Graduate Success | Pittsburgh Career Institute

Graduate Success

Below are just a few examples of the many successes that alumni from PCI have found after graduating and moving on to careers in their field.


Graduate: Patricia

Program: Medical Billing & Coding
Current Employer: Scott Medical Center, Greentree

Q:  Why did you choose PCI?

A:  I decided it was time to go back to school and I spoke with the admissions department at PCI about the Medical Billing and Coding program and took a tour. I decided it was the best choice to go back to school after speaking with Ernie.

Q:  Why did you choose the Medical Billing & Coding program?

A:  I have always wanted to be a medical biller. I find the whole process fascinating and have always wondered how hospitals and physician practices get paid for services from insurances.

Q:  Where are you working?

A:  Scott Medical Center in Greentree, just outside of Pittsburgh.

Q:  What is the best part of your new position?

A:  I get to work independently but I also work as part of a team when needed. I have learned that there are many different types of insurances. I am always learning and my boss is very helpful.


Graduate: Shannyn

Program: Respiratory Therapy
Current Employer: Forbes Hospital

Q:  Why did you choose PCI?

A:  I chose PCI because I wanted a school that was going to have smaller classes, so that I really got a one-on-one education. I also wanted a school that guaranteed I’d fully be in the Respiratory Therapy program and that didn’t require unnecessary filler classes.

Q:  Why did you choose the Respiratory Therapy program?

A:  I chose Respiratory Therapy because it is a rewarding career that is always in demand. There are also lots of job opportunities in different settings to choose from.

Q:  What advice would you give to current students?

A:  Don’t give up and continue to study. If you are passionate about the program you can definitely get through it. Remember that there aren’t any stupid questions, so ask if you don’t understand something. Not everyone is great at the same thing, someone might be better at something that you’re not – and vice-versa – so don’t get stressed about that you’re still learning. Actually, in the medical field, EVERYONE is still learning.

Q:  Where are you working?

A:  I’m a full-time Respiratory Therapist at Forbes Hospital.

Q:  What is the best part of your new position?

A:  I get to work at a known hospital that has all different types of patients. It is out of the city but is still a big hospital. Plus everyone there is so amazing and helpful.


Graduate: Davon

Program:  Dental Assistant
Current Employer:  Primary Care Health Services

Q:  Why did you Choose PCI?

A:  Because it was more than a school to me; it was like a home away from home.  The teachers and staff make you feel so excited about furthering your education.

Q:  What advice would you give to current students?

A:  Focus, listen and study twice as hard as usual.  This will help guide you to obtain your diploma and X-Ray certification.

Q:  Where are you working?

A:  I was hired at my externship site: Primary Care Health Services, Dental Department.

Q:  What do you like most about being a Dental Assistant at Primary Care Health Services?

A:  The best part is that I have fun at work. I enjoy my co-workers and patients.


Graduate: Melissa

Program: Veterinary Technology
Current Employer: PVSEC (Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center)

“I decided that I wanted to learn more about the Veterinary Technology field after being a Vet Assistant for a few years. I decided to go back to school to become a Vet Technician. I researched schools and decided to tour PCI. I knew this is where I was supposed to be, after completing a tour. I filled out my paperwork and started class three weeks later. I was able to thrive at PCI. The staff was very friendly and encouraging. They really believed in my dreams. The instructors enjoy what they do and take pride in seeing their students succeed. I completed my externship at PVSEC and was hired there after graduation. I felt like PCI had prepared me for my externship and for work in the Veterinary Technology field. I had hands on experience inside and outside the classroom. The experience helped me become confident in my skills. I believe PCI has prepared me in all aspects to be a successful Vet Tech and person.”


Graduate: Devin

Program: Massage Therapist
Current Employer: Verve 360

“Born and raised in Pittsburgh, I was always very athletic and excelled in almost every sport. After graduating from Schenley High School, I attended Kent State for a year before moving to Los Angeles to play college football. I then moved back home, where I assisted in coaching high school soccer, along with track and field. While training these students I often noticed them pulling muscles, dealing with cramps and having problems due to a lack of flexibility. That’s when I thought about studying massage therapy, so I could really begin to help my students achieve their goals! I signed up for the Massage Therapist program at Pittsburgh Career Institute, where I learned various techniques and styles – Swedish, Athletes, Prenatal, Deep Tissue, Neuromuscular, Myofascial, Hot Stone as well as energy work. I am excited to have started my career at Verve 360, where I get to take advantage of all the knowledge I’ve gained and apply it in a therapeutic setting.”


