1987 graduate finds home at CenterPoint Energy for nearly three decades
Ann Harris, 53, graduated from Dakota County Technical College in 1987, the same year the average new home price in the U.S. was $92,000 and a gallon of gas cost 89¢. Ann majored in programs that would launch her career as an administrative assistant: Clerk Typist, Clerical Skills Specialist and Word Processing Specialist. She earned Occupational Proficiency degrees in all three programs.
“I have worked at CenterPoint Energy for almost 30 years,” Ann said, “From 1990–1994, I was a secretary in the Credit Department. From 1994–2009, I was a secretary in the IT Department. From 2009 to the present, I have served as an administrative assistant in the Damage Prevention Department.”
Three thoughts that describe you as a DCTC alumna:
- THANKFUL for the great education I received at Dakota County Technical College
- HAPPY that I made the decision to attend to school here and was able to get an education that got me a great job.
- GRATEFUL for the great instructors I had!
More about Ann…
Originally from Rosemount, Minnesota, Ann graduated from Rosemount High School, Class of 1985. She loves spending time with family, including her mother, Caroline Harris, her brother, Paul, and his wife, Loralee, her brother, John, and his wife, Michele, and her nieces and nephews, Zach, 23, Mandy, 21, and fraternal twins, McKenna and Tyler, both almost 12.
Her favorite pastimes include adult coloring and going for long walks on neighborhood and community paths. Ann resides in Apple Valley, Minnesota, and loves living there.
Ann Harris • Q & A
Why did you originally choose DCTC for your college education?
The campus was close to home, and I had heard a lot of good things about the program. I attended the high school program (Model Office) my senior year of high school and I knew this was the best choice for me to go to school after high school. Also, my mother, Caroline, worked at the college and she encouraged me to attend.
What did you like best about your programs of study?
I loved my instructors and the small class sizes—so you got to know each instructor; the instructors were always willing to help you if you were having problems with something.
Why did you choose your career path?
My mother was a secretary and that seemed like a good field to get into—the field is constantly changing with technology, etc. The job is very interesting and administrative assistants always seem to be in demand.
Learn more about Ann’s mother by reading the DCTC News story:
How has the college changed since you went to school there?
DCTC offers online classes, which weren’t offered when I was there.
What advice would you give students thinking about going to a two-year college?
Two-year colleges offer more flexibility with evening, weekend and online courses, and the tuition is very affordable.
What is your favorite memory from your time at DCTC?
I made a lot of friends while attending school out there. I remember how nice the instructors were; they cared about you and made sure you had the skills necessary to compete in the job market.
One word that best describes your experience at DCTC:
Ann Harris • 12 Answers
- Favorite sport or physical activity: I love going for long walks – enjoy watching the Vikings and Twins
- Place you would most like to visit: New York City
- The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Won the 2011 Volunteer of the Year Award at CenterPoint Energy
- Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) I would do some traveling; Hawaiian cruise 2) Share with my family 3) Donate to local charities
- Favorite TV show you’re watching now: Grey’s Anatomy
- Best movie you’ve seen lately: My favorite movie of all time is Top Gun, but the best movie I’ve seen lately is A Star is Born (2018).
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: To see my nieces and nephews be happy and to be successful in their career choices.
- Your national bird if you were your own country: I would stay with the bald eagle.
- Dream occupation: Retirement
- Person you would most like to meet: Tom Cruise
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: Learn to use all the functions on my smartphone
- Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Gun control