4 Tips for Better Time Management

We all have the same amount of time in a day, but it seems some people can get more accomplished than others within the same time frame. How are they doing it? What secrets do these people know that enables them to get more done?

Their secret has been revealed, and it’s better time management! When you proactively manage your time, it allows you to be more effective and get everything done. There are many benefits to having good time management practices, like less stress, more time, and achieving your goals.

Read on as we share with you our top four tips for better time management!

Organize Everything

The first step to great time management is to get organized. You need to know exactly what has to be done to make sure it all gets completed. Whether it’s schoolwork, a project at your job, or something else, create a list of everything you need to do. Writing things down in a simple to-do list is an easy way to get a full picture of all the things you have to complete. You can even organize them by category by labeling each item.

It’s also beneficial to organize the different things you will need to complete your tasks. Organize the items you need to get things done by creating folders and saving things in a system that works for you. For example, everything you need for a specific school project can be saved into one folder on your desktop. When you actually start doing the work, it will go much faster and be much easier if everything is organized and exactly where you need it.

Prioritize Tasks


Now that you have all your tasks organized, it’s time to prioritize them. When you prioritize things, you’re basically deciding which items will get completed first. The best way to do this is to complete the most important and urgent tasks first. For example, if you are working on a class assignment worth half of your final grade and due this week, this should be moved to the top of your list, because it is both important and urgent.

If something is important but not as urgent, you can decide when to get it done, such as a work project that is not due for three weeks. Some things must be completed in a specific order, so you will need to do the first steps before completing later steps. This is common with larger projects that must be broken down into smaller assignments along the way. Be sure to prioritize the steps that must be completed first so that you can stay on track.

Plan Ahead

Now that you’ve organized everything you need to do and decided what order it must be done, it’s time to plan out exactly when you will complete it all. Planning things out in advance sets you up for success because each day when you start working, you know exactly what to do. One great way to do this is by using a calendar to plan your time. To start, take your list of tasks that you created earlier, and start blocking off time on your calendar to get them done. Be sure to add in the most important and urgent items first.

As you plan ahead, be sure you have everything you need to complete the task during the time you blocked off on your calendar. For example, if you are working on a graphic design project, you will need to have things like the correct images and logos ahead of time, so that when you sit down to work, you are ready to get started. Also, be sure to plan breaks in your day between different tasks, especially ones that take longer to complete. Taking breaks will help you stay focused and give you a refreshed mind for your next task.

Create Deadlines

As you plan out your weeks ahead, be sure to give yourself a deadline to get each item finished. If you are working on a large assignment or project, break it down into smaller pieces, and create deadlines for each of those to help you move along and get each step completed. Be sure to give yourself enough time to get everything done and leave a little extra time if something takes longer than you expect.

Creating time limits to get work completed can also be helpful. If you give yourself six hours to do something, it will most likely take six hours, but if you only give yourself four hours, it will only take four hours. For those who are perfectionists, setting time limits can help prevent you from getting stuck in the endless cycle of making changes to make it more perfect.

Join Us In 2021

Time management is important to your future success. At United Career Institute, we work with each of our students on a personal level to help you balance school, work, and family. We are committed to supporting our students from the moment you first contact us to the time you graduate, and beyond.

Learn more about our career-focused healthcare training programs and start your path to a new career in 2021! Request information now to get started!

Sonya Over – Staff Highlight

United Career Institute Mt. Braddock is excited to introduce Sonya Over, our very own Financial Aid Advisor!

Sonya’s professional journey began back in 1993 when she graduated Summa Cum Laude from California University of Pennsylvania. She worked hard also to pass the CPA exam in May of 1993.

Before landing at United Career Institute, Sonya held a few different positions. She worked as a finance director with public housing for 10 years, a business manager with the local school district for five years. She was an executive director for a drug and alcohol recovery center for five years. Sonya says that her wide variety of professional experiences has nurtured her desire to see people succeed and achieve their dreams. “I spent decades working in public housing, public education, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation. This all gave me the firm belief that anybody can change their lives and, more importantly, anybody can succeed with the right attitude and a strong support system,” she said.

