Mackenzie Stefanini – Graduate Highlight

United Career Institute Mt. Braddock is thrilled to introduce one of our newest graduates, Mackenzie Stefanini. Mackenzie graduated from United’s Medical Assisting program this month and is already working in the field!

Mackenzie began her journey at United right after high school! She attended a presentation in one of her classes that sparked her interest, and went for an interview afterward and loved it!

Mackenzie has always known she wanted to be in the medical field. However, she knew she needed a school where she could get her foot in the door of the medical field that also provided one on one time with instructors in a small school atmosphere. She said, “I chose the MA program so that I could get my foot in the door and be sure that this was the career I wanted and because I have always wanted to do something in the medical field.” Mackenzie continued,  “I chose United because it was hands-on experience and was a small building with not a lot of people at one time, allowing more one-on-one time with teachers for any questions you might have had.” United’s small class sizes allow plenty of time for one on one help if students need it!

The familial atmosphere was Mackenzie’s favorite part of attending United. “My favorite part was how friendly and family-oriented the building was. They made you feel at home while you were there,” she said. While the family-like atmosphere was Mackenzie’s favorite part of attending United, Kelli, United’s Allied Health Program Coordinator, was her favorite instructor. She said, “I would say my favorite teacher was Kelli. She was the teacher for my clinical classes, and I loved my clinical classes. She always told stories to help remember things.”

One of the most exciting parts of a student’s experience at United Career Institute is the externship they get to participate in their last 12 weeks of the program. This externship allows students to get real-world experience in medical settings. This experience can sometimes lead to job opportunities, and that is the case with Mackenzie! She said, “I am currently working from my extern because they hired me at Conn Family Medicine.”

Mackenzie has big plans for her life in the next five years, both professionally and personally! “I would like to be living in my own house, and starting a family, possibly even go back to United for their LPN program.” Many United students who graduate from the Medical Assisting program go on to the Practical Nursing program because the MA program offers an excellent base to build on.

Mackenzie says she would absolutely refer a friend to United because of the friendly environment and staff! “I would definitely refer somebody to United because of how friendly the environment is. Also, because of how great the teachers are, and they love what they do. I loved the hands-on experience that I also got being at the school.”

If your story sounds similar to Mackenzie’s, request information here!

Aleesha Guidos – Student Highlight

Aleesha Guidos is one of United Career Institute’s medical assisting students. She enrolled at the Irwin campus in the summer of 2020. She graduated from Latrobe High School and attended EWCTC while working as a CNA. She chose the Medical Assisting program because she thought it would be a good stepping stone into the medical field. United Career Institute was a good fit because she liked the idea of our small classes and felt that we had a positive atmosphere.

So far, her favorite instructor has been Kelly Shriver. Aleesha said, “She is understanding and always willing to help in any way she can.” She feels that the staff is very welcoming, and her favorite class so far has been Anatomy and Physiology. “I liked that class because I was able to learn about how each and every body system works,” she said.

After Aleesha graduates, she hopes to work as a medical assistant. Possibly in a pediatrician’s office! Later down the road, she hopes to have her BSN and work at a children’s hospital. We wish you all the luck, Aleesha!!

If you want to get into the medical field and like the idea of small classes like Aleesha, request information here and learn more today!

Nikki Feltes – Student Highlight

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!

Cassidy East – Student Highlight

United Career Institute is thrilled to introduce you to Cassidy East, the February Student of the Month!

Cassidy has not been a part of the United family for long, as she started classes after she graduated from high school last year. “Before attending United Career Institute, I was enrolled as a student at Mount Pleasant Jr/Sr High School. I was also enrolled in the Health Occupations program at Central Westmoreland Career and Technology Center,” she said.

Cassidy chose United’s Medical Assisting program because of the flexibility it offers. Medical Assisting students only attend classes Monday through Thursday and are done by 2:30 each day. This schedule allows United students to work while in school, if they choose to do so. Cassidy said, “I chose to come to United because it seemed like the perfect fit for me as I still wanted to continue to work as I gained my education.”

Cassidy has hopes to continue her education one day, but chose to start with the Medical Assisting program because it offers a great base to build off of. “I chose my program based on the knowledge I wanted to gain. I felt if I did the Medical Assisting program first, I would have a better understanding for when I go to further my education,” she said.

