hello and welcome to our alumni spotlight podcast my name is autumn granza and i work to tell the amazing stories of our students alumni here at penn foster today i'm speaking with jessica carter who recently graduated from our veterinary technician program in 2019. welcome jessica hello very nice to be here thank you thank you so much for talking with us today so jessica we're going to dive right in um i know you recently graduated so what would you say you liked about the veterinary technician program oh there's so much um i i have quite a background in veterinary medicine so it was really nice to really dig into the why behind everything um and kind of get an idea of more in depth of why we're we're doing things a certain way in veterinary medicine and really understanding the the biology behind things the anatomy behind things and getting better at writing and public speaking part of it so i really enjoyed that aspect of the program and i really loved um the webinars were probably one of my favorite parts and really getting to know the teachers and and getting really in-depth on certain subjects like biology is great and then um management type uh webinars were great and the uh emergency and large animal i also really enjoyed as well so those were probably my favorite parts oh that's great and what you said you were in the field before you started so what were you doing and how did you find penn foster um so i have about 13 years of experience before i started penn foster i started in high school doing an internship at a general practice and then went into shelter medicine and then worked in emergency medicine for eight years and started really hearing about the veterinary nurse initiatives and technician utilization and realized that if i wanted to get a higher level job where i could do more really cool and in-depth things like central lines and i o catheters and really complex surgeries i would really have to have that that title behind my name i i'd have to have those credentials to be able to do the things that were really exciting and i really wanted to do and i also really love teaching and i knew i'd have to have some kind of credential to be able to teach so i started looking around at programs and a friend of mine was actually in penn foster and said why don't you check these guys out they seem really good i really enjoyed the first semester so far so i did some research and i looked at penn foster and really looked at the success stories behind some of the people who had been in the school already and signed up in 2015 and then graduated november of 2019 and sat for my vtne march of 2020. that's so great and did you find it helpful to have a friend who is also going through the program and have maybe like a study buddy oh absolutely um there are a lot of really good resources in the community but it was really nice to have somebody who i worked with who i was close to that we could sit down and go for flash cards and talk about how is this class working for you what did you find made it easier for you to get through it and having someone who had been through the same steps as i did so she uh kind of understood where i was at having someone there next to you to be able to kind of talk through it really made it made the information stick um yeah and having an online program can be a little bit difficult to stay motivated so that was my motivation was keeping up with jody and making sure that we were both on the same page because she was gonna ask me a question i want to know what she was talking about yeah that's so great though we always talk about um while you're at penn foster and it is an online school year you're never really alone we have the student community we have so many students and alumni so that's great i'm so happy you were able to find someone to study with and really keep you keep you challenged while going through the program what did you like most about pursuing an education online i've always worked um my whole adult life so i really had to have something that could work around my schedule um and at the time i was married and i was working two jobs so i was taking care of the house i was taking care of my my two jobs i was taking care of my dogs and i really had to find something that could fit in in the time that i had and that was one of the big appeals of penn foster was that i was able to kind of work around my schedule there wasn't a set time i had to be in class because if i had to pick up a shift for work i didn't want to lose out on my classwork um so being able to have that flexibility and access wherever i wherever i wanted to go i didn't have to sit down in a school um i could take my laptop with me and have an hour break at lunch and so that was a huge factor in me choosing penn foster as well so when did you aside from at work when did you maybe find time to study or is there any study tips you can you can give current students in the program oh don't give up um if you feel like you don't have enough time because it's really easy to say well i don't have two hours to focus on this right now so i'll just do it tomorrow um so basically what i did was i would take my laptop with me and while i was sitting at lunch half an hour an hour at lunch i would watch a webinar or i would look at my notes or i would do something involving school and then when i got home i'd you know eat dinner and put on a webinar or put on my my my study plan that i was working on at the time so being able to find those little pockets of time really made it so that i could move forward a little bit more easily um and and honestly there were a lot of times where i may go two weeks without working on school because i was so preoccupied with everything else and having that study buddy uh really helped me because she was like come on you spend two weeks without working on school let's get back to it and she really kept me motivated and i would get emails from penn foster as well that were like it's been a week since you've submitted an exam and i'd be like oh geez it has been a week let me go back and look at that so the reminders from penn foster really helped as well yeah that's great and were you already working once you graduated yes um i was actually working in an emergency clinic while i was in most of my my classes for penn foster and near the end i was looking for an externship with a large animal clinic um and i i found a clinic that was like oh well we know we know people who are in large animal why don't you come work for us we'll set you up with the large animal people and we'll give you a job at the same time and i was like uh okay that seems kind of cool i guess i'll check it out um and they they really encourage penn foster uh education and they they actually work with with a lot of their employees to go through penn foster so they already had set up a large animal portion of the externship like basically we know what you need for the externship here's everything that you need for it so it was really great i had a little bit of a change of career in my last semester and i went from emergency to a specialty clinic and that's where i'm at now a year later and i love it it's amazing and they they are the ones that got me into penn foster's bachelor's program so that's amazing yeah i was just gonna say and now you're starting the bachelor's program how are you how do you feel you're progressing through there it's great um the first little bit uh is just like a walk through and kind of a reintroduction into the penn foster program and then the first big class is the human animal bond which i started taking right at the beginning of shutdowns and curbside and all of that and it really gave me an understanding of