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Factory closing motivates student to pursue medical assistant career

Paul Koenig

Paul Koenig

Medical Assistant

'I wish I would have done this sooner'

Paul Koenig, a student in the Medical Assistant program, talks about his experience as an NWTC student:

What inspired you to enroll at NWTC? 
I had always thought about becoming a Medical Assistant, but the security of having a job with many years seniority, I was afraid to take the first step. But after our factory in Algoma closed, it was just the push I needed.
 
What program are you enrolled in and why did you choose it?
The Medical Assistant program. I’ve been an EMT with Algoma Rescue for almost 30 years and enjoy working with people – and I’ve always loved working in medicine – so it seemed like a logical step.
 
What do you hope to achieve with your NWTC education?
My goal is to graduate in spring and then take the certification exam and pass that. I’m not totally sure which type of clinic I am thinking about working at. A family practice would be a nice variety of patients, but after a recent event, I could see myself working with children.
 
How is NWTC helping you achieve your career goals?
The Medical Assistant program here at NWTC is one of the best in my opinion. I have never met a more talented, gifted and caring group people. Each in their own environment is remarkable, but when you put them all together, they make you feel like you have the abilities to conquer the world! With their expert instruction, I am learning exactly what I need to succeed in the real world. They are not only preparing us to be able to graduate, but to be successful wherever we may end up working. I have never felt like “just a number” here. I have always been treated respectfully, which I think deserves high praise.
 
Would you recommend NWTC to others? Why or why not?
If someone were to ask me about entering a program at NWTC, I would highly recommend they do so. The instructors are here to help you learn succeed. I have had dealings with instructors from several different fields of education here at the Green Bay campus, and I cannot express how impressed I am with all of them. Not only with their own level of education, but with their talents and abilities to teach their talents to their students.
 
How are you fitting college into your schedule? 
I am currently unemployed due to a factory closing, so that makes me a full-time student. It was quite an adjustment going from a factory job to a scholastic environment, but the staff here made the transition for me a lot easier. Not just my instructors, but all the staff here.
 
Anything to add about your experience with NWTC?
With almost one full semester in, I really wish I would have done this sooner. I cannot say how happy I have been here. Just recently, I was selected as a student representative to sit in on the Fall Advisory Board Meeting for the Medical Assistant Program. The Advisory Board listens to the concerns and recommendations of the employers of Medical Assistants in the area, along with the concerns of the students. They then discuss what changes may possibly need to be made in the program. After this meeting, I had the privilege of going back to my fellow students in the program, and tell them of my experience and what was discussed in the meeting, and how it could affect the program.
 
Please share something about yourself.
Being 50 years old, I never thought I would be able to succeed the way I have been. There are many different resources available to the students here, some of which I am using to help me succeed. I tell everyone I talk to that it doesn’t matter what your age is or what your background is, if you want to succeed, you can, and the staff here will help you do it!
 

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