Amanda Baird, a New Baltimore alumna, was looked up to by many peers during her time at Ross. Aside from being an outstanding student and maintaining excellent grades, Amanda also gave back to the students and volunteered as much of her time as she could. During her last module, she was a peer mentor and she would stay after class every day to help anyone who needed it. Additionally, when students left for their externships, she would make them personalized t-shirts to wear and the school has kept the tradition going even after she graduated.
She succeeded at her own externship and was offered a job during her second week. She is now back in her hometown of Salisbury, New Hampshire, where she started a job at HealthFirst Family Care Center as a medical assistant. She has a heart of gold and cares tremendously about other people. She will be missed on campus, but her teachers are proud of her, as they know she will do great things in life and represent Ross in the best light possible.
We took some time to talk to Amanda and ask her a few questions about her experience at Ross and her personal life.
What was it about being in the Medical Assistant program that appealed to you?
Before becoming a medical assistant, I was a licensed nursing assistant. Through this job, I discovered that I love the medical field, however, I didn’t feel like an LNA position was right for me. I felt like I needed something new. I still wanted to stay in the medical field, so I decided to go get my medical assistant certificate and I absolutely loved the program.
You’re a medical assistant now—how did that start for you? Did you go into it right after graduating?
Yes, correct. After graduating high school, I took a one year break from school. I was working as a licensed nursing assistant and then at a gas station and I just wanted something new. I also wanted to be able to provide for my daughter.
What advice would you like to share with other students who are in or will be in the medical assistant program in the future?
I guess just really take the time to ask questions if you have any because some of it goes by really fast and it’s a lot of information to take on so quickly. We have two classes for each module—the clinical and the administration portion—so it’s crucial that you understand everything as you go along.
What is your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is the patient interaction. I love people and I love being able to help them in any way that I can.
What achievements are you most proud of?
I am most proud of being able to get through schooling. It was kind of difficult for me because I have a two year old and I struggled really hard with my home life, so just being able to actually finish and have the GPA that I had is a huge accomplishment for me. I worked hard and got really good grades while I was in school.
What are your most immediate future goals and aspirations?
I would like to become a full-time phlebotomist because that was my favorite thing to do in school and I sometimes do it here at work, as well. I feel passionate about it. In my medical assistant training, we did go through the basics of phlebotomy, but it wasn’t super in-depth and detailed.
Are there any particular persons or events that have inspired you to progress as a person?
My teachers, Ms. Miller and Ms. Stanson, were definitely my inspiration to keep going. I had a really hard time and I’m extremely grateful for them and for the words of wisdom that they gave me. I got very close with Jodi, the Career Development Representative, as well. She helped me with my externship and she worked really hard to get me a job back home, even though she couldn’t come out and do what she normally does back in Michigan. Ross was definitely the place I was meant to go. I had the best experience while I was there.
What do you for for leisure and recreation? What are your hobbies?
Anything that has to do with my daughter. I love hanging out with her. I’m also extremely crafty. I started off by making bows because I would always put them in my daughter’s hair. Then I got a paper-cutting machine and I started making projects with that as well. I also enjoy making projects with wood and decor for my house.
Can you talk a little bit about your contribution on campus?
I definitely enjoyed helping out on campus as much as I could. I was a peer tutor. I would stay every day after class if anybody needed help with anything. I also started a little tradition on campus. During my first module, a couple of students were talking about making t-shirts and I said I had a t-shirt printing machine. One of the seniors pulled me aside and asked me if I could make the rest of the seniors’ shirts for her because she wanted to get them as presents, so I did, and that kind of just stuck ever since because everyone asked for them. I would make t-shirts for every senior who left for their externship. It was a fun thing to do and I definitely enjoyed helping out everyone.
What motivated you to make the sacrifices that you made in order to get to where you’re at now?
Definitely being the best mom I can and providing for my daughter. I also had a lot of support from my teachers and peers during my time and Ross and that motivated me to keep going.
What are some techniques you used to keep yourself motivated in school?
Just knowing that the end result was going to give me the kind of job I needed to support my daughter and me.
Can you talk a little bit about your externship?
I worked at Life Fight Urgent Care and it was a nice place to have an externship at because it’s urgent care, so you never know what you’re gonna get. I learned a lot there and I was offered a job my second week. I had accepted the job but then I found out I was going to be moving back home. So I left right after my externship.
How might you advise someone who was also thinking about returning to school or embarking on a new life journey?
If you think that’s where your passion is, then do it. If it works, then great, but if it doesn’t, that is okay too. You never know unless you try. After I finished high school, I took a year off. Going into the medical field was not something I always wanted to do. When I was in high school, I thought I wanted to be a preschool teacher. It was a spur-of-the-moment decision. I was working at a gas station and I didn’t want to do that anymore. So I decided to go into the medical field and I absolutely loved it from the beginning.