Medical Terminology was Cassidy’s favorite class so far. “This was my favorite because of how well I excelled in that class. I earned over 100% for Med Term 1-3,” she said. Overall, her favorite part of attending United is the general environment. “My favorite part of United is how relaxing it is, and also the people are really nice, and so it makes going enjoyable.”

After graduation, Cassidy hopes to be working in the medical field, specifically in a hospital. “My ideal job after graduation is in the hospital.” She continued, “If these plans are unable to be done right away, I would also enjoy working at a doctor’s office until I can further my education.”

In five years, Cassidy hopes to have a good job and generally be living a stable life. She said, “I would like to see myself having a stable job with a livable income. I would also like to see myself living on my own and having a better car.”

Cassidy is enjoying her time at United Career Institute and would definitely refer a friend! “I would definitely refer a friend as you gain a great education at United Career!”

If your story sounds similar to Cassidy’s or if you are interested in learning more about United’s Medical Assisting program, request information here!

Kristen Ruby – Student Highlight

United Career Institute Mt. Braddock is thrilled to introduce you to our January Student of the Month, Kristen Ruby!

Prior to starting medical assisting classes at United Career Institute, Kristen was taking CNA (certified nursing assistant) classes and working at Cherry Tree Nursing Home, but she had bigger goals for her career in the healthcare industry. She had her sights set on being a nurse!

Kristen chose United Career Institute because of the small class sizes. She knew that having fewer students meant more one on one time with her instructors. United prides itself on keeping its class sizes small so that instructors can be sure to give each student the individualized attention they deserve.

Kristen has dreams of becoming a nurse, but wisely chose to start that journey In United’s Medical Assisting program. She knew that a practical nursing program’s rigor is made much easier when you have the base knowledge of a medical assisting program, so when she heard of United’s Nursing Pathway Program, she knew she found the right fit. This pathway program allows graduates of the United Medical Assisting program, who maintain a certain GPA and attendance percentage, to be exempt from taking the TEAS exam, the entrance exam used for nursing programs.

Kristen’s favorite part of attending United is “learning new things in the medical field and making new friends.” She also loves the instructors at United. “I would have to say that all my teachers that I have had so far are my favorite. I can’t pick a favorite one. My favorite class would have to be between med term and clinicals because they were both fun, and I learned new things,” she said.

After graduation, Kristen hopes to work in a doctor’s office to gain some experience but ultimately has her eyes set on becoming a Licensed Practical Nurse. She also hasn’t written off the idea of continuing on to become a Registered Nurse!

Kristen says she would absolutely refer a friend to United Career Institute because “it’s a small school and has small classroom sizes and a lot of people like that. The staff is very helpful when they are needed.”

If your story sounds similar to Kristen’s or if you are interested in ultimately becoming a nurse, request information here!

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!

Lisa Clawson – Faculty Highlight

Lisa Clawson is the phlebotomy instructor at United Career Institute Irwin. She has been at United for almost a year now! She chose to become a phlebotomy instructor because she simply loves phlebotomy and loves to teach. Her favorite parts about working at United Career institute are the students and the staff!

Before joining the United Career Institute team, Lisa had worked doing a few different jobs. She has experience working in a variety of practices including primary care, pediatrics, and ear, nose, and throat (ENT). When asked which characteristics people interested in the medical field should have, Lisa said, “a good work ethic, thoughtful, works well with others, and is helpful.”

Lisa gets a variety of questions from her phlebotomy students. One of the most asked questions is “what kind of job opportunities will I have?” She tells her students, “There are plenty of job opportunities. You can work in many different settings such as dialysis, labs, family practice, blood banks, etc.”

Lisa is motivated by her family. “My children. They are my life. They make me want to be a better person.” She is very proud of them! We are very fortunate to have such a caring instructor!

To learn more about United’s short-term phlebotomy course, request information here!

Kaitlyn Monosky – Graduate Highlight

Kaitlyn Monosky is a medical assisting graduate of United Career Institute Mt. Braddock. She chose United because it came highly recommended, and the small classes were similar to the class sizes she had in high school. “I knew of a few people that went to the school and highly recommended it to me. I come from a small town where my high school classes were extremely small, and I felt like because United was a smaller school, it would be the right fit for me.”

