Category Archives: Local Resources

Real Estate Business Owner – Good Careers without a Degree

Lisa Turner-Palmaffy is the owner of a real estate company called HomeQuest Realty located in Peekskill, New York.  Lisa didn’t particularly like high school although she was a great athlete and especially good at sports, which helped her stay in school.  After graduation, Lisa had one attempt at college, dropping out after two weeks, because she was just not good in classes.

Inspiration From Her Parents

Lisa’s father was a carpenter who built houses and her mother was a nurse.  Her mother also invested in real estate, Lisa rented houses from her, fixed them up and her mother sold them.  By observing her parents, she saw the the possibility of doing something she loved.  Ten years before she started her dream career, she went to nursing school and worked in that profession 1994 to 2004, even though she was not particularly fond of nursing.

Took a Big Risk for a Dream Career

With two of her four children now in her household, Lisa was finally able to leave nursing and work full time in real estate in 2004.  She interviewed with a large company  but decided because of the expense of the fees and the required time commitment, a smaller company was the way to go.  Almost immediately, she went to a local company where she taught herself by trial and error.  Her broker closed her office in 2005 and Lisa decided to take a risk to open her own real estate company called “HomeQuest Realty”.

Hard Work Pays Off

Because of her hard work, she was noticed by a developer who gave her reign over his subdivision and that was the beginning of her success.  Lisa attributes her success to her keen listening and resourcefulness.  She loves to connect the buyer to the right house!  Lisa created a great job with no college degree.


-  Don’t be afraid to work hard

-  Be honest, treat people like you want to be treated-

-   Take risks, they pay off

J. P. Morgan Chase – Good Careers without a Degree

J. P. Chase Morgan banks are located in over 250 locations in Westchester, NY.  There are many possibilities for good careers without a degree.  One Sales and Service Associate revealed that  she has been with the bank for over twenty-seven years and without a college degree, held many different positions.   Among these were Teller, Customer Service, Head Teller, Manager and Sales Service Associate.  The criteria for an entry level position as Teller is six months experience as cashier, which you can get at a large retail store.  You can get this experience during the week-ends and summers before graduating from high school.

Follow-up After Applying on the Internet

Click on and click on “Careers”to apply on the internet.   After you have filled out the application and entered it, be sure to make a follow-up call to the Recruiter to see if they received it.  This way you will come to their attention and you will also know if your application has been received.

Interview Skills Listed on Degrees of Success Website

You can read about interview skills on  Click on          ”7 Step Interview” on the right.  Take the time to make notes  and practice with a friend.  Follow the suggested interview format.

Dress  for a Good Impression

Get dressed up for your interview!  If you don’t have the proper clothing, you can always go to a thrift store.  Never be too proud to do so.  There is beautiful clothing at a reasonable price and some of it has never been worn.  Ask the owner for advice on what looks good for an interview.  A suit with a simple blouse for the women and a suit and tie for the men is appropriate.


- Apply on the Internet, but follow-up with a phone call to the Recruiter

- Learn interview skills on

- Dress to Impress

Billy’s Of Mount Kisco – No College Degree Necessary

As a teenager, Billy had an interest in fast cars and worked as an auto mechanic for a heating oil company.  About a year out of high school the salon atmosphere caught his interest.  When he walked into a salon, he saw it was full of nicely dressed people working to popular music.  The glamour of the industry definitely played a large part in attracting him to the hair business.  It was a time of change in the hair industry and cutting edge techniques were surfacing.  Men were also starting to gain a more prevalent role in both working and attending salons.  Once Billy got involved, he realized his hands were much happier in a head of hair than underneath a car!  Billy attended Cosmetology School and graduated.  He got a job in a Westchester salon, assisting and began getting hands-on knowledge.    When he was not working on live people, he was setting wigs for practice.

Billy Opens Hair Salon at Age 23

When he was only 23 years old, Billy decided to open his own salon.  He had worked for someone else for several years and felt that he had learned enough so that he could be successful building his own clientele base.  He started with one person, himself!  He now has over 25 employees.  He has been in the business for 31 years and has a very prestigious shop in Mt. Kisco, NY.

