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Macomb provided “big-school education so close to home”

Raquel ThibaultThe reality of working for one of Detroit’s highest-profile companies hit Raquel Thibault when she found herself in an elevator with Dan Gilbert, the billionaire founder of the company.

“I’m doing things I never thought I’d get paid for,” said Thibault, a Macomb Community College and Oakland University graduate who works as a background specialist for Quicken Loans.

Thibault, who’s from Utica, said her education has prepared her tremendously for this role researching new job candidates for the company. She saw many of her peers go away to college only to return after a semester or two, but she was able to avoid that pothole by getting her associate degree in general studies at Macomb and then completing a bachelor’s in communication with Oakland through Macomb’s University Center in Clinton Township. She said online classes allowed her to maintain balance by working during her lunch breaks as a Quicken intern. She graduated with no debt and started full-time work that month.

“It’s nice to be able to get that big-school education so close to home,” Thibault said. “Going to Macomb is a way to cut down the cost of college a lot.”

Thibault changed majors “probably six to eight times” while at Macomb and encouraged current students to seek out guidance on campus to help navigate their options.

“Make as many connections as you can,” Thibault said. “Have your future in mind – every step you take is going to lead to something.”