Hawks Hired highlights the accomplishments of RWU graduates as they finalize the next steps in their career journeys. Riley is currently a Medical Assistant for Milford Regional Physician Group. Read on to learn more about her next chapter since graduation.
What was your program of study at RWU? I double majored in public health and mathematics, with a minor in Spanish.
Graduation year? I graduated from RWU in May 2023.
Where is your next adventure? (Company/School and Role) In June, I started a new position as a medical assistant for Milford Regional Physician Group outpatient offices. I am also taking a few upper level prerequisites at a college near my hometown so I will be eligible to apply to a PA program next year.
What are you most looking forward to in this new role? For this position I am able to float around to the different outpatient offices (primary care and various specialties). I am already loving this new role as I get to interact with so many different patients and see how different types of clinical offices operate.
What was the process like of landing this job/next opportunity? I trained as a medical assistant at a women’s clinic before senior year, but I wanted to apply for a more generalized clinical MA position so I would have the potential to learn more outside one specialty. I found this position through LinkedIn in early March and was able to secure the position in May after the interview process. I obtained my RMA (Registered Medical Assistant) certification through American Allied Health as required by the company. I applied for two other positions in clinical offices but felt this one would allow me to learn and grow the most by being a float clinical staff versus working in one specialty.
Who helped you during your job search/graduate school process? Although I was in a public health program at RWU, a variety of students in my classes were on the pre-health track (nursing, PA, med school). I was lucky to meet like-minded people to discuss different career opportunities as we were all planning life after graduation and seeking out clinical positions to gain experience before applying to a graduate program. Talking this through with my peers helped me to seek out what I wanted in a position and what opportunities were available. In addition, the pre-health program (shoutout director Jonathan Albert!) started my last semester at RWU. Even in a short time, the advice and network opportunities I was able to engage in was extremely helpful in the process of navigating career opportunities.
What advice do you have to students who are in the process of finding a job/going to graduate School? The major thing I learned is it is okay to take it slow. A lot of people think you have to go into graduate school right after your Bachelor’s (which is completely fine!), but gaining work experience before pursuing a secondary program is extremely important and beneficial to growing your skill set in your field. I was so worried about “being behind” and not entering a PA program right out of RWU, as well as not having all the prerequisite classes I needed due to deciding I wanted to pursue this path halfway into my Bachelor’s degree. After speaking to others and connecting with current practicing Physician Assistants, I reinforced my passion for pursuing PA and realized, at least for this pathway, a lot of people delay going to graduate school so they can spend time getting to know their career outside higher education by networking and expanding their skills.
Want to share your next steps with the CCPD? Email Kevin (email@example.com) in the CCPD to learn more about sharing with us!