what people what our clients were going through and kind of viewing that in a different way just from one class in the bachelor's program which was amazing yeah and kind of seeing the attitude of my co-workers and how that equates to the human animal one class and the psychology behind it was fascinating it was amazing it really helped me kind of have more patience with them and kind of give a little bit of grace to myself as well that's fantastic and i know you said it you got hired in your last semester and it took you really no time at all to find a job how do you feel penn foster helped you um to put that experience and what you were learning into a real world setting well uh my clinic like i said works with penn foster and encourages people to go through the penn foster program so they were like oh you're a penn foster student come on in we have a job for you um and working in in specialty and really getting the in-depth nursing care and real in-depth anesthesia training and learning more about anesthetic monitoring and pain medications and all the different processes of the body that you deal with in specialty medicine i had kind of a leg up on knowing what we were going to be dealing with day to day in the clinic and i do patient care for the most part so really looking at pain and behavior and those different things from a different viewpoint than just being in practice actually knowing the why behind everything makes my my job much easier and it really helps me in the day-to-day when i'm working how do you feel like you may be compared to your co-workers having a penn foster education oh that's a tough one my coworkers are amazing they're very experienced very knowledgeable most of them are licensed texts and sometimes it feels like because i'm an i i went through an online school and i really had to push myself and really have a lot of initiative to be able to go through and find the resources that i needed and having that you know online support of all these different people i think sometimes there are things that that i have a little more insight on um not necessarily that the education is i'm not going to say better uh but it sticks a little bit harder sometimes um i love penn foster i love their program i'm not downing anybody else's but i'm i'm a penn foster i'm a penthouser advocate all the way wrong with loving your school so i i appreciate that and i love hearing that um and you said i know you said you ha you like teaching and you have a passion for teaching um so can you tell me about a little bit about how you're putting into practice and teaching at your current role yeah so like i said i'm a a patient care technician so i do the nursing care for for all the hospitalized patients but my new position which i started about four months ago i'm actually training coordinator for my specialty clinic so everybody that comes on board as a new hire goes through a training protocol that i've started with my company we took some information that was already available and added to it and began a mentorship program and a training program and i really utilized a lot of the things that i learned through penn foster um to build that program and um just being able to help other people understand the why behind what they're doing and everything that i've learned in practice and through penn foster and putting that to use every day really just feels great um and having my team feel like they're set up for success from day one uh is is really a great thing and i really feel passionate about helping other technicians feel comfortable and and be educated and know the why behind what they're doing so it's it's been a really great ride in in the midst of everything that's going on we're actually building up our community and building up our practice and it feels amazing that's so great and i'm i'm so happy for you on the uh new role and we're definitely proud of you so congratulations there thank you no problem and i know you mentioned in the midst of everything going on i know you left a little fun tidbit um using your your sewing talents for the better can you tell me a little bit about that oh geez i forgot about that um yeah i had a sewing machine in storage for four or five years and at the beginning of lockdown our clinic requires everyone to wear masks and we had bought some that were not exactly the most comfortable in the world so i went and bought a bunch of fabric and took my sewing machine out of storage and made uh i believe i've made about 500 masks now every single one of my co-workers has two high behind masks that i made and they're all we've got some harry potters we've got some animals we've got some nerd nerd stuff going on but everybody got to to pick their own mask and and i made a mask for everybody in the clinic and donated some to a couple other programs as well that's so great and definitely so kind of you to use uh your free time to do that for everyone i bet it's much appreciated oh thanks of course so after you finish your bachelor's program um what is your ultimate career goal jessica my ultimate career goal is basically to be a traveling tech teacher if that makes sense um i really want to go to different clinics and and teach people and and not only hard skills and and like how to play central lines how to do or orgasmic innovation those various things but also the importance of of how education helps day-to-day practice and how we can be better technicians by utilizing a community of education not only you know in hospital but use your resources penn foster nafta aha i mean there's so many places that we can learn and and really encouraging people to get outside their comfort zone and and learn new things and work with other technicians um as a as a profession we really need to come together and and lift each other up and i really feel like by traveling around and helping people implement training programs and really having a one-team mentality and it's not only better practice for us but it's a better practice for our patients yeah that's great and it seems like uh in doing so you can use your two passions for the field and teaching so that sounds like a great goal absolutely and jessica what would you say to current students who are working their way through the program or even alumni who are maybe trying to break into the field oh that's a big question um persistence is key um you really have to see the value in in the education that you're getting and when you realize how much of a value that is other people will realize that value as well there are times when it feels a little overwhelming and just pushing through that and doing a little bit at a time and really getting getting that education and getting it to solidify in your brain can be real difficult i have adhd so it was definitely something that helped me just doing little bits at a time and making sure that i solidified something in my brain before i went on to the next thing um and and when you do that and you you have a good solid understanding behind it then when you do it in practice it really comes naturally and it feels really great to to be able to help your patients and help help your co-workers out and even alumni taking that information and sharing it with other people and saying hey this is the education that i got you guys should check out penn foster they're awesome that's some great advice that's some great advice and how does it feel for you to be a penn foster graduate oh i if i ever see something on online it's like hey i'm looking at online schools who do you guys recommend i'm always like penn foster number one always um i feel supported and like going to vmx this past year and meeting doc jim and other students and and