Prior to attending United Career Institute, Kaitlyn had attempted another post-secondary institution, but did not have a good experience. “I was not really a fan of the school, I did not enjoy the environment. I felt rushed every day by teachers and just trying to make it to class on time. I ended up leaving because I felt like college just was not right for me”, she said. After her first attempt at school, Kaitlyn decided to focus on work and being a mom. She worked as a waitress at The Kitchen on Main in Ligonier while also balancing being a full-time mom. “Honestly, I was just trying to figure out what I really wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

After Kaitlyn decided she wanted to go back to school, she had to decide what she wanted to study. She had an interest in the medical field, so she decided to pursue United’s Medical Assisting program. “I chose the Medical Assistant program because I felt like it would be a good start for me and help me get my foot in the door.” United students often choose our Medical Assisting program because it offers a good launching point into the medical field. Students who graduate from our Medical Assisting program often go on to study nursing in United’s Practical Nursing program.

Kaitlyn says that her favorite part of attending United was the education she got and the people she met. “My favorite part of attending United was all the friendships and knowledge I gained while being there.” Some of the people who contributed to her positive experience here include her instructors! “I loved all my teachers. They were always so helpful and kind. All of my instructors just wanted each of their students to do the best they can and to just succeed in life. Each one of them gave me the boost of confidence I needed to push through when I thought I couldn’t. Out of all the classes I had, psychology has got to be my favorite class. I’ve always had an interest in the way the brain worked.”

Kaitlyn has some big plans for herself now that she has graduated from United Career Institute. In the next few years, she hopes to be back in school and studying to be a registered nurse. In her personal life, she hopes to own a home, be married, and have another child.

Kaitlyn really enjoyed her time at United and hopes to see others have the same experience! “I would absolutely refer anyone to United to get their degree. This school has shown me that as long as you set your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. The staff is extremely amazing. They care for each and every one of the students that go there. I have never been to a school where all they want you to do is succeed and do the best you can. If it was not for the staff of the United Career Institute, I would still be waiting tables and trying to figure out my life still. Thanks to this school, I never have to second guess what my capabilities are.”

If your story sounds similar to Kailyn’s, check out our medical programs here!

 

Meet The Campus Director – Ali Rachel

Meet Ali Rachel, Campus Director at United Career Institute in Fayette County!

In her new role as Campus Director, Ali is driven by the opportunity she has to help people every day when she goes to work. “I really, really believe in what we do. I really believe in career schools. Not everyone fits into one box. I want to be there for students who don’t fit into the four-year university box,” said Ali.

Ali has a great philosophy on helping students achieve their career goals, and that is to treat each student as an individual. She believes it’s extremely important to stop and understand each person’s unique story, how they learn, and how they interact with others. By truly understanding who each person is and where they come from, you can figure out what motivates them and how you can really help them be successful.

This philosophy on helping students is what enables each student at United to be treated as an individual person, with a supportive and caring environment that empowers them to succeed.

Ali loves many things about her role as Campus Director, but her favorite parts of the job are definitely the little things like “when I see a happy student in the hallway and they are really happy to be at school. For me, it’s all about the wins in students’ lives, like one student who was working in fast food and recently got a job at a nursing home.”

As for her own experience with higher education, Ali went to the University of Alabama and studied marketing. She then went on to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in Los Angeles and studied merchandise marketing. Ali has always loved fashion and even used to collect Vogue magazines.

While enrolled in college at Alabama, Ali interned in the marketing department at West Virginia Junior College. After she graduated, a marketing position became available, so she started full-time in the marketing department then.

Ali made the decision to accept the position as Campus Director at United because she wanted to be more involved in the day-to-day operations of the school. With Campus Director Pam Hughes getting a promotion, there was an opening that needed to be filled, and Ali jumped on this opportunity to help and empower students every day.

With the continued growth of the medical field and the current COVID-19 pandemic, Ali believes there is a need for well-trained medical professionals in Fayette County. “With our focus on medical programs, we can be truly centered on medical training. Our career-focused programs are quick, so we can get people trained faster and out into the working world.”

Ali has some amazing advice for students who are thinking about attending United Career Institute. “You will be treated as an individual and not just a number. There is so much that goes into going to school, and it can seem very intimidating, but we can work through it together if you ask for help. Don’t be intimidated and don’t be afraid to make that first step.”

For high schoolers who are considering United, Ali says, “don’t be afraid to try something different. Many high schools preach to students about going to a four-year college, but that’s not right for everyone. Education can mean many things, not just a four-year institution.”

