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October 29, 2012

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National Graduate Furthers Education to Pursue a Degree in Human Resources

National Graduate Furthers Education to Pursue a Degree in Human Resources

While a student at the Charlottesville Campus, Crystal Smith decided a career in human resources was her goal for her future. Inspired by one of her business instructors, she liked learning about how the impact of a strong HR department can help an organization become successful. She graduated in 2011 from the business administration-management degree program as one of the first steps to accomplishing that goal.

Before coming to National, Crystal previously attended another college but she was unsure yet what career she wanted to pursue. She also had a hard time fitting their classes in her schedule because they were only offered during the day. National’s night classes worked for her. She also liked that her class sizes at National were not as big. “I felt there was more one-on-one interaction,” she explained. “I did have one experience at the [other college] where I was struggling with a math course…and the teacher wasn’t really available to help me…National was different.”

When she was finally able to decide what she wanted for her future, Crystal shared her career goal with Career Center Director Anne Brown who invited her to attend a meeting of the local chapter of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) to expose her to the continuing education availed to current HR practitioners. The meeting proved beneficial as Crystal was introduced to the chapter’s president who took this budding HR professional under her wing.

Crystal knew that continuing her education would be imperative and began seeking out HR degree programs that would complement her associate’s degree from National. She is now pursuing her bachelor’s degree in human resource management at Capella University where she was able to transfer* her National College credits.

Crystal has been working as a faculty assistant for the UVA School of Law while attending college and her employer has supported her efforts in getting a higher education. “It was tough because I worked full time, but you know at the end of the tunnel, there’s a light,” she said as she explained the challenges she faced juggling a busy life and school work.

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Future Pharmacist Starts Her Education at National

Future Pharmacist Starts Her Education at National

Thai Ha Diem Hang, also known by her classmates and instructors as Hang Thai, successfully completed the pharmacy technician associate’s degree program at the Madison Campus in May of 2012. She was born in Vietnam and came to the United States to go to college in September 2008, after she studied English as a Foreign Language at Quang Nam University in Vietnam.

At the age of 23, in August of 2010, Hang Thai began her studies at National after applying for and receiving National’s exclusive Partnership for International Education Grant. She chose the pharmacy technician program because she says, “I wanted to be a pharmacy technician before I catch my dream to be a pharmacist one day.”

She has worked as an extern for Phar Merica and at Kroger Pharmacy where she got hands-on experience working in a pharmacy including entering prescription information into the computer system (POS), producing labels, and overseeing worker compensation and Medicaid reimbursements. She also assisted in inventory tracking, assisting customers, and placing and accepting drug orders.

After graduating in May of 2012, she made the decision to further her education and is now attending Nashville State Community College while preparing for the Pharmacy College Admission Test (PCAT). She wants a future career as a pharmacist.

Hang Thai (pictured) said that several of her classes at National College such as Chemistry, Introduction to Biology, Anatomy & Physiology, and Pharmacology prepared her well for her courses at Nashville State Community College.

National Graduate Comes Full Circle

National Graduate Comes Full Circle

In 1999, Annette Lawson graduated from National’s Martinsville Campus with an administrative secretarial diploma (which has been replaced by today’s administrative office specialist program) with highest honors. Before she graduated, she was already using the skills she learned from class in her job at Reynolds Memorial Hospital in the materials management department but her position was eliminated when the hospital downsized. With her National education and experience from the hospital, she was able to find a new job for Patrick County Public Schools where she worked closely with teachers.

In her role for the public schools system, Annette was frequently encouraging teachers to get a higher education. This made her realize that she should do the same. She decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business administration with Averett University ten years after earning a diploma with National where it all started for her. She ended up transferring* to a third school, Liberty University, to finish her business degree and graduated in September.

Annette is now working for the Martinsville Campus as the career center director. She has come full circle finding a job where she got her first diploma. “I am working with college students and giving back to National what National College gave to me,” she said. “I have a chance to make a difference and be a positive influence.”

Graduate and Career Center Director Annette Lawson is pictured on the right discussing possible career opportunities with student Justin Mills.

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.