Dayna Ferrari – Student Highlight

Clinical Medical Assistant student Dayna Ferrari started attending WVJC in August 2020 after graduating from Capital High School.  Dayna said, “My decision to attend WVJC was an easy one.” Dayna has always had an interest in the medical field. She said, “WVJC Clinical Medical Assistant program is fast-track, has smaller classes, and offers a flexible schedule which gave me the confidence to start my college education.”

The Clinical Medical Assistant program at WVJC offers various courses that provide students hands-on training in clinical skills for entry-level positions working in any setting in healthcare. Dayna said, “My favorite class so far is Anatomy and Physiology with Dr. Settle. I have always been enthralled by the inner workings of the body and how it functions.” Another favorite class of Dayna’s is her medical assisting lab class taught by Program Director Chelsea Abbott. She said, “I find the lab work very interesting and hands-on, which helps me focus and retain the information I have learned.”

Dayna has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) for two years. She enjoys helping people but is looking forward to expanding her scope of practice as a Certified Medical Assistant. After graduation, Dayna wants to work as a medical assistant in a pediatric setting. Her long-term goal is to become a Registered Nurse in the pediatric wing of a hospital, married, and have her own home and start a family. In her free time, Dayna enjoys binge-watching her favorite shows on Netflix and researching medical issues taking place around the globe.

We asked Dayna if she has any advice for a new student, she said, “My advice to new students would be to make sure you start on a strong foot, don’t be afraid to talk to your instructors, they understand everything that is going on, big or small.  Get involved in the school; it will help you to succeed more.”

Dayna said, “I would absolutely recommend WVJC to friends and family! Growing up, I always needed one-on-one communication with my teacher; not only did I get that at WVJC, but it also offered an environment where I could focus and buckle down.  The staff is also very understanding in regards to your life outside of school, and the flexible schedule makes it easier to keep my job and focus on my studies without becoming overwhelmed.”

To learn more about WVJC’s Clinical Medical Assistant program, request information here!

Blake Cooper – Student Highlight

Blake Cooper attended a larger university before enrolling with WVJC. The size of the classes was overwhelming for him, and he felt the classes were too big for him to be as successful as he wanted to be.

Before attending WVJC, Blake worked two jobs but knew that wasn’t what he wanted to do forever. Although his first college experience was not the right fit for him, he didn’t let that get in the way of his goals of furthering his education. He began looking for a smaller institution that was local to him, which is when he found WVJC’s Information Technology program.

As someone who has always been good with technology, WVJC’s IT program seemed like the perfect fit for Blake to pursue. He wants to start a family in the next five years and find a stable career path that would allow him to support himself and his future family.

Blake’s favorite part of attending WVJC is the helpfulness and support from the faculty. Throughout his time with WVJC, his instructor, Robbin Addis, has played a special role in his success. “Robin helps us so much in her classes and makes sure that we know our stuff in order to pass,” he says.

After graduation, Blake hopes to find a stable career working in the IT field and be in a position where he can start a family.

To learn more about WVJC’s Information Technology program, request information here!

Christy Richards – Student Highlight

Medical Coding student Christy Richards has been attending WVJC since January 2021. Before attending WVJC, she attended Piedmont Virginia Community College in Charlottesville, Virginia. She says she feels much more at home at WVJC due to the welcoming environment and the support she has from all of the faculty! She loves getting the help she needs and is not looked at as just a number. Christy is also working full-time while going to school! She is a sales representative who works very odd hours. She said, “I work full time, and WVJC fits my schedule so well.”

When Christy was looking for a school to further her education, she did a lot of research for a few months to find a school that would fit her needs and wants. She explained that she felt so welcomed from the beginning, and that feeling has continued throughout her studies. She said, “My only problem now is knowing I’ll have to leave one day and graduate!” Christy chose medical coding because she has always had an interest in the medical field and will still utilize the skills she already has. She was also able to research the certifications and felt that it would allow her to continue learning constantly.

Although she has taken something away from every instructor she has had, she did say that if she had to choose a favorite, it would be her professor Jamie McGuire! Christy has loved all of the assignments from the multiple classes with Jamie, so she knows she will not be bored.

While thinking about future career paths, Christy said she would really like to work as a medical coder at the University of Virginia Hospital or Martha Jefferson Hospital. Christy feels that her education will give her the ability to grow in her career! To continue with her future plans, she is really hoping to be a homeowner and is already working toward this goal! She would also like to work toward a management role and have the ability to sit for more certifications.*

Overall, Christy said that she has been very pleased with her experience at WVJC. She has gained more confidence in herself and her abilities. She is very excited to see where the future will take her and which opportunities will open up. She has shared her experience with her peers and recommends that if they are looking to further education, they should look into WVJC! “You get help the whole way through. Tons of guidance and even assistance with finding that right career/ job placement. It’s a wonderful experience!”

To learn more about WVJC, request information here!

*Certification is contingent upon passing the corresponding industry certification exam.

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!