really seeing the community behind penn foster from all over the place just feels really great and it feels like you kind of have this little extended family and you can go into the community and talk to people who are in the same parts of the program as you even if they're in you know alaska and i'm in north carolina we can still talk about what we're going through um and it's it's just a really good feeling of community and and it really feels pretty empowering yeah especially vet tech they had that's such a vast program and people from all over the place and it really isn't dr jim like it did a great job of keeping up with that facebook and he has that great group going there and it's always um so inspiring to stop in there and check out what people are doing and saying and you guys are always doing such amazing work so jessica last question uh what are three words to describe your pen foster experience enlightening rewarding sometimes difficult um and honestly i think a good education should be a little difficult sometimes it shouldn't be a cakewalk and that's where the rewarding comes in that's so true jessica thank you so much this was great and we wish you the best of luck in your studies and as you progress through your career so congratulations and thank you so much for talking with us today thank you i really appreciate it
hello and welcome to our alumni spotlight podcast my name is autumn granza and i work to tell our student and alumni stories here at penn foster today i'm talking with Keyana beamon who've graduated from our veterinary assistant program in 2013 and is back as a veterinary technician graduate at this year Keyana welcome hi how are you i'm great how are you today i'm doing great that's so great to hear Keyana before we jump in a huge congratulations is an order Keyana is our penn foster and distance education accrediting commission's outstanding graduate of the year congratulations oh thank you so much you're so welcome how does it feel to be our grad of the year uh it feels feels amazing and unreal so it's a lot of good feelings that's great and Keyana why did you decide to apply to be our graduate of the year for 2020 well i felt that um i had gone through a lot of struggles during the technician program and just in life in general and i kind of just wanted to be a voice for others and kind of just tell my story to kind of encourage other people to keep going and you know no matter what happens in life just see the light at the end of the tunnel type thing and you do have such a great story so i'm excited to share that with all of our listeners today so first off um i know you said you started our program after high school so why did you choose to become a penn foster student well um my original plan was i wanted to become a veterinarian and of course i had my daughter at the last year my high last year in high school um so i kind of was just you know researching a lot of different programs for betta system or a veterinarian and penn foster was one of those first things that came on and um i just felt that it kind of meant everything i was looking for it was self-paced it was um a good price that i could afford um and i felt something i could do so and i've heard a lot of great stories from penn foster so that's why i decided to become a student that's so great and we're so glad you did um what happened after you graduated um you had a little bit of a gap there can you tell me about your employment since then yeah so um once i had finished the vet assistant program i immediately decided to apply to different vet clinics that i came across banfield since i used to bring my dog there as a client and i pretty much i got the job so it was very excited that you know get my career started there that's great and banfield is one of our partners as you know so we're so happy to hear that you you're having a great experience there so um how did you decide to enroll and enroll in our veterinary technician program um well um my manager she had encouraged me and a couple other um my co-workers at the time to enroll she thought that we had we were smart and you know we had good passion and things like that for animals and she felt that it was a great opportunity to um kind of jump start our career even more so that's why i decided to go with the wind and decide to do that and here i am now well that's so great so can you tell me a few things about the veterinary technician program that you loved um i definitely love the externships they kind of have stressed me out a little bit in the beginning but it was a nice challenge i was it was exciting to be able to go to different clinics and just kind of practice my skills meeting different veterinarians and technicians i think another thing that i loved was receiving the books i know that compared to a lot of other universities or colleges a lot of students kind of struggle with getting books and the fact that penn foster you know that's including the tuition it was really great so i really like that i'm able to have these books long term now so uh yeah that's right yeah and you said you liked the externship so do you really all did you always like working with animals and was it just something that you were really drawn towards yes most definitely that's so great yes and while studying i know you said you had a little bit of a challenge working through and just finding motivation to continue can you tell me a little bit about that um i think at the time it was kind of hard to raise a kid and go to work and then try to come on the study the material i don't think the material was getting too hard for me i think i just wasn't motivated i was going through a lot of life situations with my marriage and you know just being a mom so i kind of just i just wanted to quit at that point um my father he kind of encouraged me and said hey you need to you need to keep going like you're all halfway there um i had instructors tell me like hey you know you're you know you have a set deadline but we can push that out you know keep going so i decided you know i'm halfway there so i might as well keep going and but yeah we're so glad you did though because you're doing a lot of great things um since graduating i know you said you're taking your vtne soon yes on saturday well good luck on that i hope that's um you suck you're super successful in that and then what's next after um after you achieve your vtne what's the plan well that's uh recently i was talking with my uh current manager at banfield and she's super excited she's you know having plans for technician appointments and just kind of you know trying to do different things for the hospital now that we'll have two techs there um at that point i'm kind of planning on hoping to volunteer at the virginia living museum to get some more experience with different types of animals so i was kind of just going with the wind at this point now so i'm very excited that's great and now um receiving your technic becoming a technician did you see any um any value what value did you see to that were there any more prospects available to you um any career opportunities can you tell me a little bit about those at first i didn't see it as um i guess a jump start to anything i just thought oh you know it's an extra education educational purpose for me um but as i went through the program and i you know was able to see more experience more i realized that it's a lot of job opportunities um i'm always going to have a job i'm able to do more i'm able to educate more i kind of have more of a more rope now um more of like a leader role now so um it's definitely opened up a lot of doors and kind of helped me with i would say my confidence i've always felt like