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Graduate Recalls Her Positive Experience at National College and Loves Her Career

Sep 10, 2013

Graduate Tiffany Dunnington of the Bristol Campus had done “lots of different things” before enrolling in college.  She had been a manager at a local restaurant, worked in retail management, and worked with disabled kids.  She had always wanted to go to college.   One day she called the campus and was treated well by everyone who spoke with her on the phone, she went for a personal interview, liked what she heard and decided to “go for it”.  She knew that she wanted to go to a small college and was really drawn to the campus because of the small classes and the reputation of students being able to get their education more quickly than at other schools. 

Tiffany enrolled in the medical assisting associate’s degree program because she knew she wanted to help others.  She realized that she liked to interact with the public. 

Tiffany said “I left with a better understanding of who I was.  [At first], I was really quiet and sat in the back of the classroom.” Director of healthcare education Sheri Jessee, who Tiffany calls her “hero,” had students “get in front of people and talk”!  As a result, “everyone knew me and it helped me to open up to people”.  Tiffany even served as president of the student activities council; worked with Cheryl Sapp, the campus career director to publish the newsletter called the Campus Bugle, and served as a work study in her department. She liked that the staff of the campus let her be involved and that provided her with encouragement.

English was her favorite part of her experience at National.  She “loved writing papers on medical topics” including doing the research. 

After Tiffany completed an externship at a local urgent care center, Cheryl sent her résumé to Southeastern Retina Associates.  Tiffany was contacted by the office, went in for her interview, and landed the job.  She is now a screening technologist and works in a fast-paced environment.  Tiffany opens the screening rooms, screens patients and prepares them for their eye exam, injections, etc.   What she likes best about her place of employment are her co-workers.  She said that everyone is so nice and they have an “open door policy” when it comes to asking questions.  She is very excited that she will also be able to work in the company’s other locations.  Regarding the future, Tiffany said, “I plan to stay here because there are so many opportunities”.  She would like to become a certified ophthalmic assistant (COA).   
Tiffany added that she learned so much at National and had a lot of different experiences.  She said that she realized how [much] everyone [there] cares about the students.  When asked about the advice that she would give to anyone thinking about going to college she said, “It is never too late.  Go for it!”

 (A)-Graduate Tiffany Dunnington is a screening technologist at Southeastern Retina Associates.
(B) Tiffany Dunnington (front) with her supervisor, Maxine Stonecipher.

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tags: TN-Bristol Medical: Medical Assisting - Associate Degree (MAA)