Kaylee Kesterson, a recent Ross College Online graduate, is a perfect example of what perseverance looks like. She wanted to pave a road of opportunities for herself, so she did not let her high school experience and the fear of failure prevent her from applying to college.
Kesterson was enrolled in the Health Administrative Services program at Ross College, which allowed her to have a flexible schedule and to progress at her own pace. Although difficult at times, she learned how to manage her time and she developed excellent study habits while in school. She always kept in mind the reward at the end. When she graduated from the program, she managed to instantly land a job at NovaCare Rehabilitation in Warren, OH as a Patient Service Specialist.
We found some time to sit down with Kaylee and ask her a few questions about her schooling, career, and personal life.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
My name is Kaylee Kesterson, I am 25, and I currently reside in Youngstown, Ohio with my fiancé and our three cats. I’ve always been a very hardworking individual and I have always strived to be the best I could be. I come from a family of seven; I have four older siblings and my parents, who have always pushed me to stay focused and to work on my goals. I currently work at a physical therapy clinic called at NovaCare Rehabilitation. I’m very goal driven and I will do anything I can to better my life.
2. What was it about working in Health Administration that appealed to you?
What appealed to me about working in the Health Administration field was seeing how the administration team is the backbone of the medical field. They help with the billing, they schedule patients, and they make sure that the clinic or hospital is run as smoothly as possible. I always wanted to be that person because I felt like I had very strong qualities that could help assist an Office Manager in so many ways.
3. What do you do now?
Currently, I work as a Patient Service Specialist at NovaCare Rehabilitation in Warren, Ohio. It’s a little bit of a drive but I really enjoy what I do and the people I work with, so I don’t mind the drive one bit. Some of the job duties I have include doing the billing for the office, scheduling patients, taking down the background information of the patients, preparing the office for the next day, and making sure the patients are knowledgeable about their insurance plan at their visits.
4. What advice would you like to share with other students who are in or will be in the Health Administration program in the future?
The advice I would like to share with other students would be to not give up. I know that some subjects will seem harder than others, but work with your peers and your professors. Also, ask a ton of questions. Most importantly, do not procrastinate. You need to give yourself enough time to complete each assignment, no matter how easy it may be because you never know what may come up if you try to do your assignments last minute.
5. What is your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is interacting with the patients and being able to build a relationship with them. Also, I really enjoy creating a schedule for the patients even though sometimes it seems almost impossible in some ways because it’s constantly changing, but to me, it’s a learning process and it’s not that bad once you get the hang of it.
6. What achievements are you most proud of?
The achievements I am most proud of are graduating from school, getting a job in the field I went to school for, and growing as a person. These are the achievements I am most proud of because at one point I felt like giving up on school. I didn’t feel like I was smart enough to handle it but with some motivation I was able to succeed and graduate. Once I graduated, things took off from there and I got a job interview with NovaCare. I instantly got the job, which my coordinator says very rarely happens, and everything just sort of changed. For instance, my fiancé and I were able to move into our first house, I got a car and my license, and I’m able to start planning my wedding. I am also proud of evolving as an individual because growing up, I was a very shy person. Now with my new job, I am very outgoing and I’m not afraid to hold conversations with people.
7. What are your most immediate future goals and aspirations?
My most immediate future goal is to go back to school for Office Management, so I can have some more background in my profession. I would also like to finish the wedding planning and maybe one day start a family with my fiancé since everything is falling into place.
8. Are there any particular people or events that have inspired you to progress as a person?
I lost my cousin back in 2012 and he was always a great supporter of everyone in my family. He told me he wanted me to go to college and he wanted me to have a good life. When he passed, I lost interest in school. I then met fiancé in 2015 and he pushed me to go to college. He would push me every time I wanted to give up, every time I told myself I couldn’t do it, and every day I would wake up and he’d ask me about schoolwork. He never let me give up on what I wanted. My parents are also a huge inspiration. I always watched how hard they worked and they never gave up when they were faced with hardships. I aspire to be like that as well, so maybe one day, my own children will look up to me as a hardworking person and say “I didn’t give up because of her.”
9. What do you for for leisure and recreations? What are your hobbies?
For leisure and recreation, I like to get together with my fiancé and our friends. Sometimes we’ll go out to the bowling alley and watch some local bands play, or we will just sit around and watch some shows together and relax. Now, since I’m older, I really enjoy spending time at home. Some of my hobbies include reading, writing, and I am trying to get into photography as well. I just got a new camera from my sister that I have been playing around with, and I just love taking pictures with it!
10. What motivated you to make the sacrifices that you have made in order to get to where you’re at now?
What motivated me the most was that I just wanted a better life, not only for me, but for my fiancé as well. I wanted to be able to provide better for the both of us rather than living paycheck to paycheck and wondering how we are going to make it. Sure, we struggle at times, but it’s not nearly as bad as it was. I also wanted to be in a better work atmosphere. My previous jobs were so negative and draining – I couldn’t really handle it. Being at NovaCare, I actually wake up ready to take on the world every morning.
11. What are some techniques you use to keep yourself motivated in school?
One of the main techniques I used to keep myself motivated when I was in school was setting goals for myself. For instance, I would set a goal to have a certain assignment turned in by a certain time or I would set a goal to get to a certain page in our book for the readings. In addition, I would acknowledge what I had accomplished that week or even that day. If I had received an A on a paper, I would reward myself with some relaxation time or even a treat, and if I received a lower grade, I would work harder and tell myself that it will get better. Lastly, I made sure to have a support system with the teachers, as well as a personal support system outside of school. It is very important that as a student, you have people by your side that want you to succeed. I think that was the major thing that kept me motivated the most because I always had someone there that would help me and lift me up when I needed it.