i wanted to be a leader but didn't know how to go about that and since being a technician program it kind of made me see that being a tech is a leader because you have to kind of you know guide your team and make sure that the pets are getting what they need so it's definitely helped me see a lot in that aspect yeah that's great yeah i'm sure um penn foster we really try to also instill confidence in our students and i'm glad that you you recognize that while while going through your studies and even taking what you learned um online and in your studies to the real world yes most definitely at banfield um were there any um opportunities for you once you received your diploma um actually yes um i think that a lot of i had more opportunities to work at different band fields some managers that i did work with or co-workers that i did work with wanted me to basically i want to say in a sense hospitals were fighting for me in a sense but hey come work for me or you know come work over here and help out here so it was definitely it was stressful at first but it was kind of um flattering as well too because it shows that not only did i not only do i have the education and skills but because i have an extra role when i graduate school i'm able to go anywhere that i can if i need to so yeah that's great and banfield does have a lot of opportunities uh really across the country yes most definitely and once you received your diploma were you given a raise about in your current role actually yes um i before i even had officially graduated i had received a raise i um was working in emergency for a little bit and then um at the very end of my externship i had one more skill to do and i had reached out to a clinic up in richmond virginia um and they um and series and you know i told them i said hey i haven't you know graduated yet but they said we want you to be our tech we will you know name your price and you know we'll you know we want you here so um definitely ever you know have opportunities of getting a raise as well too so um pretty much before my diploma that's fantastic and so great to hear um compared to your co-workers how do you feel your penn foster education maybe gave you a leg up um i would definitely say it's out of the world i guess um it's now i'm able to um i can i have more skills more education and not that it's a bad thing but now i can kind of teach them more because they're seeking more they're one of the training so now i'm able to um kind of be that guidance for them so i would definitely say a huge leg up compared to my co-workers that's great and that you're able to act as really a mentor and teach them and help them become stronger vet techs and vet assistants as well that's great yes i agree so what would you say um is your your proudest achievement so far um with through penn foster or in your career cool my first accomplishment i would say um is working with different animals i kind of always wanted to you know work with horses and cows like you just kind of like farm animals and i thought i would never be able to do that um because of the second externship i was able to kind of like spread expand the horizon and work with cows and horses and chickens and you know all these great animals um i would also say that another great accomplishment is just honestly finishing i never thought i was going to finish whenever a dog's going to see the light at the end of the tunnel um so i would definitely say that's another great accomplishment within itself too that's amazing and we're so proud of you and we're so happy you stuck with it and did finish because now you're really onto onto some great things what would you say um your favorite part of being a penn foster student i know you mentioned that it was great that the program was self-paced and online but um what was your favorite part um i know it sounds weird to say because i will always get kind of stressed out about it but the proctor exams um i think because there were a lot harder than other tests that i you know took they kind of helped me step up my studying game in a sense the best way to say it um it kind of because i like the challenge and i think the partner exams were a challenge um it also helps me be able to again establish those relationships with you know my veterinarians that i worked with um they wanted to help me finish school as well too so being you know being my proctor uh kind of established that relationship with them too so not just working-wise but a personal relationship as well yeah and speaking of studying how did you stay motivated or what were some are some tips that you can give to students who are maybe in the program right now that helped you really progress through your studies um i would definitely say slash cards became my best friend um again establishing those working relationships at work they you know the veterinarians i worked with they helped me study they would write only who could be you know working on a pet to say hey what is you know for example two plus two or you know whatever and i'm just like okay and i think that helped as well um the other other biggest thing i would say is joining the um like the facebook groups that really helped but i didn't feel so alone and i actually had met a couple of girls through the facebook group that lived in the same city as me so that kind of helped me want to study more we kind of kept each other cut in contact and make sure hey you know did you do this or you know what do you need to work on so that helped motivate me too yeah we always stress that while it's an online program and an online school you're not going through this alone and we have so many outlets for you to meet other students and even talk with instructors and find help and motivation so that's great to hear that you utilize those so as a temp as a penn foster student can you tell me what um a typical day look like for you and what maybe your study schedule was or how you how you found time to study um usually a typical day for me of course waking up early in the morning getting me and my daughter ready for working school sending her off to school and me going to work for maybe eight hours um picking her up and kind of doing the whole mother and wifely duties um and probably by i want to say late at night between nine and ten i usually you know hamper down to study um if it was a day off then i would kind of you know study in the morning or midday or kind of whenever i had the energy to study so it kind of depending on the day and my energy level that makes sense and i totally but don't believe me there it's a lot a lot to do and finding time to study isn't always easy but online learning is a little bit more flexible how did you um how did you like uh our student portal and how did you feel comfortable navigating that i think the student porter was pretty easy to to use um i think it was self-explanatory um even now even though i'm not enrolled in school anymore i still use um you know go sign into my student quarter now to go back to courses and study so i would say it's fairly easy and not complicated at all so that's great that's great and what's some advice you can give to current students um my advice would be to of course establish relationships um i think that's why getting through school was a lot easier as well um when it was time for my like again my externships um it is kind of hard finding veterinarians that are willing to work with students or finding the time to kind of fit in their schedule um because i established those working relationships those veterinarians were vet techs they were able to kind of help connect me to the right sources so i didn't feel defeated or anything like that i also say the