Medical assistant program student Samantha Senart believes in making the most of her college education at Minnesota School of Business-St. Cloud (MSB), and she challenges other students to do the same. She has great advice on how to be proactive in securing employment—even before your graduation date.
1. Start Now. Senart’s interest in medicine began long ago and her first step into the field was to become a certified phlebotomist. From that point, she decided on a medical assisting career and a degree from MSB, in large part due to its flexibility in scheduling. But from the very start, beginning with her certification training, she made sure that those she worked for in clinical situations knew her name, face and work ethic. “Before I left the CentraCare River Campus [for clinicals]” she recalls, “they were already talking to the hospital about hiring me.” Although she hadn’t yet begun her degree work, Senart says she learned a lot from this early experience, including that she prefers a clinical setting to a hospital.
2. Network Like Crazy. Senart’s radiology instructor recently recommended her for a weekend position at the St. Cloud Medical Group. Senart applied, interviewed and got the job just two weeks ago. But Senart didn’t just utilize Cathy Funovitz’s advice and connections, she also solicited advice from other instructors and the Career Service department on campus. She left such a good impression during the interview process that she was offered a temporary position at the clinic immediately (the weekend clinic doesn’t open until October.) This shows, Senart says, “that students should network. [It gets] your foot in the door. I’ll get a feel for what it’s about.”
3. Present Yourself Well. “People will remember you.” Senart knows this to be true for better or worse. The impression that you make can lead right to—or directly away from—your intended future. “Take any opportunity you can,” she advises. “You don’t know what it will lead to down the road.” For example, she explains, “[St. Cloud Medical Group] doesn’t usually take interns, but now that I’m an employee, they said they will do whatever they can [to help].”
4. Extend Yourself. “I am taking 16 credits a quarter,” Senart says, “and I have three jobs. I’m exhausted. But I still go to class and stay the entire time. I’ve taken any knowledge that I could.” She also reflects, “I’ve taken the right steps to get out there and jumped on this opportunity.” She thinks all students would be wise to follow the same course of action. “How often do you get this opportunity?” she asks. Senart laughs when she considers “free time.” There will be time to relax later.
When you ask Samantha Senart if she is worried about securing a job after graduation in a tough and competitive market, she responds, “Not really.”
We don’t think she needs to worry either.