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Navy veteran sails into new design career

Shontel FeaginsNavy veteran Shontel Feagins spent the first half of her career as an executive assistant in the Navy. “I was proud to serve my country and be a role model for my girls,” she said. “I especially loved going places that I never thought I’d go.”

While still in the service, Feagins, the married mother of three, began pursuing her degree in interior design, first at a for-profit school, then at Tidewater Community College. “I came to TCC because it was a true place of learning. The attitude was ‘How can I help you,’ and that was refreshing,” Feagins said.

She will graduate Dec. 18 with an Associate of Applied Science in Interior Design. She plans to continue at the college to complete a liberal arts degree with plans to transfer to Old Dominion University (ODU) in fall 2015.

Passionate about the technical side of design, Feagins recently completed an internship with Design Inn V Hospitality, Inc., where she honed her Autodesk Revit software design skills working on hotels projects here and across the nation. “After my first Revit class, I just fell for it,” she said. “I love being able to paint a picture to show clients what a space will look like before anything has happened. It’s very technical work, but when done right, it looks easy.

“I really hate to leave TCC and I want to bring my professors and classmates with me to ODU. Everybody is for you here, and we have a lot of camaraderie going.”

While at TCC, Feagins worked in the Veterans Affairs office, helping others navigate benefits for education. She said, “The GI Bill is an excellent program. It enables you to go to school and concentrate on your studies and pursue a career that may be completely different than the one you did while in the service.”

Feagins also served as vice president of the Student Veterans Association and was an active member of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year colleges.

At home, Feagins enjoys spending time with husband, Edgar, a Navy senior chief, and daughters, Kimberly, Erika and Jada. Much of her free time is spent drawing and doing crafts with her girls and practicing her Revit skills.

“I’m ready for what’s next. I found my passion in design and really can’t wait to land a job with a large firm. That’s my dream, and TCC has made it possible to get there,” she said.

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