second advice is while in a vet set program to work at a clinic during my vet assistant program because i wasn't working in the clinic it was a little bit harder to implement that education to hands-on so i did find working in the clinic during my technician program helped a lot because i was able to use what i learned or study the night before into my everyday working life so it's a lot easier yeah i'm sure um putting into practice what you've been learning really helped and really made a difference yes a big difference so what would you say the impact is that penn foster has made on your life um i would i would definitely say a huge impact um if you had asked me back in 2013 um that i see myself being here today i would say no it's definitely unbelievable um i think i can definitely say that um character-wise i i feel like i'm able to tackle the world in a good way i want to be able to go out and do more and experience more um and because of you know with penn foster it helped me to understand that um everything is not always easy as it seems i think seeing it as an online program i was oh you know this would be easy but it was very challenging in a good way and i'm glad i took that route so um now i'm able to what storm you know what's with what holes and storms that come my way basically that's so fantastic to hear and now here you are our graduate of the year and we're so proud of you and everything you've accomplished and we'll continue to accomplish in your field and i'm so happy that you took the time to to speak with me today so Keyana one more question before we wrap up can you tell me three words to describe how you feel to be a penn foster graduate uh um amazing um exhilarating and unreal those are three great words thank you so much Keyana and again congratulations on your achievement not just graduating but being our graduate of the year and really everything you've been able to accomplish as really a working mom and wife and continued throughout this program congratulations thank you so much i really appreciate it of course thank you so much for talking with me today thank you bye bye
hello and welcome to our alumni spotlight podcast my name is autumn granza and i work to tell the amazing stories of our students and alumni here at penn foster today i'm talking with michelle rainwater who graduated from our pharmacy technician program in march of 2018. hi michelle hello hi thank you for having me thank you so much michelle for talking with me i know you have an incredible story so let's just dive right in michelle first up how did you find penn foster and what were you up to before you enrolled with penn foster well before i enrolled in penn foster i was really trying to figure out what i was going to do and i was you know playing around with you know different ideas in my head and i kept coming back to pharmacy technician and i was thinking oh my goodness what school do i choose that's right for me and i looked into a couple you know schools asking q a and it just didn't fit right but as soon as i started inquiring about penn foster i just felt this was it it was an easy process they we were on the same page they were they were so helpful and i said this is the school for me um so i signed up right away i mean because i it just felt right it really did so as soon as i did i called and i signed up and i got started go ahead i'm sorry no i was just gonna say when you know you know and it seems like you kind of know you kind of knew right exactly that's how it was that's exactly how it was that's so great and then what did you end up liking about your program and and being enrolled in an online school you know it it didn't really feel like i was by myself because any time i had any questions or i was i was stumped by something you know i would contact penn foster and they would get back to me and they would walk me through it or they would tell me you know um or they would refer me to somebody so it was very i didn't feel like i was by myself because it isn't online and i go at my own pace and everything but still i i had access uh to penn foster 24 7. yeah so that's there so that was a bonus for me yeah because we always stress that while it's an online program you're you're never alone in this so i'm glad you you found comfort in that and that our staff was really readily available to help you out yes they were yes they were that's great and did you come into any obstacles in your program um you mentioned you called staff if you had a problem so what are some things that maybe uh you got tripped up on that other students might find help with with your advice well i just think that what i got as for me i felt like i needed to go fast when realistically i didn't need to and i just like okay um i have to finish this course and no you don't you they're not going to work penn foster is not going to where you have a timeline that you set for yourself and i was trying to get ahead of myself then then uh faster than what i should and i wasn't absorbing things and so everybody at penn foster was just like well slow down just slow down and go go over it again and that's all it took and i think that was my biggest obstacle for myself was thinking okay let's just do this let's just finish it but i was it wasn't sinking in yeah but penn foster made me step back and say you know that's why you guys were there just you know look what you're doing let's walk you through this and and let's see where you're where you're stuck on and that's was my biggest thing and i overcame that it overcame that because like i said i felt like i was supposed to finish in it so quickly but i didn't need to yeah but i didn't i was taking this right back yeah taking a step back and and if i had to go over it again and they went over it with me again they showed me the highlights and and then it clicked that's great then it clicked yes was there any study tips that maybe worked for you um i think as in study tips is just to take it as much as you can it really is important that you it sinks in even if it's uh the textbooks and then on the online pages that you do uh one or two times if if just do it just just keep keep at it i think that was real important even if you get a study buddy you know just don't don't give up do not give up because it's gonna click like uh i think the hardest thing for a lot of people is pharmacy math that can really get to you that can make you cry [Laughter] and and i'm sure everybody says like oh my gosh how am i supposed to learn this pharmacy math or the the most 200 um medications it's gonna click if just don't give up just keep studying it you're gonna find your niche and i think mine my niche was just knowing that if i had any questions i had a great support family and i had penn foster and if i had anything i just know that i was able to ask questions i wasn't afraid to ask questions yeah that's great that's a part number to ask questions yeah right right and you're not bothering anybody by asking questions there is no wrong question you know i mean there's no silly questions yeah because we we learn every day we learn something i'm still learning as a technician i learn every day because medicine medicine constantly changes you know so that's my biggest thing and like i said don't give up just don't give up and i know you mentioned you were you're a wife and mother so how did you maybe find the time to study and when when were you able to to squeeze that time in actually was constantly on the computer and in my books because i had a goal and um we were you know this was an investment it is an investment and um i it's my my career of choice and i i studied from the moment i got up until i couldn't do it anymore and that's