Wendi Rost – Student Highlight

“I wanted to go for Medical Assisting when I was just out of high school. However, I was living with my fiancé at the time and could not afford the class. When I decided to go back and went for coding, I didn’t have faith in my skills or brains to even think I could do the assisting part because of the clinicals. I was and still am terrified of that part. However I thought it’s now or never and if I don’t try, I won’t know.” We would like to introduce Wendi Rost, a medical assisting student attending our Irwin campus.Wendi Rose - Student Highlight

Before enrolling at United in January, Wendi was a stay at home mom. She had previously attended other post secondary schools for Esthetics and Medical Billing and Coding. She had some great experiences, but one thing she did not like about Medical Billing and Coding was that a majority of her classes were online. Wendi chose the United Career Institute because of the Irwin location and its hands-on training. “I’m old school. I like a classroom.”

When asked what her favorite part of going to school at United Career Institute is, Wendi responded by saying, “Oh I absolutely love going to United Career. Currently, we are smaller, but the students are very mature for their ages. I am so happy to be around people who take this seriously and know when to have fun. We are like a family, instructors, and all. We laugh, cry, and learn without pressure.”

Wendi’s favorite class so far has been Medical Terminology. She feels like she is learning to talk professionally in the medical field. When asked who her favorite instructor is, Wendi replied, “Kelly, Erin, and Arnold are all my favorites so far. I can’t say that there is an absolute favorite. They all have different teaching styles. However they are always there to talk to, or ask for help if you’re not understanding or to give you a pep talk if you’re feeling overwhelmed.”

After graduating from the Medical Assisting program, Wendi has a few different directions in medical field that she may want to pursue. “I have three fields that interest me, and that’s because I like helping people with their problems or watching them succeed.  Dermatology, since my field of esthetics has been a passion. Gynecology because ever since I was young, I always wanted to be a female doctor since, at the time there weren’t many, and I personally prefer a female.  Finally, Bariatric. This is one I like to see the results and hopefully get motivation for myself.”

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

We’re Here for You Through COVID-19

As we all try to adjust to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that life has changed dramatically over the last few weeks. From homeschooling our children, to having our movements restricted, to the heroes who are on the front lines fighting this virus, we have all been affected.

At United Career Institute, we want our students, our community, and our future students to know, we are here for you and will support you in any way we can. We are all in this fight together, and we will get through it together.

Supporting United Students

We think of ourselves more as a family, and not just a school. Even through this difficult time, we are still fully committed to our purpose, which is to empower change by creating opportunity.

We are committed to serving and supporting our family of students through the COVID-19 pandemic. To continue educating and training our students for rewarding, successful careers, we are now providing online remote instruction for all students.

Via distance learning, students can continue to develop their skills and gain valuable knowledge that will set them up for success in their future careers. While students cannot physically attend classes or be on-campus, all instructors are fully available to assist and support students in any way possible.

For active students, in good academic standing, who are unable to begin or complete an externship due to COVID-19, United has created an Interim Leave of Absence Policy. In addition, we have revised the current Incomplete Policy to further support students who are unable to sit for their certification exams during this time. Please visit the COVID-19 Information page for more information and guidance on these policies.

Supporting the Community

In addition to supporting our students through the COVID-19 pandemic, we are highly invested in the local healthcare community, and are dedicated to serving it as best we can by providing the workforce with trained medical professionals.

With healthcare programs including Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration, United – Fayette County graduates are on the front lines battling the virus by caring for sick patients and providing essential support to hospitals and doctor’s offices.

We pledge to support our local healthcare teams and community members by continuing to educate and train essential healthcare workers who are desperately needed during this time.

Supporting Future Students

We know that many people and families have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the mandatory restrictions on non-essential businesses. Due to these restrictions, many people have lost their jobs or been laid off, with millions of people around the country who have already applied for unemployment benefits.

As a school with the purpose of empowering change by creating opportunity, we know that we have a responsibility to help people get retrained and back to work. With this in mind, we have added virtual campus visits as an alternative to touring the campus in person. We hope this will allow those who have been affected to start their path to a more secure career, by training for valuable healthcare jobs.

In addition, high schoolers who are uncertain about what to do next due to COVID-19, are encouraged to explore our career training programs, which can lead to successful healthcare careers.

To learn more about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Office Administration programs, contact us today to schedule a remote admissions meeting.

How to Create SMART Career Goals

We all have goals that we want to accomplish in life and in our careers. Maybe you aren’t fulfilled in your current job and want a more rewarding career or maybe your goal is to be the first person in your family to graduate from a training program.

