Finding your path

When you’re in high school, selecting a career and finding a college can be monumental decisions. Some students know exactly what they want to do, while others struggle with the decision and might change their minds several times.

When you’re in high school, selecting a career and finding a college can be monumental decisions. Some students know exactly what they want to do, while others struggle with the decision and might change their minds several times.

For Hattie Sandberg of Pottstown, the choice wasn’t difficult at all. She knew she wanted to be a photographer since tenth grade. However, her parents wanted her to explore some options to confirm her decision. They encouraged her to go Montgomery County Community College since it was close to home and not expensive.

“I was home schooled (online) for nine years, went to a performing arts school for two years and then went to Owen J. Roberts High School for two years, graduating in 2015 when I was 17,” Sandberg explained. “By going to Montco, I was able to work two part-time jobs, one with a wedding photographer, so I was working in the field.”

Through PTK, I got to do a lot of events, like speak at an open house on a student panel, participate in open mic night at West Campus and volunteer with different fundraisers.

Her photography job with Mike Morby of Pottstown allowed her to use the skills she learned in her art and photography classes and to test the waters to see if the career was the right fit.

On campus, she excelled at her classes, and she was inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa National Honor Society, where she served as vice president.

“Through PTK, I got to do a lot of events, like speak at an open house on a student panel, participate in open mic night at West Campus and volunteer with different fundraisers,” she said. She had the opportunity to attend PTK’s national conference in Nashville, Tenn.

As a part of PTK’s Honors in Action program, she worked on research projects each year. The first research project involved raising awareness of and educating people about genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. She, along with other PTK members, shared their findings during the College’s annual Earth Day Celebration in April and at the Sustainability and Innovation Hub, located at 140 College Drive in Pottstown.

This year’s project, she said, examined how technology influences interaction with people and relationships, particularly with teenagers. Both projects, as well as her classes, gave her the opportunity to expand her knowledge in different areas while meeting and working with other students.

“There is definitely a sense of community here, especially in my art classes, where we cheer each other on,” she said. “Everyone is very friendly. The professors, like Patrick Winston, help you to improve to achieve the next level.”

Her education at MCCC, combined with her work experience, confirmed her career choice. In fall 2017, Sandberg will be transferring to Lycoming College to complete her bachelor’s degree in Studio Art with a concentration in Photography.

“My goal is to have my own business as a wedding photographer with my own style,” she said.

Explore our Fine Arts program

From pottery to digital design, the Fine Arts program offers the creative outlet you're looking for.