- High School: Liverpool, Class of 2015
- Major: Business Administration
Paul Ososkalo seemed to have a handle on what he wanted to do with his life. During his junior and senior years at Liverpool High School he attended BOCES with the intention of going into a skilled trade. Ososkalo’s parents had immigrated to the United States from the former Soviet Union in 1990. The thought of a career in a skilled trade seemed like more than he could ever dream of. Ososkalo passed the exam to become an electrician but the wait for a union position was going to be a long one with no guarantees. That’s when OCC happened. “My life could have been completely different if I didn’t come to OCC. I was a B-, C+ student in high school. When I came to OCC there was this capacity unlocked inside me that I didn’t know I had. That’s when everything happened. I’m so thankful.”
Ososkalo arrived on campus in the fall of 2015 and discovered his new career goal quickly. “My first Accounting professor, Joseph Adamo helped me find the passion inside me for accounting. Ever since then I knew I wanted to do accounting.” His success in Accounting gave him the confidence to do well in other classes. Ososkalo went from an average student to a high achieving one and was inducted into international honor society Phi Theta Kappa.
During his sophomore year Ososkalo researched job opportunities, sent out resumes but struggled to even get a reply from potential employers. Then he decided to visit the Career Services office in Coulter Library. “They helped me tremendously. I sat down with (Career Services Coordinator) Michele Carey. She was great. She tore through my whole resume, compiled everything in a way that made everything stand out. I had no idea my resume was that lacking!”
During his visit at the Career Center Ososkalo also learned about Purple Briefcase, OCC’s online career portal and job board. It’s where students go to learn more about jobs, internships and volunteer opportunities. He visited the site and saw a posting for a paid internship as a loan processor with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). “I used the resume she had helped me with and applied right away. The following week I got a call back. More than 200 people had applied for this position. I was one of 25 chosen for an interview. I was one of two hired.”
Ososkalo started a paid internship 20 hours a week as a Loan Processor with the USDA’s Single Family Housing program. He helped people with low to moderate incomes who couldn’t qualify for loans through banks acquire homes in rural areas. “I like this internship because I’m helping people and I’m immersed in the finance industry. I’m so thankful I found this job.”
Ososkalo’s final semester as an OCC student was a busy one. Besides his paid internship he also took six classes and led worship at his church, Community Tabernacle on West Genesee Street in Syracuse. In the fall he’ll transfer to SUNY Oswego where he will pursue a bachelor’s in Accounting, then enter their Master of Business Administration program. “I’m tremendously fortunate. One of the greatest motivations in my life is that God has a plan and a destiny for me. I had a good plan but God had a perfect plan. I’m so thankful, I’m blessed.”
Students interested in improving their resumes and learning more about employment and volunteer opportunities can do so by contacting Career Services at (315) 498-2585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.