Regardless of what you want to achieve, setting SMART career goals can get you there! The most effective goals follow these five guidelines: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.

Using these criteria to create your SMART career goals gives you a higher chance of success. How exactly do you create SMART career goals? Keep reading as we share with you exactly how!

Specific

First, SMART career goals must be specific, so that you know exactly what to do in order to reach them. Here is a great example of a specific goal: I want to graduate from a Medical Assisting program in Westmoreland County within 18 months in order to begin a more rewarding career. This is a specific goal because it answers the following questions:

Now that you have answered these questions and created a specific goal, you know exactly what to do to achieve the goal.

Measurable

Next, you need to make sure your SMART career goals are measurable. Creating measurable goals ensures that you can track the progress you make toward your goals. As you take steps to reach your goals, you will be able to tell if you’re on track to meet them or if there is something you need to change.

Separating your larger goal into smaller chunks is the best way to do this. With the goal of completing a medical assisting program to start a more rewarding career, you could create milestones along the way for each class that is part of the program. This way, you are one step closer to your goal for each class you complete.

Attainable

As you create your SMART career goals, it’s essential to create ones that are attainable, because it’s hard to stay motivated to work toward a goal that’s not actually achievable. An example of an unattainable goal would be going to Mars next month. While this sounds like a great goal, it’s not actually attainable, because the technology to go to Mars doesn’t yet exist. Setting super high goals can seem like a good idea, but it can actually be demotivating, because you know you can’t accomplish them anyway.

In our medical assisting goal example, some things you should consider to ensure the goal is attainable for you is if can you commit the time required for the program, do you have the support system needed, and do you have any prerequisites that are required.

Relevant

The next thing you must do is ensure your SMART career goals are relevant to you. Here are some questions you should ask about each specific goal: Is this something you really want to achieve? Do you care enough to put in the work? Does this goal align with your other goals? Does this goal fit into your long-term plans?

For example, our medical assisting goal is relevant because it will help reach your dream of starting a more rewarding career. By achieving this goal, you’re working toward a long-term goal of being in a career that brings you more meaning and fulfillment.

Timely

Last, you need to ensure that your SMART career goals are timely. Creating a timely goal means that it has a time frame that you will complete the goal within. If you create a goal with no deadline, there is no sense of urgency to work toward the goal.

Create a deadline to reach the goal, but also create smaller deadlines for the milestones along the way. For example, with our medical assisting goal, you can create a deadline for taking each class, finishing your externship, and passing certification tests.

Achieve Your Goals with United

Now that you’ve created your SMART career goals, you’re ready to achieve your professional dreams! If you want to work in healthcare, helping your community by providing excellent patient care, United Career Institute has the fast track programs to help you get there.

Learn more and request information about our Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Phlebotomy programs to get started today!

Gabriella Sotak – Student Highlight

“We work so well together and she’s such a great support system for me…a genuinely good person with a big heart!” That is how Medical Assisting student Amanda Cluss describes her classmate and friend, Gabriella Sotak. Gabriella Sotak - Student HighlightGabby was enrolled in college at CCAC when she heard about United Career Institute opening in Irwin. She wasn’t getting everything she wanted from her education so she called the school and made an appointment to come in. Immediately after speaking with Lynda in admissions, she knew this was where she was meant to be.  “Lynda was so understanding and encouraging, really made me feel like I belonged here.” There were some aspects of a larger community college Gabby liked, but most of what she saw at UCI was what she needed; smaller classes, personalized attention and tutoring, and a family atmosphere. Gabby decided that although she didn’t have aspirations of being a nurse, she definitely wanted to work in healthcare, and United Career’s Medical Assisting program provided that start. She sees herself working in a private doctor’s office someday, in general practice.

When we asked Gabby what her favorite thing about the school was, she didn’t hesitate a bit. “I love my classmates and the girls are all so helpful. They make you feel like you’re part of the family from day 1. I also love the staff! Kelly, Bianca, and Arnold are wonderful and I talk to them or Lynda about any issues or problems I might be having, educational or personal.” She loves the way Kelly teaches Med Term 1, her favorite class so far, because she explains the subject matter in detail and makes sure you understand how it applies. When asked where she wants to be in 5 years she was quick to answer. “Out of my parent’s house and into my stable career. I love my parents deeply but I’m ready to start the next chapter.”

When asked if she would recommend United to somebody else, Gaby said, “Absolutely! The whole staff there are so helpful in every way, and they truly care about me as a student, but more importantly as a person.“

To learn more about United Career Institute’s family atmosphere and fast track training, click here!

