While in high school, United Career Institute Medical Assisting student Nikki Feltes had an idea she may want to pursue a career in healthcare, but didn’t see herself going to a four year college. During her time at Latrobe Area High School, she took advantage of a program available to students through the Eastern Westmoreland Career Technology Center where they could split HS studies with a health occupation program. During that time, Nikki began to see herself making healthcare a career, so when she wasn’t studying for school, she was working part-time at a nursing home. Upon graduation in June 2020, Nikki discovered United Career Institute in Irwin and thought it might be a perfect avenue to continue her healthcare aspirations. After meeting with the admissions team, her decision was made.
When we asked Nikki why she chose the United Career Institute Irwin campus, she said, “I thought it would be a fun and interesting school. Now that I have begun the program, boy was I right!” She has enjoyed learning new things pertaining to the medical field and not only going to class with other high school students in the same position as her, but other adult learners too. Her ultimate motivation for choosing UCI’s Medical Assisting program was sparked by her already having exposure to it from her time at EWCTC. She learned a lot about what medical assistants do from her Health Occupations program, and just knew that it would be something she’d be good at. She feels she’ll always enjoy working in a healthcare setting and hopefully make a difference in people’s lives.
The Medical Assisting program has many engaging and hands-on classes, but we had to ask Nikki what her favorite class has been so far, and she didn’t hesitate to answer; Anatomy & Physiology. “I love learning about the human body and diseases,” said Nikki. We also had to ask Nikki who her favorite instructor has been to this point, and the answer was immediate again; Kelly Clark. Nikki added, “She is so nice and laid back. I’ve always felt like I could tell her anything.” That reaction to Kelly Clark’s teaching is not uncommon. So it came as no surprise that Nikki felt the same way. It’s always good to hear positive feedback like this from our students, and Nikki’s is no exception.
Looking into the future, we asked her what she sees her life like after she graduates. Nikki hopes to be a medical assistant in either a children’s hospital or at a doctor’s office. She has a true passion for caring for children. She will be looking to do her externship in pediatrics locally to quell her passion for working with kids. Five years from now, she hopes to still be working as a medical assistant, and she wants to start a family eventually. Nikki can see herself married, happy in her career, and hopefully buying and moving into a new house.
If your story sounds like Nikki’s, request information here!
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!
We’d like for you to take a minute and meet one of our great employees at United Career Institute Irwin campus. Kelly Clark is a Financial Aid Advisor for United Career Institute. She has her associate degree in clinical administration/medical assisting. She started off working at a urology clinic in Philadelphia and then moved back to the Pittsburgh area and worked in an OB-GYN office. Seven years later she went to California University of Pennsylvania and received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Secondary English Education. After a few years of substitute teaching, Kelly moved into the banking field. She worked in banking for 14 years and then started her career with United Career Institute in 2019.
Kelly knew after interviewing with Arnold, the Campus President, that she wanted to be a part of the United Career Institute team. Kelly said, “He was easy to talk to and very funny. I felt comfortable and knew that we would work well together.”
Kelly says one of her favorite things about working for United Career Institute is seeing the smiles on students faces after their financial aid appointment. Kelly likes the feeling of helping students get one step closer to reaching their educational goals. “Helping others motivates me because I want to see changes in the student’s lives so they can reach their goals.”
Kelly is most proud of her five children! She is excited to see her children develop positive morals and values. They all focus on their academics first and they love the activities they choose to participate in. She is enjoying watching them grow into caring and respectable young adults.
Kelly’s long term career goals are to get her master’s degree. “I would like to pursue a master’s degree in higher education and continue working in a career at United that best fits that education.”
Something interesting that most people don’t know about Kelly is that she has always wanted to be a wedding planner. She has been in eleven weddings!
Outside of work, you can catch her at her oldest daughter’s many twirling competitions, her second daughter’s gymnastic meets, watching her third daughter cheer at football and basketball games, her son’s wrestling matches, and her youngest son’s travel baseball games. Go Vipers! She also loves going to Penguin hockey games with her husband Todd.