How to Prepare for an Interview

Interviews are one of the most nerve-wracking situations an adult can go through. However, if you do your research, you will be prepared to take on any question and also come up with a few of your own to ask. When first researching a company, you want to visit their main website, as well as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor. If you know someone who is working for the company, try to get a realistic view of the day to day operations. It is also important to research the field you are going to be working in, as well as competing companies to best answer more specific questions and provide insight into how you can best serve that position.

Resumes should be tailored to the specific job you are applying for. If the job is more customer service based, for example, be sure to emphasize the jobs you had working with customers. If it is a medical position, make sure to include any and all certifications and training you’ve had that is applicable to the job. One of the most important things a graduate of WVJC can have on their resume is their externship. This, for some, is the only experience they’ve had directly in the field before they graduate. As always, make sure to list your name, address, phone number, and email. All of your jobs should be listed in descending chronological order.

You want to exude professionalism and confidence, while still maintaining your authenticity. One way you can go about this is making sure to dress appropriately. To have an interview ready wardrobe, you will want to invest in the following: dress pants (black, grey, or navy blue), dress shirts/dress blouses, a solid colored blazer/suit jacket, and a nice pair of flats/dress shoes. Once you have your outfit picked out, make sure it is clean and ironed. Before you leave the house for the interview, make sure you have at least three copies of your resume/references, a pen and paper, and questions to ask the interviewer.

“Tell me about yourself.” This is one of the most difficult questions for most people. When a potential employer asks you to tell them about yourself, they’re not actually asking to know all about your life. What they want is a concise rundown of your professional and educational experiences beginning with the most recent one. The best way to prepare for tough interview questions is to practice with friends or family. WVJC also offers mock interviews with our Career Services department.

Lastly, you always want to stand out among other potential candidates. Always ask for a business card at the end of every interview and send a thank you card immediately following the interview. This shows a level of respect for their time, and will surely make you stand out from other applicants. Even if the interview didn’t go as well as you hoped, sending the card could be the touch of class that tips the scales in your favor. If you have waited a week or more and haven’t heard any news on the position, feel free to email the interviewer and reiterate thanking them for their time and how you look forward to hearing back about the position. It’s a gentle nudge while still maintaining respectful and professional boundaries.

For questions regarding more interview tips or to schedule a mock interview, please contact Samantha Esposito or Alannah Bohon in Career Management!

Health Access – Externship Highlight

Health Access in the heart of Clarksburg, WV has been an externship site used by West Virginia Junior College Bridgeport for more than 10 years. Josh Brown, Office Manager, and Trella Reed, MA, are always willing to help our students complete their 165 or 90 hours for their externship. Reed, a graduate of  WVJC herself, takes pride in teaching and letting our students help her through her busy workday. Josh enjoys teaching our students billing procedures. When students arrive at Health Access, they are given opportunities to learn clinical and front office skills. This helps our students obtain a passing score on their Clinical Medical Assistant and Billing and Coding Specialist certifications.

Crystal Bennett, a graduate of our medical assisting program, completed her 165-hour externship at Health Access. While she was completing her externship and maintaining great grades, she was able to balance her home life as well. The skills she was taught as a student, she has now carried over into her career at, Sunbelt Staffing.  Crystal not only passed her Certified Medical Assisting Certification but her Phlebotomy Tech certification as well.

Crystal gives a great deal of credit to WVJC and Health Access.  Health Access was able to give her more hands-on, in the field, career experience that helped mold her into the employee she is today.  Crystal is forever thankful for the experience and is confident that many more WVJC students will benefit from this exceptional externship site.

Charleston – 2019 Graduation

Imagine, 18 months from now you are sitting with your classmates who are now your closest friends. You are wearing a cap and gown. You see instructors smiling at you. You see your family and friends beaming with pride. You hear clapping and the music starts. You stand, looking around at smiling faces. You realize you made it and you realize you are ready!  Looking back, you remember when you first started. You remember your courses, your training and most importantly you remember your why. Why did you want this career?