Kelly Clark – Faculty Highlight

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 Clark-Faculty Highlight

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.

Amber Berdar – Student Highlight

United Career Institute is the first post-secondary school Amber Berdar has attended. Before coming to school here, Amber had just graduated from high school. She heard of the school during a job fair at California University of Pennsylvania, where she met our High School Admissions Representative, Meghan Murray.Amber Berdar-Student Highlight

Amber decided to become a medical assistant because she wanted to further her education in the medical field, growing from her current position as a Certified Nursing Assistant. She has always felt the need to help others and had the desire to work in the medical field.

She decided to start out as a medical assistant, because she believes in working from the bottom up. She wants to start with the basics so she will have a lot more knowledge and experience as she advances in the medical field.

Amber can’t pick a favorite part of attending United Career Institute. She has loved the whole experience, from meeting all the teachers to being able to learn so much from them. The school feels like a second home to her.

Amber has two favorite teachers, Kelli Workman and Rachel Osniak. She likes Kelli because she has taught her everything she needs to know when it comes to medical knowledge, and she likes Rachel because she taught her many things she can use after she graduates.

Her ideal job after graduation would be working somewhere in a lab, where she can perform phlebotomy all day, or somewhere in an ER setting.

In five years, Amber would love to have her dream job as a trauma nurse. She would also like to be living on her own and have a family.

Amber says she would definitely refer United Career Institute to a friend because this place is an amazing learning environment and everyone is so supportive here. She says you have the opportunity to make many new friends and many memories that will never be forgotten.

Leah Judge – Student Highlight

United Career Institute Medical Assisting student, Leah Judge, has always had dreams of working in the medical field. “I enjoy my job waitressing at a great restaurant in Greensburg, but my passion for the medical field kept picking at my brain. It just so happened that I was talking with a customer who ran a local school and he invited me and my mother down to see it, and it was exactly what I was looking for.” United Career Institute gave Leah the opportunity to pursue her dream. Leah loves helping people, and United’s Medical Assisting program gives her the opportunity to do just that. She is an awesome addition to our student body!

Leah Judge-Student Highlight

Leah tried the traditional route of attending the local community college, but that was not her idea of learning. The campus was too large, the classes made her feel like just another number, and individual help was never available. She also disliked the idea of having to take a lot of general education courses to reach her goal.

Leah’s favorite class so far has been Medical Terminology I because she likes learning all the new concepts. Her favorite instructor, Kelly Shriver, breaks down the learning material so it’s easier to understand. After graduation, Leah sees herself working in a specialty office, possibly specializing in dermatology. Five years from now, Leah wants to be well into her career and maybe even have her boyfriend become her husband.

Leah says she wouldn’t hesitate for a second recommending United Career Institute to anyone else because it provided her everything she hoped and dreamed of in a school. Leah has the distinction of being the very first student to enroll at UCI Irwin, and we can’t wait to see all that she accomplishes on her journey toward a medical career!

Chloe Eicher – Student Highlight

United Career Institute would like to introduce you to Chloe Eicher!  Chloe has been a medical assisting student at United since she graduated from Albert Gallatin Senior High School in 2019.

Chloe chose United for three reasons. The school is close to home, it’s small, and they specialize in fast track training. “I always heard amazing things about this school and wanted to come here because of the reputation.”

Chloe Eicher-Student Highlight

Chloe says that the Medical Assisting program will help her continue to build her medical career and reach her ultimate goal of becoming a surgeon. “It’s a building block to becoming a surgeon eventually.  I want all the education I can have before I reach that step.”

Her favorite part of attending United Career Institute is the small class sizes and personable staff.  When asked to choose a favorite teacher, she said, “I can’t, I love them all!” Her favorite class is Anatomy, which she finds to be the most interesting one she has had so far.

After graduation, Chloe would like to continue her education in a school with a surgical technician program so that she can continue down the path toward becoming a surgeon.

Would she refer a friend to United Career Institute?  “Absolutely.  It’s a wonderful school where everyone is nice and I love it here.  I don’t like much, but I love this school!”

To learn more about our fast track medical programs, request information here!

New Year, New Career – Irwin

With the start of a new year, it’s the perfect time to evaluate and plan your next career move. Maybe you’re just starting out in your career and are unsure of what steps to take to get your dream job. Or maybe you feel stuck in your current job, but don’t know what to do to advance your career.

We’re here to help you get from where you are to where you want to be! As you set your New Year’s resolutions and goals, you can plan steps for yourself that will get you into a new, fulfilling career.