Sonya has been with United for a number of years in a part-time capacity. “I had worked at PIHT (now United Career Institute) as needed for several years, and I really liked the family like atmosphere and the ‘student first’ attitude during my time. There is a common and collective goal among all staff to do whatever it takes to help the students. When the full-time position opened, I realized it would be a great fit to take me into retirement.” Sonya also loves the familial atmosphere amongst staff. “Having a united front with co-workers that have quickly become family makes going to work enjoyable.” She also notes that the school’s small size gives each employee the ability to get to know each student and provide support when needed. Sonya hopes to be able to continue to work in an environment that allows her to make an impact on many people.

Sonya loves her family, and one of her proudest accomplishments is being able to say that she and her siblings are the first generation of college graduates on both sides of her family. “The work ethic instilled in all of us by our mother has allowed us to achieve success in our individual paths.” In fact, Sonya cites her mother as her motivation in life. “Although my mom is no longer with us, she was always and always will be my greatest motivation to do well and make her proud.”

In Sonya’s spare time, she enjoys reading and spending time with her cat. “Most people don’t know that, although I really love animals, cats were never my favorite. I was a dog lover. However, when my neighbor convinced me to adopt a rescue named Patti Cat, I fell in love, and she is now my special cat. I can’t imagine life without her.”

To learn more about the financial aid process or to speak to Sonya yourself, request information here!

Sedona Poliak – Student Highlight

Sedona Poliak is one of United Career Institute’s newest Medical Assisting students. After she graduated high school, Sedona got a job at a local daycare. She took a year off to save some money for her education. Sedona chose United Career Institute because of the positive feedback she heard from other students. She said, “I heard it was a very good school, and the teachers really help to make sure that you succeed.” Sedona chose medical assisting because she knows that it will help her reach her goal of becoming a registered nurse.

Her favorite part about attending United Career Institute are the instructors. She told us that it’s encouraging how much they want their students to succeed. Her favorite instructor is Kelly Clark. Sedona told us, “She makes things easier to understand and is very understanding.” Her favorite class so far has been Effective Communication. She feels that writing and giving speeches in the class has helped her gain confidence that she did not have before.

After Sedona graduates, she hopes to go back to school to become a registered nurse. Five years down the road, she hopes to be settled, working as an RN, and enjoying it!

To learn more about United Career Institute’s short term medical programs, request information here!

A Holiday Message From The Irwin Campus

The holidays are all about appreciating what you have and giving to those who have less. United Career Institute Irwin is encouraging our students and staff to give a little more this year this holiday season. 2020 has been an unpredictable year that has caused us to restructure our personal lives, businesses, and communities. As a United Career Institute family, let’s give back to our communities!

Here are some ways that you can give back to your community.

  • Organize a Food Drive – Pass out fliers with a list of recommended donation items, an “on-your-porch” pick up time, so the donators know when to drop it off, and list the local food bank/shelter where you will be delivering the donations. Ask your friends, family, and neighbors to participate with you!
  • Reconnect with an Old Friend – Sometimes, all it takes is a simple “How have you been doing?” to really brighten someone’s day.
  • Show the Fur Babies Love – Donate blankets and towels to a local animal shelter. Or even volunteer to work a shift there! They are always looking for more volunteers.
  • Donate Books – Donate your gently used books to a local library or nursing home. If they are allowing storytime, you could even stay to read one to a group!

Our Irwin campus chose to participate in a “Giving Tree” for the Westmoreland County Children’s Bureau. Students and staff are able to choose a card with a child’s requested gift, purchase the necessary items, and drop them off in the donation box. This was brought to us by one of our Medical Assisting students, Wendi Rost. Thank you, Wendi!

Here’s wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season!

Irwin Holiday Message

A Holiday Message From The Mt. Braddock Campus

We know this year has been tough on many people. The stay at home orders, the cancellation of important events, and the general stress of this year has taken a toll on almost everybody. Through all of that, United Career Institute students have persevered and remained on track with their goal of becoming medical professionals. Our students had their educational worlds turned upside down this year as they went from in-person, on-ground classes to learning in a virtual capacity. Although this came with struggles for our students, they never lost track of their goals.

While this holiday season may look different for many, one thing that has not changed is that United Career Institute is proud of its students and are wishing them a happy and healthy holiday!

As 2020 comes to a close, we are excited and hopeful about what 2021 has in store. Most of all, we are hopeful for a successful vaccine, not just for ourselves, but for our friends and families, especially those that are high risk. The hope of returning to a somewhat “normal” way of life is definitely a reason to be thankful!