Graduate: Tiffany

Program: Medical Assistant Specialist
Current Employer: UPMC

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Medical Assistant?

A: It has always been a dream of mine to help others in my life and not see them sick.  I wanted to get a degree in a career where there would be room to grow; that is why I enrolled in the Medical Assistant Program.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical and hands-on experience.

A: The classes that I took where extremely helpful.  When I was nervous about my externship or entering into the workforce, the school gave me positive influence.  I learned most of my skills in the clinical lab class.  I am extremely confident in performing phlebotomy, injections, vitals and I know the medical terminology. The instructors that I had at PCI were very helpful and would not let me give up, even when I wanted to.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Medical Assistant position(s)?

A: I became very confident interviewing for the medical assistant positions I applied for.  It took a lot of practice to feel as confident as I did, but I had the help of wonderful people in the Career Services Department.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Medical Assistant Specialist program?

A:  The words I would have for someone thinking of attending PCI for the Medical Assistant Program would be not to make excuses about going to class every day or doing the work you know needs to be done. If this is the career you really want in life, then you can do anything you put your mind to.  Most importantly I would say to pay attention; you did not come to school to play or make friends – you came here to get an education and a career.


Graduate: NicoleNicole_WebRes

Program: Veterinary Technology
Current Employer: Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty & Emergency Center (PVSEC)

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Vet Tech?

A: I have had a lifelong love and appreciation of animals. My passion and dedication really came through when I started my career as a Veterinary Tech. My former employer pushed me toward returning to college to pursue my degree in Veterinary Technology. I may take the Veterinary Technician Certification Exam to become certified.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical and hands-on experience.

A: The education that I received at PCI was top notch. I really enjoyed the small classroom sizes and the amount of one-on-one time with instructors. It was really beneficial to have lecture and discuss procedures and protocols and then go directly to the lab to perform the processing and analysis of the sample types that we had just discussed with our instructors. I really enjoyed going to the local shelters and Humane Societies to perform our hands-on skills. We were helping to perform physical exams, vaccinations, blood testing, and grooming of the shelter pets. We learned the right way to clean and disinfect a kennel environment. Also, we were taught their way to clean and sterilize instruments followed by the wrapping of surgical packs. It was great to be a part of the walking, socialization, play and cuddle time, with our shelter residents.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Vet Tech position(s)?

A: I was very confident with my interview skills that we were taught near the end of our program. Now, that being said, being confident did not help my nervousness when interviewing for my externship position with  PVSEC. It was helpful that we had “mock” interviews in school to help us prepare for questions we may be asked.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Vet Tech program?

A: This program is very intense and it requires a lot of dedication in and outside of the class room. As long as you put your hours in after school with studying and homework, you will be successful.

If you ever do find yourself having a hard time, either with the material that is presented to you, or if you’re having a personal private conflict, there is ALWAYS someone at PCI to talk to with confidence and trust. Your mentor will never judge you or discuss your personal situations. The PCI staff is there to help you find a solution so that you may continue with your education successfully and reach your goals.


Graduate:  LamelLamar

Program: Veterinary Technology
Current Employer: Munhall Veterinary Hospital

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Vet Tech?

A: Growing up with a family full of dogs, cats and birds, becoming a veterinary technician seemed like the natural choice when attending Pittsburgh Career Institute. I made the decision with my best friend!

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical and hands-on experience.

A: If I did not have the encouragement of my classmates and teachers at PCI, I would not have made it to graduation and beyond. They all motivated me to do what I had to so that I am able to work in a career that I love. The clinical part of the program that gave me hands-on experience made the learning fun and it was great to actually work with the animals.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Veterinary Technology program?

A: I encourage new students to know that being a Vet Tech is the most enjoyable job ever. The program at Pittsburgh Career Institute may be difficult, if you do not pay attention and commit to the work that is required. If you do what is expected, the staff at PCI will motivate you and give you the training and experiences to let you see how good you can be at this profession.


