All posts by Jennifer Johnston

Titan Student Success Story

Two business people shaking hands.

From SPC Student to Career Professional

Hello, my name is Jennifer Johnston and I am currently the student support specialist at the St. Petersburg College Seminole campus.

Jennifer Johnston M.Ed. Ed.S., Student Support Specialist at St. Petersburg College Seminole Campus

I thought it would be an important piece to share my “student success story,” most importantly, one that started here at St. Petersburg College. In fall 2011, I began my degree as an early admissions student. I graduated from Seminole High School in 2012 while I simultaneously completed my first year of college. As a Presidential Scholar, I finished my Associate’s degree at the Seminole campus at no cost to me.

Thereafter, I transferred to the University of South Florida and graduated in 2016 with a B.S. degree in Secondary Social Science Education. Working with students, I soon came to realize that I enjoyed helping my students navigate through decision-making more than I liked teaching them civics and economics, so I continued my education at the University of Florida.

Flashing forward to May 2019, I received a Master’s degree in Education as well as an Education Specialist degree in Mental Health and School Counseling. In addition to my counseling program’s coursework, I was able to teach human growth and development to undergraduate students, enriching my life as well as the 250 students I taught from 2017 to 2019.

So I bet you’re wondering, why did I keep going? How did I figure out what I wanted to do? Quite frankly, there were nights studying, working, and lesson planning when I wondered myself. But I promise you, every single sleepless night was worth it.

At SPC, I had faculty and advisors that believed in me and inspired me daily to channel my strengths, and more importantly, to persevere. I not only get to do what I love, but I also get to learn along with staff and students who have the same drive and passion as me.

As I look back on where my journey began, I am astonished at how far I have come, and all of the people who had faith in me to live out my goals and dreams.

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”   – Robert Frost (1916)

How to be as productive as possible in 2020

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We live in a world where convenience is instant, practically everything can be done with the use of a computer, and efficiency in the workplace has peaked. Yet, we still seem to hit roadblocks throughout the workday that slow and even halt our progress. Here are some tips to help you be more productive in 2020, not just in our careers, but in our studies and our personal lives.

Be in the moment

I hear this time and time again from friends, family, and even coworkers. A distracted person is not someone we want to spend time with. Taking a few minutes to focus on the conversation, experience, or meeting. It will also allow you to fully remember something.

Ask for help when you need it

No one expects you to be an expert on everything. Reaching out to others shows that you want to learn more, you aren’t afraid to advocate for yourself, and your pride doesn’t get in the way of your work. It will allow others to know they can come to you when they need help, too.

Say what you mean

Communication is one of the easiest things to do, yet, with the use of technology, it can be increasingly difficult. With virtual forms of communication, it is impossible to read sarcasm or tone. If you feel the lines of communication are strained, make it a priority to have a phone call or in-person conversation.

Strive for excellence

Why would you want to be anything but great? Even if you don’t hit all of your goals, having a to-do list and staying on top of your daily tasks will keep you in a good workflow. As an added bonus, you will be a good influence and role model to others around you!

Five work habits to ditch immediately

Man in denim shirt clutching his head and looking frustrated.

Having a job is hard enough as it is, so why make it any harder? Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your job by kicking those bad habits to the curb!

Being uncooperative

It may be easy to just sit back and relax, but at the end of the day, the job needs to be done. It won’t be long before your hard work gets noticed, so keep up the good work!

Having a messy work environment

You might be able to thrive in chaos, but workplaces thrive in an organized environment. Having a tidy desk is a professional must.


Chances are if you do complain, it will get back to management and spread like wildfire around the workplace. Instead, try writing down your complaints to vent or have a constructive conversation with your employer about things that you want to help improve.

Working when you’re sick

Do NOT share the love! Your coworkers do not want to catch your illness; calling out sick is your best bet. You will recover faster by staying at home and recuperating, and in the long- term, be more productive than if you had gone in.

Skipping meals and breaks

People are proven to work more effectively if they take their breaks, so do your part! Be sure to take self-care into consideration, especially on a long shift; go for a walk, grab a snack, or even a take short nap if you are able to.