Littig: JWCC helped establish long career at Dot Foods
Mount Sterling, Ill. — In 1994, when Aaron Littig finished high school, all he wanted to do was keep playing basketball.
“At that point in time, I wouldn’t say that academics or education was a big focus in my life,” he said.
He found a home at John Wood Community College.
“It’s not like I was wowed by the campus facilities (old campus at 48th and Maine), Littig said. “You were wowed by what it felt like in there.”
What sticks with the Bluffs Illinois native is not only the lessons he learned in the classroom, but from his head basketball coach Mike Elbe.
“(Elbe) He’s grabbing kids that are 18-19 years old, that don’t really have an idea of what life is going to be like,” Littig explained. “Elbe taught you how to act as a young man. Here’s what you need to do to be successful.”
Immediately after graduation, Littig took a job at Dot Foods in the warehouse. And he has been there for 26 years.
“When I got to Dot Foods, it’s like John Wood in terms of what it feels like to be involved with another organization that really cares about people, nurtures people, and wants them to succeed. Even working in the warehouse, I felt that.”
Littig took a few years off from school then went to Quincy University to earn a bachelor’s degree while working at Dot.
After his stint in the warehouse, Littig has spent time in marketing, sales, and customer service. Now he serves as a corporate recruiter. He attributes a lot of his growth professionally to his time at John Wood.
“There was a moment in my second year, when we (Trailblazer basketball) weren’t playing well, and I had taken on more of a leadership role. You take these challenges head on … not shy away from them. You grow up and say, ‘Here’s my expectations and here’s how I’m going to meet them.’”
Experiences from JWCC has also impacted Littig in his most important job … parenting two children.
“It’s (JWCC) all very family oriented in terms of values and how you treat people,” Littig says. “Everyone matters. That kind of atmosphere. That changes who you are as a person. And it helps me realize I want to be like that for my kids. I want to inspire them.”
His time at John Wood Community College will be with him forever.
“It helped me figure out that there’s a way to go about things and be respectful. You have to care about people and build relationships. Just keep working towards something even if you don’t know what it is. All these different people that were so involved … I really felt cared about while I was there.”
Do you have a John Wood story to tell? Join us in celebrating John Wood Community Colleges 50 years of existence! Join the Blazer network at www.jwccfoundation.org/50years.
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