When asked what gets her up in the morning and motivates her to do her best each day, Ali said that it’s “my students and co-workers that motivate me. My co-workers really care about what they’re doing. They love to be here and that really helps me stay motivated. It can be really hard and exhausting, but it’s worth it to help people create a better future for themselves.”

The accomplishment in Ali’s life that she is most proud of is graduating college. She believes that education is a privilege, and she wants to help facilitate that privilege for as many people as possible. Many people never have the opportunity to go to college, so it’s something she takes very seriously.

When asked about the best advice she has received, Ali shared a quote that really resonates with her: “At all times people are doing one of two things – they are showing love or crying out for it.” Ali believes that when someone is acting a certain way, we should try and peel back the layers and find out why, so that we can truly help them on an individual level.

Outside of work, Ali loves watching college football and says her life is currently consumed by it. In the summer, Ali and her fiancé Zach enjoy going out on the boat and spending time on the lake. Ali and Zach also love to cook. She says she loves anything to do with food and could spend hours reading recipes and cooking. Ali says her favorite food is pasta in any form. That’s what she reaches to for comfort food or if she doesn’t know what to make. If she could have one superpower, Ali says she would choose teleportation because she doesn’t like to drive and it’s frustrating for her.

Are you looking for a school that truly cares about you? Do you want to graduate and start working quickly? Explore our healthcare training programs and request information today to get started!

The Best Time to Start a Career Training Program is Now!

We have all experienced many changes this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some people have been laid off from their jobs, some are learning how to homeschool their children, and some are experiencing a variety of other life changes.

For those who have experienced disruptions to their careers this year, deciding what to do next can be a challenge, especially when things are still so uncertain. You may be wondering how to start a more secure career or what is the best way to train for a new career.

Even though it may be a little overwhelming to take the next step in your career journey, doing so now can get you ahead and help you reach your career goals faster. If your goal is to start a new career as an essential healthcare worker, now is the perfect time to start a career training program, and this week, we’re sharing with you the many reasons why!

Train For A New Career

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown which jobs are essential, and healthcare industry workers are one of the most important categories of essential workers. Those who work in healthcare are on the front lines fighting for the health and safety of everyone. Doctors, nurses, medical assistants, medical office professionals, phlebotomy technicians, and many more have dedicated themselves to helping others throughout the pandemic.

Because these healthcare workers are so important and essential, choosing a career path in the medical field can provide you with increased job security now and in the future. Training for a new healthcare career now will prepare you to succeed in the medical field as an essential worker.

In addition to increased job security, enrolling in a healthcare training program and starting a career in the medical field also allows you to help people on a daily basis and truly make a difference in their lives, providing you with a more fulfilling and meaningful career.

Finish Your Degree Sooner

Another top reason for starting a career training program now is that the sooner you begin your degree or diploma program, the sooner you will finish. It may seem like an overwhelming decision to make and you may not feel perfectly ready, but the longer you wait, the longer it will be before you can start your new career.

At United Career Institute, our healthcare career training programs are designed to get you on the fast track to an exciting new career. Our healthcare degree and diploma programs are completed in less than 18 months, preparing you for a career in the medical field much faster than traditional university options.

Stay Closer To Home

With the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic still happening around us, many people are nervous about going away to college. Being away from family and having to interact with people from many other places are valid concerns during this time.

Even with these concerns, you can still take the next step in your career path by starting a career training program that is closer to home. Choosing a program that allows you to complete your healthcare training courses in a small-school environment and stay closer to home can ease your mind from some of the concerns you have, and also give you an increased support system by staying closer to friends and family.

Staying closer to home and attending a smaller school also gives you the opportunity to network and build positive relationships in your local healthcare community and with potential employers. Here at United, students complete real-world externships and clinicals at local medical facilities, giving you the opportunity to build relationships and get valuable experience.

Start Your Career Training At United

At United Career Institute, we are dedicated to your success while you are enrolled as a student and after graduation. Our family atmosphere provides you with a supportive learning environment to prepare for your exciting new career. With student services like academic advising, career advising, and personal advising, we help you to achieve your full potential and reach your career goals.

Explore our healthcare training programs in Practical Nursing, Medical Assisting, and Medical Insurance Billing and Coding now to start your path to a new career. Request information to get started today!