At United specifically, we have many things to be excited about. We are looking forward to continuing to see our medical assisting, medical billing and coding, and practical nursing students graduate and go on to work as the essential workers that have played such a large role in fighting the COVID pandemic. We are also thrilled to be starting a second nursing class in April of 2021! Having the ability to provide the medical community with qualified nurses is something United really prides itself on.

We also can’t wait for this time next year as it brings the hope of celebrating the holidays United style. Anybody who has graduated from United knows that we celebrate BIG for the holidays around here! In addition to a trick or treat event at Halloween, we also host a large Thanksgiving feast for our students and have multiple Christmas events that include visits with Santa and door decorating. While this year has forced us to celebrate differently, we are hopeful that next year we can celebrate bigger and better than ever!

As the holidays draw nearer, the United faculty and staff want to reiterate that we are here for our students and are hopeful that 2021 will bring many good things for all.

Happy Holidays and a Happy (and healthy) New Year from all of us at United Career Institute Mt. Braddock!

To learn more about United Career Institute, request information here!

Christmas Giving: How To Give Back During the Holidays

The holidays are here, and that means Christmas music, festive cookies, and tasty food. For many, this is truly the most wonderful time of the year. But for some people who are less fortunate or going through hard times, the holidays can be a real challenge.

This presents us with an opportunity to give back to others during this time of year. Keep reading as we share some ways to help people by giving back during the holidays!

Volunteer Your Time

Giving your time by volunteering is a great way to give back to those who are less fortunate. This year has been especially hard on many people, so now is the perfect time to begin your volunteering journey. Making or serving food at your local food pantry or soup kitchen can help those suffering from food insecurity and hunger.

Volunteering to help make care packages for local families is another great way to donate your time. Nonprofit organizations and churches often prepare and send out holiday care packages, so check with those in your local community to see where you can help.

Since many nursing homes have been unable to see family most of this year due to the pandemic, it’s easy for them to feel alone during the holidays. Check with your local nursing homes to see if you are able to remotely visit people via video calls to lift their spirits during this time. For those of you who are blessed with the gift of song, singing Christmas carols can really bring joy to nursing home residents!

Contribute Food

Many people suffer from hunger and food security issues, so giving food around the holidays is a great way to help others. Gather nonperishable food items like canned goods, pasta, and rice, and take these to your local food banks, shelters, and churches that distribute or serve food to those who need it. Feel free to contact these local organizations before you donate food to see any specific items they need.

Additionally, many employers, schools, and other organizations hold food drives during the holidays to help those who cannot provide holiday meals for themselves or their families. Donating nonperishable items to these food drives can go a long way in helping support your community and those in need.

Give Toys

Donating toys to local toy drives is another common way to spread the Christmas spirit and give back during the holidays. Just think of the smile you could put on the face of a child in need by giving them a toy! Check with children’s hospitals, homeless shelters, and children’s shelters to determine if they have children there currently who will not receive anything for Christmas. Be sure to ask the children’s age, so you can get them an age-appropriate gift they will love!

In addition to donating directly, many local organizations do toy drives around the holidays, and there are also national nonprofits that donate toys to underprivileged children.

Donate Money

Another great way to spread holiday cheer is by donating money directly to organizations and nonprofits that help others. These can be local charities in your community or national groups that serve the whole country. For many nonprofits, you can donate money directly on their website. For those that do not have this option, you can call them to ask how to donate. Some national charity organizations you could donate to include:

In addition to money, you can also donate other items that those less fortunate may need, like clothing and blankets.

Be There For Others

The holidays are the perfect time to spread joy and love, showing the true meaning of Christmas to those around you. Due to the pandemic, many people will be spending Christmas alone and away from family this year. You can make a difference just by being there for others during this time. Reach out to someone who may be alone for the holidays to let them know you care.

Remember, when you give back to others, you are not only bringing joy to them but you as well. Happy Holidays from United Career Institute; we hope you all have a wonderful holiday season!

Financial Aid 101

You must make many important decisions when enrolling in career training classes, and financial aid is one of these decisions. Determining exactly how you will pay for your training and degree is a critical step to enrolling in school.

At United, we assist each and every student through the enrollment process, from the first time we speak with you, to creating your personalized financial plan, to helping you sign up for classes.

Financial Aid Process

Figuring out your financial aid can be complicated and confusing. There are so many different options, so how do you know which ones will work best for you? This is why we are here for our students every step of the way through the financial aid process.