Graduate: Irene Krzewinski

Program: Dialysis Technology 
Current Employer: UPMC Shadyside

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Dialysis Technologist?

A: I needed to make a career change and was informed of the Dialysis Technology program at PCI. I visited the school and spoke with the Director of Education and the Dialysis Instructor. I decided that the Dialysis Technician Program would be a perfect fit for me and started classes the following week.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on

A: I cannot say enough about the quality of education I received at PCI. The instructors are top notch and always willing to help and give advice. The small class sizes were nice. The hands-on clinical education was very helpful. The in class mock clinic made my first day in a clinic seem so easy. I was setting up machines and tearing them down as if I were an experienced tech.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Dialysis Tech position(s)?

A: I went on two separate interviews and felt confident and prepared. I knew that I had the skills they were looking for because of the education I received and assistance from the career services department. I was able to answer the interview questions confidently and provide the information the interviewer was looking for.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Dialysis Tech program?

A: It is a very rewarding field. In the field, deep connections are made because you are providing the patients lifesaving treatment.

The clinic environment is very friendly and fun. If you enjoy engaging with patients this program is for you. I felt like I made a difference as a dialysis technician.

Q: Where did you get hired?

A: I was hired at UPMC Shadyside as an entry level Dialysis Technician.


Graduate: William

Program: Medical Assistant Specialist
Current Employer: UPMC Workforce – Department of Dermatology

Pittsburgh Career Institute Experience:

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Medical Assistant? 

A: It has always been my passion in life to help others. I wanted to earn my Associate Degree and chose a field that I could grow.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on portion. 

A: The lab classes were extremely helpful. They prepared me for my externship and the workforce. I learned most of my clinical skills in lab. I am confident performing phlebotomy, EKG’s, and injections. The instructors at PCI are very knowledgeable and have several years of experience in the field of Medical Assisting.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Medical Assistant position(s)?  

A: I was very confident interviewing for positions. I practiced and reviewed my interview skills Lacy and Patty in the Career Services Department. They conducted several mock interviews prior to my phone, face to face, and working interviews.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Medical Assistant program? 

A: Pay attention in class. Soak up all the knowledge the instructors give you. Don’t miss class and strive to meet your career goals.

__________________________________________________

Graduate: Morgan

Program: Medical Assistant Specialist
Current Employer: Children’s Community Pediatrics

Pittsburgh Career Institute Experience:

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Medical Assistant?

A: Prior to obtaining my associates degree at Pittsburgh Career Institute, I worked in various parts of the medical field. From geriatrics, to private duty, as well as skilled and assisted living. After several years of working I discovered relatively quickly being a medical assistant was my dream and I wanted nothing more than to pursue it further.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on portion.

A: Clinical rotation and hands on skills is one of if not the most important part of your study. It’s the front and back education you need in order to become a successful MA. Blood draws, to injections, to throat cultures, and even urinalysis is what a medical assistants do every day. I could not have done this without all of the quality training and help from PCI’s excellent teachers.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Medical Assistant position(s)? 

A:  When it came time to interview for my very own Medical Assistant position I was extremely confident. With all the support, prior and current experience I knew I was more than well prepared.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Medical Assistant program?

A: Follow your heart. If obtaining a medical assistant degree is truly how you foresee your future than go for it. Let nothing and no one stand in your way. The satisfaction in the end is far more rewarding than simply settling for something that might not really have been what you wanted to do.

Graduate: Marie

Program: Medical Assistant Specialist
Current Employer: Premier Medical Associates

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Medical Assistant? 

A: I had several ideas of what I wanted to do, but one thing I always knew was that I wanted to help people. As a medical assistant I am able to have a rewarding career doing what I always wanted to do.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on portion. 

A: I had an amazing experience here at PCI. The instructors and faculty made it a great place to learn. The education & skills I have acquired are both things I can carry with me for the rest of my life.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Medical Assistant position(s)?

A: I was very confident. I knew walking into the interview that I did the best I could, and all I had left to do was show them why I would be a great addition to their team.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Medical Assistant program? 

A: If it is something you can really see yourself doing, go for it. Work hard, do your best and you’ll have a really rewarding career in the end.


