A Q&A with Medical Office Administration Student Heather VanSickle

Did you ever attend a post-secondary school before, if so where and what was your experience?

Heather VanSickle

I attended California University of Pennsylvania from 2010-2012. My major was Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Science. I loved my major and my courses. I did very well at Cal U, but I did feel like I was just a number in a way. I didn’t get to develop a close relationship with the faculty the way I have at PIHT. I had to leave because my mom had Multiple Sclerosis and she needed my help because was terminally ill. I also attended Penn State University Fayette Campus briefly from 2003-2004. My major there was Journalism. I decided quickly that it wasn’t for me.

What were you doing before you decided to go to attend PIHT?

I was a stay-at-home mom of my now three-year-old son Emmett. I went back to work at a local gas station for a short time.

Why did you choose PIHT?

I chose PIHT because I really wanted to pursue a career in Medical Office Administration. I was very unhappy working dead end jobs, and I wanted to have a real career to invest my time and effort. I liked that it is very close to where I live, and the class schedule works well for my family and me. Now that I am a mother of a toddler, I really liked the fact that it is an 18-month program. I will graduate before my son starts school, and I am very happy about that.

Why did you choose your program?

I chose the Medical Office Administration program at Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology because I would love to work in a doctor’s office or a hospital. I have always loved doing office work, and this gives me the opportunity to have the proper training and certifications to have a long career in the medical field.

What is your favorite part of attending PIHT?

My favorite part of attending PIHT is the relationships I have gotten to engage in with my instructors and staff at PIHT as well as with my classmates. I have met some wonderful people who I believe will be my friends for the rest of my life. We get to share this journey together. We are a small campus, and it gives the instructors and staff a chance to really get to know the students personally. That is something that I truly appreciate.

Who is your favorite teacher, or what is your favorite class and why?

It is hard to pick a favorite instructor, because I truly love them all. Roxanne Seaton is my advisor and I have had her for several classes. I love every class that she teaches. I especially loved Research and Writing and Psychology. I also really like Kelli Workman and her classes Medical Terminology I-III. They have been my favorite medical related classes so far. She has helped me a lot with my classes.

What is your ideal job after graduation?

My ideal job after I graduate from Pennsylvania Institute of Technology with my Associate degree in Specialized Business would be to work in a doctor’s office, hospital, or possibly even a state prison. I am open to whatever positions are available to me. I will have many more options with my degree. Overall, I hope to work in a doctor’s office.

How would you like your life to be in five years?

In five years, my son will be 8-years-old, so he will be in elementary school. I want to have an established career in a doctor’s office which will allow me to also have time to focus on being the best mom I can be for Emmett. I want to be able to have job security and know that Emmett and my family will have everything we need. I also hope my husband and I can take Emmett on a nice vacation.

Would you refer WVJC to a friend? Why?

I absolutely would refer PIHT to a friend. It has been an amazing experience for me. I have obtained an exceptional education so far, and I know that I have a bright future ahead of me when I graduate. I have made amazing friends and I have learned a lot. I would tell my friend to check it out and see what our school has to offer. There are different programs to choose from, and you can’t go wrong with any of them. I am very satisfied with my experience at PIHT and I’m proud to say I am a student here.