to take this experience seriously and we know exactly what we want.”Find out more about the Computer Information Systems program.