because i wanted it so bad you know what i mean i wanted i wanted the knowledge i wanted to be that person who like right now i wanted to be that person that's like oh if she can do it i can do it because you know i i wanted it i wanted it and in the beginning it was a little like oh gosh this is so easy no that's just introduction yeah that's just introduction so you keep at it and you're gonna see it's gonna you think it's gonna get harder but it's just gonna come easy but as for me i studied all the time um of course it was at home so i was able to do my wife and motherly duties um around it so and and my family you know they would help me i would say okay why don't you test me you know let's practice test and they got involved okay you know so they would learn things themselves also so it's a family thing that's so great to hear i love that it was a family effort to get you to reach your goals that's fantastic what are you what have you been up to since i know you you're in the field can you tell us a little bit about that and any of the uh uh the work that you're doing now i i currently am a licensed certified cpht over at cvs proudly great company i really enjoy it um i've been there now since we're going on like nine months now for me to be there i mean since i've been at cvs and i am just so happy that they believed in me um as for cbs they my my manager and probably other people you know other companies too where i was new to the field so uh they they believed in me because of my education they saw that i dedicated myself to penn foster that was a big thing for them that i i was educated and because you know they can just pick somebody within but the company that i was i'm with they because i'm educated and thank you penn foster for that i'm very proud of that i am very proud of that so i've been there and i'm still going strong of course we're so proud of you and so happy to hear that um of course how about the like licensing that you had to go through and the certifications um how did you prepare for those and and was that a little bit of a challenge for you yes taking my ptcb was really stressful um that was that was stressful uh because i have no idea what it was i well i i did have an idea but you don't know until you get there um it was i think it was more stressful prior to taking my ptcb and when i did pass i did fail once um i think because honestly because i was so stressed out and i didn't need to be stressed out i was yeah and it really once i realized that i was fumbling and and being so stressed that it took away i just like what i froze up and when i realized that that's not how you go in there you go in being confident and i guess i wasn't confident i was more stressed so of course i passed and then and then i passed um blind colors i was so excited um that i i passed and but like i said is you just have to go in and maybe i had a big head i don't know but i i went in humble i was confident i opened up my books i studied for another three months hardcore and i went and then i went and i passed so and then because it doesn't really when you get hired they don't see that they just know that you passed so and then after that um i realized which i didn't know until after um everybody started telling me that to get my state license and i'm like oh okay yeah penn foster says yes stay to california you guys sent me all my paperwork that i needed to do to send in to the state board and i got my state license about it took about three months you know the state board is busy yeah but yes yes but i but i did i got my ptcb i got my state board license and it like i said it was just a little nerve-wracking because you go in you're not sure yeah how that test is gonna do because but if you know your stuff and you study hard you're gonna be successful i promise that's great advice i'm sure taking a step back and and calming down is just as important as studying and knowing your stuff because you know exactly i've gone into some tests overwhelmed and if you're overwhelmed and you're just in your head you're not going to perform as well so that's definitely great advice that's exactly right autumn that's what that's what occurred to me you know yeah so but it's all fine and dandy i am i'm glad maybe it was just meant to be that way because it it made me study and realize that oh i thought it was this but realistically it was that yeah yes yes yeah and you're a licensed certified uh pharma tech so that's fantastic we're so proud that you got there um and like you said before um i like the point that you made that the medical field's always changing um so what are maybe some skills that you learned at penn foster that you're using in your daily job um and maybe something that you realize you have to maybe keep up on industry uh movements or trends well everything at penn foster is i i soaked it in um when one time um i was we were talking like hipaa over at work right because hipaa is very important silence you don't talk about anything um but it was to me when i had said or i pointed out to somebody that they need to pull off a sticker and i said it's hipaa and then there was yes remember your training remember your schooling and i always go back to their i mean i can't pinpoint something because it's always fem foster is always my my schooling is always in back of my head what did i learn on this subject i mean so my schooling always comes back to me always i can be in the middle of processing a script and i'll say okay well i remember that section you know third party okay what did i learn it you know at penn foster it always comes back in every aspect of pharmacy is yeah it's it's there i can't really pinpoint one thing we autumn because it's all relevant that's so fantastic that's great subject each and every subject occurs that i have learned occurs things are changing of course in each state it's different but every subject that i have learned at penn foster i am putting to use that's great too yes yes and it's just i'm very proud of that because i always think like i said the hipaa thing i remember i was studying hipaa and and learning and all the the laws um they are extremely important and like i said pharmacy math uh medication it's everything every aspect of my education is put to use it's so good to hear that you're really using everything that you learned throughout throughout your um your time at penn foster and throughout your courses that's absolutely fantastic and that's exactly what what we want and our we hope to do hopefully you're taking what you learned um in class or in in your school work and applying it to the real world and it sounds like you're doing that just beautifully michelle so that's fantastic thank you so much thank you of course so what do you think your favorite part of being a penn foster student was or um or even favorite part of online learning um my favorite part well there's multiple things one of them is because i can always access pen foster i will always be that student number it will never go away that's me i can 10 years from now i can log into pen foster and i can get access to it because that is my student id and i love that i love that i can i can go back really quick and just if i need to and and check see see my status or you know if i have something prior that you know it's like oh i want to just check up on this course that i did before you know three years ago it's it'll say welcome back michelle so and that that right there is it's awesome it's awesome for me um and i got a quick story i was at walmart matter of fact i have her on on my phone but i can't think of her name right now i'm sorry um i was at walmart i had just gotten off the work and i went into walmart just