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April 06, 2012

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Business Management Graduate Puts Skills to Use in Law Firm

Business Management Graduate Puts Skills to Use in Law Firm

Valerie Luevano is a dedicated worker. She likes to start a project and see it through to its end, which was a major factor in her decision to enroll at the Charlottesville Campus. “National sent you straight through your program, one class after another,” she says.

The consistent schedule and the direct pathway to graduation were some of the main reasons Valerie chose to transfer to National from another local college that did not offer those same benefits. “Once you start blocking off the days that you know you’re going to have classes – you already set that schedule,” she explains. “It’s a lot easier to keep that schedule rather than one month you’ll have classes on this day and another month you’ll have classes on this day.” With a focused goal and a consistent schedule that kept her on a path to accomplish her degree, Valerie graduated with her business administration-management associate’s degree and immediately started work with a local law firm as a real estate coordinator.

Although a law firm isn’t the first place you would think to find a business management major, Valerie says that the skills she learned at National are a huge part of her success at her job. “Marketing, managing people, numbers – the whole culmination of the [business] program,” she says, naming some examples of how she is putting her education to work. Communication, she emphasizes, is key – and she’s using her training in marketing to expand the law firm’s presence in social media forums like Facebook and LinkedIn.

She thoroughly enjoys her work, citing helping people as her favorite part of the job, and looks forward to staying in her profession over the next couple of years. “This is what I enjoy doing,” she says with a smile. She encourages students to continue on with their education by making the commitment and seeing it through. With determination and hard work, Valerie is evidence of how beneficial an education can be in finding a career that will last.

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Another Student Finds Job through Externship

Another Student Finds Job through Externship

Knoxville student Cassey Johnson got a job offer from her externship site, the Madisonville Primary Care Group. She enjoyed her experience as a medical assisting extern and looks forward to working there permanently. "I love being able to do all the parts in a physician's office - clinical and front office."

Cassey says she had known she wanted to do something in the medical field and when she found the medical assisting program, she knew National College was where she wanted to be. She will graduate at the end of the spring term in May and her husband is coming home from Afghanistan to be at her graduation.

Guest Speaker Helps Prepare Students for their Job Search

Guest Speaker Helps Prepare Students for their Job Search

Recently, students in the business administration-accounting and management programs at the Akron Area Campus were visited by Matt Klouse, Staffing Manager with Robert Half Accountemps. Mr. Klouse gave a presentation on résumé writing, interviewing skills, and the overall job forecast in the greater Akron area.

Accountemps is a job placement agency in Akron, and they specialize in finding suitable candidates for accounting positions. Business Chair and Instructor Norm Katz invited Mr. Klouse to speak to students because of his knowledge of the accounting industry. “I think our students should start networking and building their contact base before they graduate, so bringing in speakers such as Mr. Klouse gives the students the opportunity to become comfortable talking to business people.”

The students who attended the event commented to Mr. Katz the presentation was excellent and the information was very valuable. Guest speakers are an important way to prepare students for the business world and keep them up to date on the latest trends.

Graduate’s Leadership Skills Are Discovered

Graduate’s Leadership Skills Are Discovered

Rhonda Watkins is a leader in the medical field and a leader in her community. She was the recipient of the American National University Leadership Award when she graduated three years ago from the medical assisting associate’s degree program at the Danville, Kentucky campus. She continues to utilize those leadership skills as the assistant manager of satellite clinics for a large dermatology practice.

Rhonda came to National to find a better paying, more stable career after the travel agency industry in which she formerly worked was made almost obsolete by the internet. “I wanted to be able to show my kids a better life,” she explained. She did research to find careers that were in demand and found healthcare to be the most attractive to her.

Rhonda worked full time, attended National full time, and was a single mom of two busy teenagers. She found that the night classes allowed her to do it all. “It wasn’t very late hours so I was still able to be a mom, as well,” she said.

She also liked the personal attention that she received from her instructors during her classes. “You were somebody in the classroom and that’s what I really enjoyed about it--as opposed to the big universities (where) you get sometimes 100 people in a class and you’re a number,” Rhonda stated.

Rhonda began working for the dermatology practice soon after graduation and recently received her promotion to assistant manager for the satellite clinics where she oversees several other American National University graduates who are employed there.

“I really like everything about my job here. It’s really great—I’ve been blessed,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to help others [and] that’s what I do.”

Rhonda is still involved as an advocate for the College and recently visited Washington, D.C. to attend “Hill Day” with other National graduates and students. During this event, she met with legislators who will be voting on bills that can impact students who attend career colleges. “Being able to go and tell my story to people that can make a difference for us was an honor to me,” she said. She also enjoyed meeting other National students. “They like National for the same reason that I like National—the small classes and the warmth and the one-on-one and people really caring about you,” she said.

Rhonda feels National graduates have another common denominator. “We just tend to be ready [for our new careers] when we leave,” Rhonda said. “We’re trained when we come out. We’re ready for the workforce,” she explained.

Finding Jobs Through the Job Shop

Finding Jobs Through the Job Shop

On March 20th, Charlie Smith from the Job Shop in Berea visited the Richmond Campus to help students search for new jobs. The Job Shop is a flexible staffing service that supplies employees to companies who need jobs filled when a worker is on sick leave or has an emergency, a company has increased production, or has special projects. These types of jobs are for a variety of fields including administration, management, human resources, accounting, and medical.