How to make a career decision is difficult sometimes, but once you find something you are passionate about, the easiest decision is where to go for education and training. For Gabrielle (Gabby) Hill, a 2017 WVJC graduate in the medical assisting program. Gabby was once a prospective student, who wanted to jump into the workforce successfully and fast! Now she has earned her specialized associate degree as a Medical Assistant. Gabby currently works at CAMC Family Center and is thriving.

Gabby says “One thing that has helped me in my career is learning the critical skill of phlebotomy. I use it every day. Being able to train in a small class and have one-on-one supervision and special attention helped me develop the confidence to do my job well.” Gabby also says, “One of the best feelings in the world was being in a program that was not only career oriented but also very supportive.” She says her instructors and WVJC staff were always willing to help her with course work or advice about life.

Gabby isn’t finished! She has decided to expand upon a successful start as a medical assistant and be a nurse. She has just been accepted into the new nursing program at WVJC that will be starting in September 2019. As a returning student, Gabby is eager to get started as she feels that WVJC will give her the same support and assistance she needs to obtain another degree. Gabby understands the meaning behind such a choice and the work it will entail.

On May 17th, 2019 West Virginia Junior College held their annual graduation ceremony! Over 80 graduates celebrated with their friends and family at Christ United Methodists Church in Charleston, WV. From Business Administration, Information Technology, Network Administration/Security, Dental Assisting, Medical Office Administration, and Medical Assisting, students cheered as they switch their tassels from the right to left and moved into another exciting chapter of their journey. After the ceremony, many students expressed their excitement at the number of career opportunities they get to choose from.

Planning your future can be overwhelming with the how and why but with the care and support you receive as part of your courses, there is no question of where you need to go. At WVJC, student services include career training and job placement, personal advising and financial aid (to those who qualify). The best part of graduation is knowing you are well equipped with the tools you need for the job you dreamed of! Don’t let another year pass where you are not celebrating the next steps in your journey. Check out WVJC to find your way and enroll today!


Sheena Pack – Financial Aid Representative

Sheena Pack is the Financial Aid Representative at WVJC Charleston. She graduated from Marshall University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management.  She took this position because she had an interest in working in higher education and felt that she would be able to successfully help the students through the financial aid process. When she is not at work she enjoys spending time with her two sons and husband.

Some fun facts about Sheena!

-Her favorite food is taco salad.

-She has two Labrador retrievers at home.

-She owns her own candle company.

-She is terrified of snakes.

-She loves to sing on the praise and worship team.

-Her least favorite food is tomatoes.

Monongalia County Health Department – Externship Highlight

West Virginia Junior College and Monongalia County Health Department have had a working relationship for the last several years. The Monongalia County Health Department accepts WVJC students for externships from our Business Administration, Medical Office Administration, and Clinical Medical Assistant programs. Throughout the years, several students have not only completed their externships with Monongalia County Health Department, but have also gotten hired to work there upon graduating.

The Monongalia County Health Department has been in Morgantown since 1929, moving to their current office in 1975. Their mission is to achieve a healthy community by protecting and promoting public health through education, training, community awareness, advocacy and the provision of health services. There is a wide array of services provided at the Mon County Health Department including adult vaccinations, dental services, family planning, gynecologic services, and immunizations.

Students who complete their externship with the facility are able to get a wide angle view of medicine and business, allowing them to expand on their knowledge and skills. Students are able to be hands on at this facility while being taught by professionals who have been in the community for a number of years. Monongalia County Health Department is dedicated to focusing its efforts on making Monongalia County an even better place to live while serving the community on a daily basis.

The future of West Virginia Junior College and Monongalia County Health Department seems to be bright and rapidly growing. There is a need in Monongalia County for compassionate and responsible people to carry on all the great work this facility has done. West Virginia Junior College hopes to continue to fulfill that need for the facility and the community.