Graduate: Savanna

Program: Massage Therapy

Pittsburgh Career Institute Experience:

PCI Graduate Savannah Harris from the Massage Therapist program

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Massage Therapist?

A: I knew that I wanted my own business/spa and I figured that I would enroll in a program that could give me the tools to be an entrepreneur.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the hands-on portion.

A: The classroom education we had was strict. I had a program director, Jessica Polky, who made sure we knew the material. I felt very prepared for my first job position at Penn Center Chiropractic.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for Massage Therapy job position(s)?

A: I had three interviews and each one was different. The Career Services staff taught me the interview techniques needed to nail the interviews and to get the job.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Massage Therapy program?

A: I would encourage them to stay positive, study hard, and stay humble.

__________________________________________________

Esther Clark - Medical Billing and Coding Graduate from PCI

Graduate: Esther

Program: Medical Billing and Coding

Pittsburgh Career Institute Experience:

I was encouraged to pursue the Medical Billing & Coding program by PCI, President, Patti Yakshe.

The education provided in the program was excellent. The instructors had the professional expertise and experience to teach and encourage the class. Their dedication and compassion was exemplified through their open and honest instruction and direction.

When it came time to interview I was confident that my training and skills would set me above other candidates. After completing a successful externship with Genesis Medical Associates where I worked alongside the billers; I confidently interviewed at Davis Eye Group and obtained a job offer.

I believe it was my classroom instruction coupled with the hands –on-experience at my externship that moved me into a Medical Billing & Coding position shortly after I graduated.

This is an exciting and challenging career. Medical Billing & Coding is an ever growing field with unlimited potentials. Truly! Your education & dedication will pay off in the long run. There will always be positions for Billers and Coders because this field is expanding. Remember; No Two Codes Are The Same!!!!!


Fred is a glowing example of success arising from hard work in our Veterinary Technology program

Graduate: Fred

Program: Veterinary Technology
Current Job Title & Employer: Veterinary Technician at West Liberty Animal Hospital

Pittsburgh Career Institute Experience:
The instructors at the Pittsburgh Career Institute teach more than one way and they will help you as much as they can. The hands-on learning that they provided helped me in my job today as a Veterinary Technician.

 

 


Shaquese Kelley - Student - Pittsburgh Career Institute

Graduate: Shaquese

Program: Medical Assistant Specialist
Current Job Title & Employer: Medical Assistant for UPMC WorkSource

Q: Why did you choose to attend Pittsburgh Career Institute?

A: I chose PCI because of its location. I am from Duquesne and PCI is in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh.

Q: Why did you choose the Medical Assistant program?

A: I chose the Medical Assistant program because I love caring for others.

Q: What advice would you give to our current Medical Assistant students?

A: My advice to current Medical Assistant students would be to keep an open mind, concentrate and study.

Q: What was the best part of going to school at PCI?

A: The people at PCI were very caring. If it were not for half of these people, I probably would not have gotten this far.


 

Graduate: Lindsay 

Program: Diagnostic Medical Sonography

Q: How did you become interested in a career as a Diagnostic Medical Sonographer? 

A: I did some research on jobs in the medical field, and DMS seemed like the right fit for me.  The work environment and the challenges of the work really appealed to me.

Q: Write a few lines about the quality of classroom education as well as the clinical, hands-on instruction. 

A: The class size was ideal for individual attention, the material was systematically presented, but above all else, the teachers were what made the difference.  Mr. Sessa and Mrs. Gosnell are both knowledgeable and always willing to help.  They truly have a vested interested in every student.  Lab time was utterly beneficial.  It was a pressure-free environment where students can practice scanning and learn at their own pace.  There are plenty of opportunities to practice and hone those skills.  I felt comfortable starting my clinical rotations with the foundation I built in the classroom.

Q: How confident were you interviewing for you Diagnostic Medical Sonographer position(s)? 

A: Naturally I was nervous, but I knew I had the skills and personal experience to showcase properly.

Q: What words would you have for someone considering the Diagnostic Medical Sonographer program? 

A: It’s so worth the time and effort.  I am proud to tell people what I do for a living.  I couldn’t be happier with my career.