Mr. Smith helped students apply online for jobs. He also accepted résumés. Medical assisting graduate Charlene Tudor really appreciated the chance to meet with Mr. Smith. She said obtaining a job even temporarily through the Job Shop would give her the necessary experience other employers are looking for.

Student Jessica Rose is pictured getting assistance from Mr. Smith from the Job Shop.

HR Professional Offers Insight into Behavioral Interviewing.

HR Professional Offers Insight into Behavioral Interviewing.

On March 26th, Brian Simmons from Signature Healthcare visited the Richmond Campus and gave a presentation to students about behavioral interviewing. With 24 years’ experience in human resources (HR), he offered tips on how to answers questions beyond “yes” and “no.”

Behavioral interviewing is an interview technique in which job candidates are asked to give specific examples of how they have performed in the past in certain job related situations. Many HR departments have recently adapted this technique because past behavior is the most reliable predictor of future performance. Mr. Simmons shared that behavioral interviews are conducted with open ended questions that require job candidates to tell a story. Mr. Simmons encouraged students to prepare for behavioral interviews by developing stories about past job experiences.

Mr. Simmons left the students with some last words of wisdom for having a successful interview. He reminded them that an interview is not an interrogation - it’s an employment discussion. He said to be aware of their own nervous energy and allow it to animate story responses. And lastly, he told them to remain calm, comfortable and confident.

Guest speaker Brian Simmons is pictured shaking hands with student Billie Martin.

First Steps to Accomplishing Big Dreams

First Steps to Accomplishing Big Dreams

Jamie Kays is an Army veteran who recently enrolled in the medical assisting associate’s degree program at the Louisville Campus using her Chapter 33 GI Bill benefits. She is constantly pursuing self-improvement to take herself to the next level of accomplishment. It is that commitment and determination that drove her to win the title of 2006 Soldier of the Year of the Western Regional Division while serving as a radiologist at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

“I don’t want to ever settle for something when I feel like there’s more that I can do or accomplish in life,” Jamie explained. “I want to continue to climb, achieve more things.”

The competition for the title was held over 3 grueling days and included a challenge at the shooting range, a PT test, an oral quiz and a march in which she carried a 65-pound rucksack and a dummy weapon for 12 miles in less than 3 hours. She got tangled in barbed wire during the walk and she fell and broke her wrist but she continued on in the competition despite the pain.

Jamie was the only female who competed that year in her region, which encompassed several states. “I don’t think that I was looked at as very much competition when I got there,” she said with a smile.
She won prizes and an impressive trophy, which she gave to her mother who lost a son, Jamie’s twin brother, when he was killed by an IED while serving in Afghanistan.

Jamie says that she finds American National University to be similar to the Army in that there are many opportunities available, such as free tutoring, externships, and help with job placement, but students must seek them out and take advantage of them. “You can show up every day and just go to class or you can search for those things and become more and have more with it,” she advised.

She hopes someday to become a physician and to work in a program such as Doctors Without Borders which provides free medical care to those in need. “I was put here on earth from God to accomplish something important,” she said. “Coming here is a step in order to achieve that.”

Soon-to-be Graduate Gets Ahead of the Curve with Her Early Job Search

Soon-to-be Graduate Gets Ahead of the Curve with Her Early Job Search

Medical assisting student Sheilyn Patton will graduate with her associate’s degree from the Lexington Campus in May but she decided not to wait until then to begin her job search. She is currently working at her externship and seeking interviews with other potential new employers. Her academic accomplishments and clinical skills have put her in high demand and have also given her a choice in where she will begin her new career in medical assisting.

Sheilyn was previously employed in a manufacturing position and was not satisfied with her career direction. "I wanted to better myself, I wanted a career - not just a job,” she explained. With two close relatives working in nursing, she had always been interested in the medical field. She was inspired by how much they loved their career.

When looking for colleges, National was an easy choice. “American National University fit every need I had in a college - flexible scheduling, small class size with lots of one-on one instruction, and a very personal experience."

In addition to beginning her new career in medical assisting, Sheilyn has also decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration-management at the Lexington Campus. "I want to continue to learn new skills and knowledge,” she said. “Job security is based on continued growth and improvement.” Sheilyn offers encouragement to her fellow students by emphasizing, “You can succeed if you really apply yourself!"

New Phi Beta Lambda Club Helps Students Build Business Skills

New Phi Beta Lambda Club Helps Students Build Business Skills

The Pikeville Campus recently started a Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) chapter. PBL is the oldest and largest national organization for students preparing for careers in business. This organization will provide the students with leadership development, community service experience, conferences, competitions, and networking opportunities which will complement their academic experience in a positive way.

The club’s newest members recently put their skills to work in a community service project. They organized a donation drive for people affected by the tornado outbreaks in Kentucky and West Virginia. Drop off boxes were placed around the campus for donated personal care items and cleaning supplies. Club members promoted the drive with flyers and presentations to various classes. The Pikeville PBL chapter hopes to continue to make an impact on their campus as well as in the community.

Pictured are (l to r) PBL Vice President James Bailey, Tyler Layne, Reporter Brandon Thompson, and President Shannon Chapman packing donated items.

The National News is a biweekly publication designed to share the success and academic accomplishments of students and graduates from American National University and National College. For more information, contact the Communications Department.

In accordance with the regulations of the Tennessee Higher Education Council, all references to "American National University" refer to "National College" in the state of Tennessee.