Kristina Conaway – Student Highlight

Kristina Conaway is new to the West Virginia Junior College family.  She began her journey here in April 2019 and is very passionate about her dental assisting program.  Kristina attended a university prior to making the choice to enroll at WVJC, but the experience wasn’t what she was looking for and she began to feel that she was taking too many classes not geared toward her major. She felt uncomfortable in the class scheduling process and was ready to make a change.

Kristina chose WVJC because of the “smaller facility and class sizes, because I feel as though I do my best work in those conditions.  Also, I was excited to be offered classes that focused only on what I needed for my future career, especially the more hands-on classes.”  Growing up, Kristina was always fascinated with teeth and her visits to the dentist, so she knew she wanted to pursue a career in the dental field.  She is proud to have so many members of her family that encouraged her “to go for it.”

Kristina’s favorite part about attending WVJC Bridgeport is “getting the opportunity to work with actual dental equipment before entering a professional job, and the tremendous amount of effort and assistance all the staff in the building puts forth in helping make your time here as  uncomplicated and least stressful as possible.”  Her favorite class is Student Success Strategies.  She says, “there is no better class to start out with your first 6 weeks. This class gives you the guidance and advice you need to be successful in school and just life in general.”

When Kristina completes her education in the Dental Assisting program she hopes to quickly begin her career.  Her goal is to work at All Smiles Dental in Bridgeport, WV.  However, she is open to other opportunities and cannot wait to put all her effort and education to good use.  When asked if she would recommend somebody to WVJC, she said, “Yes! Everyone here is very friendly and so far nothing has been stressful!  They make getting into the classes you need easy. Classes are smaller and more personal so you don’t miss out on any assistance you may need, and the staff is very supportive and helpful in any way they possibly can be! I couldn’t have made a better choice than coming to WVJC.”

Dalerae Stocker – Student Highlight

Have you ever felt lost?  Have you ever felt like you needed a change in career paths, but just don’t know where to start?  This is how Dalerae felt before she decided to contact WVJC Online.  When her admissions advisor first called her, Dalerae recalls, “She actually listened to me and knew how to make my hope a reality!”  From that day forward, Dalerae has been working diligently toward her goal of becoming a Medical Assistant.  Her goal is to help people.   She is currently a Social Worker. However, there is not much positive change in that role.  The daily, positive change, no matter how small, is what she craves.

This is a feeling she has had before.  In fact, Dalerae has tried numerous times to complete her education without success.  “My first college was OU, and the classes were much too large to get the one on one that I needed. My second college was the University of Rio Grande. The classes were small, but they didn’t have the ability to work around my work schedule. My third was Indiana Wesleyan. It was also online, but lacked the communication I needed.”  Then she found WVJC Online.  The online program that WVJC offered fit all of her needs, so she took the leap.

Almost a year into her time at WVJC Online, Dalerae is doing great in the Clinical Medical Assistant Program.   She is supported by the faculty and staff and is able to openly communication even the smallest of questions.  Dalerae’s favorite part of her online program at WVJC is the ability to get in touch with faculty at any point, which encourages her to ask more questions, which translates into more success.  The ability to find assistance quickly and easily from instructors has made the classes that much easier to understand. She also enjoys the flexibility that the online courses at WVJC offer.  Everything has a due date, but you are able to easily complete the assignments around your work and family schedule.

After graduation, Dalerae would ideally like to work as a Medical Assistant in a Pediatric office. She plans on continuing her education in the future while working with children.

A few tips from Dalerae are: Log into your online campus daily at the same time to avoid procrastination.  Also, stick to your schedule.  These two things can help tremendously when dealing with daily life while completing an online program.

10 Tips To Ace An Interview

At WVJC, we understand that your ultimate goal in attending school is landing a career at the end of it. We also know that that career search process can be intimidating at times. An integral part of this process is the interview. To help prepare you for this, we have put together a few interview tips.

