It Won’t Be As Long As It Has Been

Harley Odom’s Testimonial with ANU

Harley Odom’s journey into the field of Medical Assisting was sparked by her deep compassion for the most vulnerable members of our society – elders in need of care. Her decision to pursue an associate degree in Medical Assisting at American National University stems from a heartfelt desire to make a difference, fueled by the regret of not being able to do more for her grandmother at the end of her life. Harley envisions a future where she can provide compassionate support to others in their final moments, ensuring that no one feels alone. Motivated by creating a better future and example for her young son, Harley has consistently excelled in her educational pursuits, maintaining a remarkable record of straight A’s, and earning the title of Term Trailblazer for Term 238!

When Harley donated plasma, she couldn’t help but notice how much the nurses and phlebotomists enjoyed their jobs. Inspired by their eagerness for their careers, Harley looked into becoming a phlebotomist. However, when speaking to an admissions representative for ANU, she learned that becoming a Medical Assistant could help her reach the goals she has always wanted to achieve.

“I actually applied to two or three different colleges, and [ANU was] the first one to answer back,” she explains, “within two weeks I was in class!”

She explains that she has stuck with ANU and her education more than she has with other things in her life, determined to finish her education and join her dream career. “I said ‘I am going to finish this!’ There is nothing going to bring me down!” She enthuses.

Compared to previous college experiences she’s had, Harley loves being online as opposed to being on campus. “I love online – the online learning is like the best thing I’ve ever seen in my life!” She says. She explains that on days she feels like she’s running behind, she can still make it to class because it’s accessible to her home and flexible with her schedule. “It makes it so accessible for my son, because I can’t take him into [in-person] class with me.” With ANU, she can take her classes all from home and not have to worry about childcare. She can take her classes while with her son and still earn the education she needs to succeed.


Harley feels like her professors are preparing her for all the skills she’ll need as a medical assistant. “All of my instructors have been super helpful and knowledgeable about the subjects they teach,” she explains. One of her favorite classes was Medical Terminology, which she explains gave her the foundation which her education will build on. Professor Abigal Chelstowski was the instructor of that course and Harley “absolutely loved her kinesthetic teaching style, she definitely keeps the class awake with her examples. I love her!” She goes on to explain that anytime she’s had a problem or needed help, she’s always received it at ANU. “Anytime you have a problem, you can contact administration of any sorts and they will get back to you within 24 hours,” she says, “because of me being online, I can’t just walk into an office and say, ‘hey, I need help with this.’ I message and wait for a response!”

Despite being on the journey towards graduation, Harley has wasted no time in putting her acquired skills and knowledge into practice. Her enthusiasm for learning was evident during her CPR class, where she not only received a CPR kit but also found great enjoyment in the learning process. What truly stands out is her ability to apply her newfound expertise in real-life situations. Recently, she utilized her CPR training to save her own son from choking, showcasing her quick thinking and readiness to act when it matters most.

“He swallowed something right in front of me and my instincts kicked in. I did exactly what my training was… It is the best detailed class I’ve ever done! They show you exactly where your hand placement is, how long you should do it, what you’re looking for… it’s amazing!”

Her future goals include working with the elderly and assisted living care. She also has considered working in hospice. She has these goals to be there for those who may not have anyone else at the end of their lives. She has even considered continuing her education, “after I get this degree, I might continue and go for another one!”

Harley has already recommended ANU to those around her. “It’s just amazing, the teachers are amazing, the schoolwork is amazing,” she gushes. “ANU hasn’t made any mistakes in my eyes. I wouldn’t choose another college.”

Her advice for future ANU students: “Motivation and a good support system will get you through it… Don’t rely on other people for their comments or their praise because you’ll be waiting forever,” she explains. She also holds onto advice she received from her late grandmother: “It won’t be as long as it has been.”

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