“Financial aid is very complex, and there is a lot of detail. If a student has no idea what kind of student aid they qualify for, that is completely fine. We will walk each student from point A to point Z,” said Parker Rhoads, Financial Aid Advisor.

After completing your admissions interview next, you will meet with a financial aid advisor for your financial aid appointment. During this meeting, we assist students by walking you through the steps to complete your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which must be submitted to qualify for federal/state grants and loans.

Next, after completing the FAFSA, we work with each student to create a personalized financial aid plan just for you. This plan will break down exactly how you will pay for school, so you can be confident about earning your degree and starting your path to an exciting new career.

“Our goal is to get our students graduated with as little debt as possible,” said Parker. “We understand that many of our students have been to college before, especially in a university setting, and it didn’t work out, so keeping their debt low is extremely important.”

Once your personalized financial aid plan is completed, you will confirm that the plan works for you and sign your financial aid documents.

At United, we have a financial aid officer here on campus, so students can pop in to ask questions or call whenever. We are a smaller school, so you don’t have to go through 10 different people to get ahold of the person you need. If a student has a question, all you need to do is call the school and ask to speak to someone in financial aid. In addition, students get access to our loan assistance department so that they can ask questions about your loans at any time.

Types of Financial Aid*

As you go through your financial aid appointment and review your personalized financial aid plan, you will learn that there are many different types of financial aid programs available to those who qualify.

  • Federal Pell Grants: This is grant money from the federal government to help fund your education that you do not have to pay back.
  • State Grants: Some states also have grant money available to help students fund their education that does not have to be paid back.
  • Grants/Scholarships**: These include both institutional grants offered by United and third-party scholarships from other sources to help pay for your education. We encourage students to research and apply for scholarships.
  • Student Loans: These are loans from the federal government or third-party providers that students take out to help pay for their education. Students are not required to make payments for their loans while they are attending school; however, we highly encourage them to make some cash payments to reduce their total amount of debt.
  • PLUS Loans: These loans are available for parents to take out to help pay for their student’s education. Parents must qualify for this type of loan.
  • GI Bill®^: For those who have served, you can use your veteran’s tuition benefits to help pay for your education.
  • Employer Tuition Reimbursement: This is for students who work for a company that offers tuition reimbursement to help pay for their employee’s education.
  • Cash Payments: Cash payments are what students make toward their own education, so they do not have to take out as many loans.
  • 529 Plan: This is a separate savings account for educational purposes that parents can set up for their children.

Your financial aid advisor will help you determine which specific types of financial aid you qualify for to help pay for your education during your financial aid appointment.

Completing the FAFSA

Filling out the FAFSA is critical to qualifying for financial aid. The information provided in this application will determine what types of financial aid and how much you qualify for. It’s important to make sure the information provided is accurate and up to date. Once your FAFSA is submitted, you will receive an Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) number, which the federal government looks at when you apply for financial aid.

At United, we assist our students by helping them fill out their FAFSA or updating a previous FAFSA that may be incomplete. The FAFSA must be completed each year that a student plans to attend school.

“We are here to walk students through it, every step of the way,” said Parker. For anyone considering going to school, Parker says to “complete your FAFSA as soon as possible. Get in touch with our financial aid department, and we can walk you through the process, step by step.”

Join Us At United

At United, we are career-driven. We want to train students quickly so that you can begin your new career faster. “We provide our students a premium educational experience with face-to-face and personal interaction,” said Parker.

Our career-focused programs and supportive learning environment can help you start your career with the knowledge, skills, and experience to succeed. Explore our healthcare training programs and request information to get started today!

*For those who qualify.

**For those who qualify. See catalog for detailed eligibility requirements.

^ GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.

Romona Thompson – Graduate Highlight

United Career Institute Mount Braddock is thrilled to introduce you to one of our graduates, Romona Thompson. Romona graduated from our Practical Nursing program and is now working in a nursing center while she works on becoming a registered nurse.

Romona came to United straight from Albert Gallatin high school. She chose United because it seemed like a great opportunity when she was looking for schools. Romona especially loved the hands-on classes that she had heard so much about. United offers students small classes, which not only gives students plenty of hands-on time, but also allows them one on one time with instructors.

Romona has always wanted to be a nurse, so when she was nearing the end of her high school career, she started to look for short-term, hands-on programs. She found what she was looking for at United Career Institute.

