Describe your job search process. What were some challenges you faced or things you learned from it?
My journey started as an undergraduate at FSU. I was offered an internship opportunity with the Research Department at Tallahassee Neurological Clinic in 2013. It began as a volunteer opportunity and I was eventually offered a part-time position and later a full-time position as a Research Assistant. During that time, I was applying to PA school and received an acceptance in 2017. I left TNC and went to PA school in South Florida December 2017. I was interested in returning for a rotation and was able to rotate with Dr. Oliver in September 2018 due to my persistent interest and experience with Neurosurgery. I enjoyed working with Dr. Oliver very much and was lucky enough to be offered a full-time position as a Physician Assistant starting in January 2020! I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity as I know job searching can be challenging and frustrating. Starting a new job anywhere is scary and always brings new challenges, but remaining open and humble while settling in helped me push through the struggles of a new job and new responsibilities. Never be afraid to ask for help!
What were some takeaways from your internships and previous positions? How did these help prepare you for the next steps in your career?
My job as a research assistant was extremely helpful. In the beginning as an intern, I gained experience in a clinical and office setting and learned the roles of all providers and administrative staff. As I gained more responsibility, I began interacting with patients and learned the importance of precise documentation in a medical setting. I was able to interact with patients more overtime, allowing me to become more comfortable with patients as a part of the health-care team. This also provided insight into medications and general medical care. All of these experiences helped prepare me for not only PA school, but how I would act as a "REAL" healthcare provider. My experience as an intern and research assistant helped me be more confident with patient interactions and aided in learning the type of relationships I would one day have with my own patients, one that is trusting with mutual respect. I know without a doubt I would not be where I was today without all the experience and knowledge I gained as an intern and research assistant.
What advice do you have for students currently launching a part-time job search?
Never give up; stay true to yourself; you will end up where you are meant to be even if there are struggles along the way. It took me quite a few years to go from intern, employee, and eventually a PA student and then PA-C. While that is not where I initially thought I would end up, I am SO happy and grateful and absolutely LOVE my job. I have been extremely lucky to have excellent support with peers and staff that have helped me along the way. Make sure you DO network and really utilize resources offered. Never be afraid to ask for help, we all start at the bottom! Stay passionate and keep working toward reaching your goals.
"Never give up; stay true to yourself; you will end up where you are meant to be even if there are struggles along the way. It took me quite a few years to go from intern, employee, and eventually a PA student and then PA-C. While that is not where I initially thought I would end up, I am SO happy and grateful and absolutely LOVE my job.”
Degree: Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Current Position: Physician Assistant (PA-C) at Tallahassee Neurological Clinic, Department of Neurosurgery