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Sheila Beery – Professional Medical Assistant – IDL Graduate | Salem

“I found IOT in the midst of the pandemic. I was laid off, tired of job jumping, and wanted a career that would provide job security and give me the ability to help others. So, I decided to look into schools. Once I found IOT, things hit the ground running. I was interviewed, enrolled and starting classes within a week. And from there, my life started to change. I was absolutely loving learning more about the human body and how its systems work symbiotically, and what happens when homeostasis becomes disrupted. Every day was challenging yet fulfilling and gave me a new sense of confidence. I then received an email from the school explaining the federal work study program they offered. At the time I had been laid off, due to Covid, and figured I would apply to give a little help back to the place that had been so helpful, so quickly, in my life. I was hired on to help administration and the financial aid department with various clerical work. I stayed working at my campus for the duration of the program, ultimately forming bonds with the employees that worked around me in those short 6 months. Being able to witness part of the “inner workings” at IOT was honestly pretty cool and gave me more reason to respect the school and its employees.

I remember the ocean of emotions on NCCT test day. As a perfectionist who never left the Dean’s list, I was nervous and afraid I wasn’t going to pass. I had also realized that once I passed, this chapter of my life was ending. I would be moving on. Working in the field. Away from my peers that I had grown close to. Away from those at IOT who supported me every step of the way. Needless to say, graduation was so very bittersweet. Diploma in hand, I jumped right into the field. Prepped with my new knowledge, I was well prepared for the tasks required of me.

After a while, as sometimes you do, I realized PMA wasn’t the path for me. My heart was not being fulfilled in the way I needed. Yes, I was helping others, but I wasn’t feeling like my job was the right fit. Knowing I was certified to pursue other jobs, I began looking for new employment. I decided to reach out to my supervisor from when I was doing IOT’s Federal work study. As luck had it, they were just starting to look for a new admissions assistant. After the process of interviews and wishful thinking, I received a call with a job offer. My first day working solidified my thoughts about finding my career path. This was it, this is where my schooling was supposed to take me; full circle. I now work in admissions and help students along in their journey. I speak from experience and am able to truly understand what the students are going through. I am so thankful that I found IOT.”

Sheila Beery, PMA – Class of 2022