uh to go run a couple to get some milk and stuff and i was in line and um and i'm so sorry if she's listening but i know you know who we are so she she looks at me she goes are you a pharmacy technician and i said yes and i said and she goes oh you work for cvs i go yes she says i just started i go you did she goes i i just started ken foster i go oh my goodness she says it's i said oh so we talked in line i know the other customers behind us were like hurry up but um yes but yeah i was i wish i could look right now but yeah she just started and she was telling me she goes i'm taking my first exam and she was so excited about it so yeah it's just that right there knowing that i have that that sisterhood and you know that rapport that it is it's awesome yeah yeah such a vast alumni network yeah it's huge our alumni is huge yeah exactly be a penn foster alumni being pet foster uh student is very proud of that and it's like whoever you know right now all the students out there it is to have penn foster you know on your back and on a resume it's it's awesome because you're accredited school yeah so yeah and a lot of a lot of other schools they might think they're you know they're online and but they're not accredited and that's very important so keep it up thanks for that story michelle i love that you found someone within penn foster um online learning you think you're alone you're not there's so many people the same courses as you right right exactly and i know you mentioned before um it was really a family effort to to help you reach your goals your family helping you study and so on so what did it mean um to the people around you for you to be to become a penn foster graduate and to yourself oh well my husband um it was he has been in the construction field for many years he's management and he's tired he really is he's tired and i told him once i graduate going to work and then you can slow down a little bit so it was very important for me to get a great education um in in my chosen field you can like i said it was a family thing for him to be able to slow down he's still working like crazy of course but knowing that knowing that i am where i'm at now has put a little bit of the burden off of him yeah is it all on him and uh yeah it's it's it's lifted a little bit you know it really has so um it's in my son he's he's matter of fact he's around here somewhere yeah but oh yes we're very proud very proud of it and uh it was very important to show that i can do this for him you know so yeah i'm very proud of it we're very proud to be penn foster alumni because they're part of it too yeah they really are they took a journey with me when i was studying and they wanted me to do something i said okay well hold off you know let me let me finish this that took away from them but they they were okay with it they really were they really were that's so great and how does it feel for you personally to be a penn foster graduate oh it's a it's awesome i i am very proud of that like i said i knew exactly where my diploma was i have it i have it with all my i have with my um license i have it in a plastic so nothing ever happens to it it's i worked hard for that yeah and i'm very proud of that and i personally love the price the price to me was right where i needed to be you know i it didn't break the bank and um and i just think i'm very proud of that i am very proud to be that i will say it i will refer to anybody that needs that high school diploma or you know your options are enormous for your education you know programs that you have there it's out there for you and i would say just don't waste your time on those try penn foster yeah we do have so many programs and i'm glad you found your nation what's right for you michelle this has been great i want to wrap up with one last question what are three words you would use to describe your pen foster experience let me think about this one it was okay my pen foster was memorable because i everything about it i use okay um the second word i would use was oh my gosh there's so many i would i guess edu educational would be the one because it was very educational and um oh there's so many okay um my other one i'm going to say because of the team the penn foster team like you autumn it's it's the kindness that you guys show the show your students and you show you know your fellow uh employees it's the kindness that you showed me and maybe that had a lot to do with my success you know so like i said there's so many there's so many words i have to think about that but yes you know memorable educational and kindness would be the three things that come to mind when i think of penn foster michelle thank you that was fantastic and we're so huge i'm proud of you and i hope you have so much success within your field thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me today thank you so much autumn
hello and welcome to our alumni spotlight podcast my name is autumn granza and i work to tell the amazing stories of our students and alumni here at penn foster today i'm speaking with david jones who completed his associate degree in construction technology in 2014 and recently completed his bachelor's degree in business management this year hi david welcome hi thank you so much for agreeing to talk with me today now david we are going to get right into it um so what were you up to before enrolling in penn foster the first time in 2014 so prior to going to school at penn foster i actually was working as a maintenance technician supervisor for apartments out in monterey california um yeah so that's where i was at before and what made you decide to enroll in penn foster and pursue online education so i was talking to a co-worker of mine i was a construction project manager and i asked him how he got where he was and he kind of directed me into getting a degree in construction technology and then on the back end also getting my bachelor's of science in business management yeah that's great and then um what did you end up liking about studying online and the program itself studying online is not for everybody but it was perfect for me because i could actually do it at my own pace i have two kids um and a wonderful wife and with family and works it just fell in place that i could do my studies either after hours or during my lunch that works so i mean it actually worked out pretty well i liked everything uh their sponsor had to offer though it was really really simple to go through the program yeah that's great and definitely helpful i'm sure with two kids at home to be able to study maybe when they're napping or in bed so that's perfect and then um did you have any uh did you lack any motivation or how did you stay motivated throughout your program or were there any obstacles you had to overcome you you know going through school is always a challenge because you're learning new things day to day so i mean as as far as obstacles there's always going to be something you're going to say that you either don't remember learning from high school or you have to relearn stuff that you forgot so i mean my challenge i think in the entire program was kind of english because i had to learn how to read write college papers from high school um there was also uh the math portion that i had to re-challenge myself to learn all these formulas that i had forgotten over years of you know not seeing formulas since high school so that was pretty much the only obstacles that i ran into though yeah and then did you find yourself calling into instructors for help and how did that go um i actually got a i had a family friend that is awesome at math he helped me through the stuff uh i did the only time i used tutors was during the english