  1. After you apply for a job and get a call to interview, do some research on the company! Do your homework.
  2. If you are invited to interview on site, make sure you are there 10-15 minutes early. Do not show up to the interview right at the interview time. That will make you seem unprepared, unprofessional, and uninterested. You also do not want to show up too early. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, sit in your car and wait until the time to go inside.
  3. Make sure you are friendly and professional to the receptionist and anyone else you may come in contact with.
  4. Do not smoke before your interview. Make sure you are in clean clothes and avoid strong perfumes or colognes.
  5. It is important to have several copies of your resume with you during your interview, even if you submitted your resume when you initially applied for the job. Print them off the night before. There may be several people interviewing you and you need to be prepared.
  6. During the interview process, be aware of your facial expressions! Smile and make eye contact. Show interest and participate in the conversation. Give more than one word answers.
  7. Prepare follow up questions ahead of time. When they ask if you have any questions after your interview, never say no. Come up with a list of questions beforehand and be prepared to ask these.
  8. Before you leave, make sure you ask for a business card and give a firm handshake.
  9. Again, remain professional the entire time you are in and around the facility. Speak to the receptionist when you are leaving.
  10. After you get home, take the time to type out a thank you letter. You will be able to do this because you got their business card, which has their contact information on it. Always write a thank you letter. You will stand out from other applicants and be fresh on their mind.

WVJC Morgantown Nursing Graduation 2019

A few weeks ago, WVJC-Morgantown held our annual graduation for the April 2019 registered nursing class!  As with so many other things in this class, their graduation represented their strong personalities and their defining characteristics.  There were many tears shed, many joyous smiles, and above all, an amazing sense of accomplishment at having completed an accelerated Registered Nursing program in 18 months. One might think that in order to be successful in this fast-paced, intense program that you would need previous medical experience.  While it can make the program a bit more manageable, it is not a pre-requisite. In fact, WVJC’s graduating class was comprised of many different personalities and backgrounds. To give you an idea, here are a few of their stories.

We had a student who joined us from the coal fields. He was used to hard labor and long days. When he met with his admissions representative, he told her that he needed a career that could offer more stability for his family as he didn’t know how long the coal field would be there.  His years spent working long hours transitioned easily to WVJC’s accelerated nursing program.  It provided him the foundation he needed to be successful.

Another student came to WVJC as a 29-year-old who worked at a bank. Although she was successful in her field, she was feeling unfilled.  When she made the decision to follow her passion and change career paths, it was a challenging 18 months. She persevered and made the decision to make the decade of her 30’s the best ever.

Our students are a diverse group, ranging from LPN’s, to military veterans, to Starbuck’s Baristas. Although their backgrounds differ drastically, they all showed perseverance and dedication to their education.  We are proud to welcome our April 2019 Registered Nursing class into the medical field. We have high hopes and wish them the best of luck.

Ryan Langley – Staff Highlight

By: Jessica Mannering

Ryan Langley, Director of Instructional Design and Technology at West Virginia Junior College (WVJC) in Morgantown, West Virginia has been with the school for nine years now. He began his journey teaching business courses at Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology (PIHT) in 2010.

Prior to going into the workforce, Ryan obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from the California University of Pennsylvania. In addition to obtaining a college degree, Ryan is also a certified Microsoft Office Specialist, has several years’ experience in instructional design, and is proficient in numerous coding languages.

During a typical work day, Ryan oversees the IDT department, manages all areas of Canvas, produces engaging content, builds Canvas efficiency tools, generates training documentation, video tutorials, and more!

Ryan’s favorite part about working at WVJC is the family environment.  “I have been working with everyone here for several years and I love coming into work every day.  They’re all great people.  I also have an excellent team that works with me and it’s a lot of fun to watch our department grow,” said Langley.

He is proudest of the fact that he has a job that he loves, which allows him to learn something new every day and permits him to utilize his creativity. Ryan notes that he chose to work at WVJC because he wanted to help others and provide a positive learning environment for students that needed it. His passion for helping others streams from his motivation to be the best person he can be for his daughter.

As for long-term career goals, Ryan would like to develop a consulting company that creates Canvas applications and provides guidance and training for small community colleges.

On top of being an integral part of the WVJC family, Ryan is also a wedding musician, in which he plays the ukulele during wedding ceremonies.