In addition to having short term programs, Romona also liked that United helped her through the financial process*. A part of United’s enrollment process is sitting down with a financial aid advisor so that they can help walk you through the financial side of going to school. This includes filling out your FAFSA and answering any questions you may have.

Romona’s favorite part of attending United Career Institute was the hands-on training she received. She also LOVED the annual holiday celebrations, such as room decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving dinner, and Christmas door decorating!

Romona loved all the instructors she had while attending United’s Practical Nursing program, but two that stood out to her were Amy and Amanda. She said they both had major impacts on her. Her favorite classes while in school were her lab classes because they were a change from normal lecture.

In five years, Romona hopes to be a registered nurse and living in her own house, but for now, is enjoying her time working at Cherry Tree Nursing Center.

When asked if she would refer a friend to United, Romona said she absolutely would because it provides a great experience in the chosen field of study.

If your story sounds like Romona’s and you want to learn more about United Career Institute, request information here!

 

*Financial aid for those who qualify.

Thankful for Our Students in 2020

At United Career Institute, we strive to help each and every student reach their career goals. By providing continuous student support from the day you first contact us, all the way through graduation, and beyond, we work hard to help you start a fulfilling, successful career.

With healthcare training programs in essential areas like Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Billing and Coding, we can get you on the fast track to an exciting new career.

For us here at United, it’s an honor to train students in these essential healthcare areas, providing the education, skills, experience, and certification preparation to make a real impact in the local community.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, we’re sharing what we are most thankful for at United: our students!

Check out some of our favorite moments from this year!

Hands-On Training

While enrolled in our healthcare training programs, students experience hands-on training to learn real skills they will use on the job in their healthcare careers. Check out these United students as they practice real-life medical skills in their healthcare classes!

Qualified Professionals

Congratulations to all our students who have worked hard to complete their classes, earn professional certifications, pass their nursing boards, and get hired! Check out some of these amazing students featured in our short video!

Student Experience

We love providing students with a supportive and positive learning environment while they train for future healthcare careers! Check out some of the fun our students are having in our short video!

Join Us Today

Are you ready to start a new career as an essential healthcare worker? With fast-track programs, small classes, hands-on training, and student support, United Career Institute may be the perfect choice for you. Explore our programs and request information today to get started!

Victoria Moore – Student Highlight

United Career Institute is thrilled to introduce you to our November Student of the Month, Victoria Moore!

Victoria came to United from high school, where she was involved in many extracurricular activities. “I was involved in a handful of activities such as Marching Band, Medical Interest Club (MICSADD), Interact Club, and my school’s student committee (R.O.A.R.),” Victoria said. Victoria’s love for being hands-on is part of the reason she chose to attend United Career Institute in the first place. She said, “I chose United because of the opportunities it presented me. I am able to receive hands-on learning in an accelerated environment that offers the support I need for success.”

Victoria chose to enroll in United’s Medical Assisting program because she has long term plans for a career in the medical field. In addition to becoming a medical assistant, Victoria hopes to one day become a registered nurse. “I chose the MA program as a stepping stone. I am able to receive extra certifications as a phlebotomist and EKG tech. I felt like this was a good place to start my career journey,” she said. Many United students who choose to enroll in the Medical Assisting program do so for the same reason Victoria did. It is an excellent way to prepare for a more vigorous nursing program. United Career Institute also offers graduates of our Medical Assisting program a Nursing Pathway Grant to help continue their educational journey into nursing.

In addition to the hands-on experience she is gaining, Victoria’s favorite part of attending United is the supportive, family-like atmosphere. “We are all a family who supports one another! We celebrate our differences, strengths, and weaknesses.” While her favorite part of attending United Career Institute is the family-like atmosphere, Victoria’s favorite class is Medical Terminology. She said, “My favorite class so far is Medical Terminology! I am very good at memorization, so I excel in that class.”

Victoria has big dreams of becoming a nurse and she also knows which type of environment she would like to one day work in! “In five years, I want to have, or start, my RN. I would like to have a secure job before I settle down. I would love to work in a pediatric setting, like a doctor’s office,” she said.

Victoria is enjoying her experience at United so much that she would even refer friends here! “I feel like this school has it all. I would say that no other school will make you as prepared to achieve your dreams like United.”

If your story sounds similar to Victoria’s or if you have big dreams of a career in the medical field, request information here!