Check out the steps below to get started on your new career today!

Get Motivated

Before you can make a change or accomplish something great for yourself, you have to get motivated! Motivation is the reason that someone behaves in a particular way. It’s what gets you up in the morning and what encourages you to keep going when things get challenging. Getting motivated is essential for launching yourself into a new career.

In order to get yourself motivated, you need to know what it is that inspires and motivates you. Different people are motivated by different things, so ask yourself what exactly it is for you. For example, you may be motivated to create a better life for your family. After you figure out what drives you forward, keep this in mind as you set your goals, and let it inspire you in your daily life.

Learn New Skills

Now you’re motivated and ready to jump start your new career, but how do you do it? What specifically can you do today that will set you up for success? The answer to this question is to learn new skills! The professional world is constantly changing and if you’re not learning new skills, you can become stagnant in your career. That’s why gaining new skills, knowledge, and experiences are the best way to get you into a better career.

To help you achieve your career goals, we designed our healthcare training programs to give you the exact skills and knowledge employers need in job candidates. At United Career Institute, you will learn in a hands-on environment and have opportunities for real-world application with externships and clinicals.

Update Your Resume

Next, you need to update your resume to ensure you’re giving potential employers the most current information about your education, skills, and previous experiences. When crafting your resume, make sure it’s modern and professional, so you stand out from the crowd of candidates. Check out this previous blog post sharing our Top 5 Resume Tips to Get Noticed!

If you’ve already decided you want to learn new skills, feel free to add your current school and program to your resume. This shows potential employers you are serious about your career and working to achieve more. Just be sure to make it clear that you are still currently enrolled in a training program.

Start Your Job Search

You may think it’s too early to start your job search while still in school or attending a training program, but that’s exactly when you need to start! Begin by making a list of your ideal employers and researching their current job openings, hiring processes, and hiring managers. Follow these companies on social media and review their websites as well.

Once you have done this, you’ll have a much better idea of what it takes to get hired by each specific employer. Feel free to reach out to your top companies with questions you may have, as this will help you get to know the hiring process and company culture. Then, when you’re ready to apply for your new dream job, you will be one step closer!

Put Your Career on the Fast Track with United

Ready to launch yourself into a great new career now? Gain hands-on skills, knowledge, and real-world experience at United Career Institute. Learn more about our programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Phlebotomy today. Request information now to get started!

Haley Tinsley – Student Highlight

“Every day I learn something new, and every day when I leave the school, I remember and retain what I’ve learned that day. That’s never happened to me before.”

Haley Tinsley-Student Highlight

Those are the words of United Career Institute Irwin’s medical assisting student Haley Tinsley. Haley tried a few different avenues to higher education, including a few semesters at Bradford Business School and most recently at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. She quickly found that those routes were not going to work for her. “It’s not what I wanted out of an education; way too many classes that had no relation to what I was interested in. Also, they just made you feel like another number.” When Haley left school, she tried a series of jobs from restaurant work to house cleaning, but couldn’t get school out of her mind and didn’t want to give up on her dream of working in the medical field. “From the time I was little and my mom would take me for my check-ups, I couldn’t wait to see the nice red-headed lady with beautiful nails, because she always treated me so nice and was always in a good mood. That’s how I see myself as a medical assistant. I would love to be the reason people want to come to the doctor’s office, and put a smile on their faces!”

Haley reached out to United Career Institute Irwin and quickly realized this was the place for her. “My Admissions Advisor, Lynda, was incredible and made me feel so at home. She listened to my whole story and made me feel so comfortable. It was like I was part of their family, and that only continued when she took me on a campus tour. Within 5 minutes I got to meet the Campus President, Arnold, who was in a meeting, and he stopped what he was doing to talk with us.”

Haley began at United in November and is liking it more each day, but her favorite class so far has been Anatomy & Physiology. She loved the subject matter of that class and felt that not one single day was boring. Haley sees herself working in a doctor’s office after graduation or in a family practice because she wants to be the one putting smiles on patients’ faces. However, she doesn’t want to end her education at that point. Over the next few years, she sees herself going back to school for a practical nursing or registered nursing program. Knowing Haley’s determination and focus, we have no doubt she can achieve anything she puts her mind to!

When asked if she would refer a friend to United Career Institute, Haley was quick to respond, “Absolutely! They make you feel like family and want you to succeed. There’s no way I feel I can fail with the support of the Irwin Campus!”

If you are interested in learning more about our short term training programs and WE CARE classroom experience, request information here!