portion and of course they're wonderful uh you know it was just basically for writing to make sure that i stayed on track i mean you have to follow the instructions mostly and if you bear often you get about your age now yeah and it's good that you had someone um within your personal life that you can turn to and and can help you as you progress so that's awesome and um once you graduated i know you said you pretty much took the bull by the horns and got right into your occupation and current employer now so can you tell me about a little bit about what you're doing now and and how you got the job that you have so about seven years ago after i got my first degree i had a chance because i had a construction background before to step into a hybrid role but instead of stepping in the hybrid role i was already in my degree program to finish and i finished like a few months after i had applied for the job and they actually let me move into it um so it it it was pretty you know self-explanatory when it came down to it i mean it just made sense for everybody to put me in the construction project manager paul yeah that's awesome and you're working at a company called graystar can you tell us a little bit about maybe what you do with your day to day so for graystar what i do is i do a lot of construction projects anywhere from fifteen thousand dollars all the way to multi-million dollar projects um these are all construction projects for caps and capital projects for properties are like you know exterior renovations for like windows exterior repaints any architectural defects that have to do with design engineering interior renovations um i deal with a lot of construction stuff that you know we we basically maintain buildings but in a construction effect so we i'm not building from the ground up i do plan on getting into that later on it's just right now i like working where i'm at because it's a multi-family industry yeah that's great and then how do you put into practice maybe what you learned at penn foster um within your role now oh man um so i use a lot of the information that i do for scope writing because you learn so much stuff through the book that you read for concrete and for green building and all that good stuff so it actually plays a good role into learning the codes and standards of construction um even with autocad that i was taught it was it just helped reading plans you had to do construction plan reading through ben foster so everything that i learned through school is something that i'm actually doing out in the field um there's not something that you know it just added to what i already know it was just an awesome experience that's so great to hear and um i love hearing that because going to school and learning and then putting into practice what you learn is the ultimate goal so that's fantastic and i'm so happy to hear that and david i know you said eventually you would like to get into um maybe building from the ground up now with this bachelor's degree can you tell me what your ultimate career goal is and how you're going to apply this new degree too so with my new degree i was kind of looking into possibly being later not like right now maybe in the next five to ten years starting my own business as a consultant as a project management firm so now that i have the construction technology i can also do you know the business management portion which is a lot more but in the long run it does make you a lot more money um so i think that's what i'm going to do so it the business degree actually taught me a lot about business and business law and accounting and all that good stuff to actually own my own business if i want to go that route i haven't really decided whether i want to yet but i think that's my ultimate goal in the next five to ten years yeah and at least now you have the uh the backing and the schooling to to support that if that's the route you choose so that's fantastic and then um to current to current students who are maybe in your shoes going through the program now um what can you what's some advice you can get to current students that are progressing through their studies i would just tell them to see it through i mean that's the biggest thing um you know getting a degree in this day and age is so important when i got out of high school i took a break but i mean i would just say go ahead and see it through because later on in life you're gonna need you know a degree ultimately to you know if you have a family or not you're gonna have to support yourself and it just helps you live more comfortably having a degree than it does without yeah so i would say see it through and how did uh you becoming a graduate um how what did that mean to you and the people around you and within your family so my parents i think the highest education they got was high school so it meant a lot to me just to finish out my secondary degree it doesn't mean i won't be going back to school in the long run and i might that that's another thing i really haven't considered but um i'm probably going to consider that in the future but it meant really the world to me because you know i'm i'm setting an example for the people around me not only for my parents because they're super proud that i did it but also i'm setting an example for my kids yeah that's so true and so great especially with two kids um i'm sure that's fantastic for them to see their dad completing this and and working hard and it's not easy you're working full time too and progressing through school so that's amazing and what would you say was your favorite thing about um studying at penn foster i would say the well there's so many themes i mean you go through different semesters and you just you get through everything and you look back and you're like wow i really did like math but i knew it was a challenge and the english was a challenge but you know i i think i overall i like every bit of it i liked being done and i'll be honest with that but i i feel like i like the entire coursework and the coursework was set up so perfectly through the school so and just the people in boston that were in the background doing their job just really really it made it easy but also made it fun and easy to understand the program so i mean i really like the program itself that's great and what would you say to maybe someone who's considering penn foster and hasn't made the commitment yet well the first thing i would say is make sure that online learning is the right way that you want to go some people learn either by in person or online and i would say go for it with penn foster because it's a great school i i've had a great a really great experience with you know the instructors the people the coursework um i mean i i i that's i would push it i mean the financial stuff too i mean it's not expensive to go to school so it's just like overall it's just really great and it's a really great program whichever program either even if it was a certification through you guys or diploma or whatever i think it's all set up perfectly through penn foster that's so great thank you so much for saying that and david uh last question um what are three words you would describe uh your penn foster experience three words to describe it so one word for myself would be driven for the school would be excellent and the for one would be i would say fast pace that's great three great words well david thank you so much for talking with me today and um you're doing great and we're so excited that you agreed to to talk with us and i'm sure students listening to this and even alumni will be motivated and encouraged by your words so thank you so much oh you're welcome
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