Career and education collide in many different ways. In this column, we interview real-life individuals to understand how their career path and education worked together to get to where they are today. From the non-traditional dreamers to the ivy league students, we get to the heart of how your career dreams may or may not be directly influenced by your educational choices.
First Name: Hilary
Job Title: Director of Clinical Applications
Industry: Behavioral Healthcare
Years in Industry: 9
Location: Orange County, CA
Current Salary: $130,000
Amount of Student Loan Debt: $0
What are your day-to-day responsibilities and projects?
Implementation and oversight of electronic medical records systems and revenue cycle management applications
How did you get to the role you’re in now? What was your career path?
Brought into this field by a recruiter after being laid off from the music industry, then unemployed and underemployed for over two years.
How do you feel your education or previous experience prepared you for your current role?
Much of my job is the result of my innate personality and curiosity combined with what I learned working in the field.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Solving problems to help people change the lives of our patients.
What inspired you to pursue your career?
Honestly, I kinda fell into it, so it came to me.
What advice do you have for students considering a career path similar to yours?
Be curious, learn the big picture and pay attention to what other people do. That is not done enough and can make you a standout in any field.
Did you have access to financial aid, FAFSA®, or any other type of aid during school?
If you did get financial aid, how was that experience for you?
Confusing and unclear
Do you feel your career has paid for your education expenses?
Looking back — is there anything you would have done differently in college?
I would have probably done two years at a JC to save money and seek out more advice on my education path. My parents did not have college degrees and I didn’t look for enough resources. I would make some different decisions if I did it over today.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to pursue the same or similar career path?
Don’t get discouraged. Being laid off was a huge shock to me when it happened, but being open to changing industries brought me to my current field.