Billy Says “Good Attitude” Important

Billy says, “I encounter new obstacles every day.  Overcoming then helps me to grow as a person, to the point where big obstacles feel fairly routine.   I am successful because I have had the willingness to learn and evolve.   Hairdressing is a career that involves constant building of  skills and adapting to new techniques that allow you to keep pace with the changing styles.  A good attitude is key because you are working with people all day.”

Billy Has Hands-on Approach to Training

Billy has many positions in his hair salon which include starting positions where Billy takes a hands-on approach to making sure His employees are learning what they are supposed to learn.  Billy is down to earth and easy to talk to.  Positions include:  Receptionist, Hair Cutter, Hair Washer, Colorists.  You can view Billy’s website at


- Find a job where your talents fit

- Come to the career with an attitude for learning & flexibility

- Always have a great attitude

Why Work For Starbucks?

Why work for Starbucks?  For starters,  the coffee is delicious and when you work there you actually get a free pound of coffee each week.  Nice perk, but that’s only the beginning.  ”Starbucks”  has great jobs and here’s why:    It’s hip, dynamic and just plain old fun!  If you like the feeling of working with friends, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere.  An entry level position as a Barista (customer service) can give you knowledge of one of the most successful marketing companies in the world.  You will have a front row seat to see how a great business is run.  Study the systems of Starbucks organization from customer service to management.  You can have careers without college at Starbucks.

Learn What Makes a Company Successful

Imagine starting you day, putting on your apron, getting behind that counter and learning everything there is to learn about how to run a business.  You can learn about coffee, customer service, inventory, working as a team  and on and on.    This inside knowledge can lead you to many possibilities in the workforce.  No college degree necessary but you must have worked in one of the stores for a year with good standing to apply for corporate positions.  Jobs range from hourly retail, shift supervisor, store management and positions at corporate.

Great Benefits

Great benefits which include medical after three months of employment.  Research their full benefits package on their website.

Go Directly to the Store to Interview

Get dressed up and go to the store that you want to work for.  Ask for the Manager and tell them of your interest in Starbucks.  Learn about the company online before you go in so that you sound knowledgeable.  They have careers without college.  You can get company knowledge as well as  actual job  availability by going on line to:  www. and click on their Facebook link.


- Go directly to the store you want to work for

- Study about Starbucks online

- Learn, learn, learn about how a successful worldwide business is run

Bicycle World Mt. Kisco NY Jobs, College Degree Not Necessary

Bicycle World - Jobs Available College Degree Not Necessary

In speaking with one of the owners, Ilene Marcos, at “Bicycle World” located at 7 E. Main Street in Mt. Kisco, NY, she said she promotes people for their skills and hard work, not whether or not they have a college degree.  In fact, their present manager started part-time as a high school sophmore and worked his way up the ladder in a job without college.   Obviously they are very happy with his performance!

Full-time Positions Available

They are currently looking for two positions which they plan to have filled by March 1, 2011:  1) Full-time year round qualified bicycle sales assistant with one year experience in the bike business as well as 2) Full time year round qualified front counter sales assistant.  Mrs. Marcos looks for mechanical ability, retail experience and customer service skills.  She said, “You need to be able to work with people, and that is far more important than a degree”.

Great Benefits

Full time employees are eligible for paid holidays, health insurance and a 401K pension plan.  Contact Ilene or Eric at 914 666 4044 if you are interested.

Discover Your Passion for Long Term Success

By working with a shop of this size, you will develop many skills including relationship building, inventory and money management skills.  And the job will take on an even more exciting dimension if you have a passion for road or mountain biking.  A  job without college can lead to some special aspect of your interests like designing new equipment or attire, starting a bike club, bike travel trips etc . . .  put your thinking caps on.


- Open your mind to find the gems of knowledge within the job

- Let go of whether or not your have a college degree