After a decade of working in the financial field, Pamela Campbell suddenly found herself without a job. Although being laid off was a shock to her, it also brought a welcomed opportunity for a new start. Pamela realized that she wasn’t happy in finance anymore and felt like she needed a change in her career, and now was the perfect time to go back to school for training in a new field.
Since several of her family members worked in the medical field, Pamela thought she would look into it and liked the projected growth for the career and the many opportunities in different aspects of healthcare. “I wanted to do more behind the scenes,” she explained, “I wanted to be in a management position.” She found the health information technology (HIT) degree program at the $$Cleveland Campus would help her in that goal and took the next big step by walking through the doors of the campus.
“I was afraid,” she admitted, “I thought I was too old; I thought I wouldn’t fit in; I thought I would be so far behind that I wouldn’t be able to catch up.” But she proved all her fears and doubts wrong, making the Dean’s List in her very first term. She attributes much of her success to the positive attitude of the American National University community, the “yes-you-can attitude,” she calls it. She said that it was the instructors that gave her confidence in her abilities. “The way they teach,” she explained, “they’re for you – they want to help you.” It helped that she had that same support from her two grown children: “They were truly excited,” she says with a smile, “They have been encouraging me for years to go [to college].”
Now almost through her first year, Pamela states: “I’m really enjoying it.” Despite it being completely different than what she is used to in finance, she has found the HIT training engaging and exciting. “I’m looking forward to the externship,” she shared, “I want to get in the field.” But she doesn’t plan on stopping there. After she starts her new career, she plans on continuing her education and working towards a bachelor’s degree.
The next big step for Pamela will be graduation in 2013: “I’m looking forward to the year 2013 to see what my future is for that year,” she said. Remembering what it felt to take those first frightening steps into the campus, Pamela encourages other students who are considering returning to school and feeling unsure. “It’s your future – your career,” she said, “It took me ten years to walk through the door… You can do it.”