Current South College student, Holly Hammontree, chatted with us about why she chose to pursue her education with South College on her path to a career as a physician’s assistant (PA). Discover what Holly has to say about her experience at South College and what she plans to do in her future.
South College: What program are you in?
Holly Hammontree: I am in the Bachelor of Health Science Program, and I’m on the Pre-Physician’s Assistant track.
SC: Why did you choose that? What was that thought process for you and how did you make it happen?
HH: I have always had a passion for science, and while working in a medical office as a receptionist, I had the ability to watch day-to-day actions of a PA. I was immediately drawn to the profession. I have a passion for helping people, and being a PA grants me the ability to turn my passion into a career.
SC: Why did you choose South College?
HH: I am not a traditional student. Right after high school I attended college, but I became overwhelmed and decided to take a break, which became much longer than I expected (four years). I decided to return to school when I was 23, and while that seems young to most people, I was one of the oldest students in my classes at UT. I didn't feel like I belonged there, but I didn't think I had much of an option if I wanted to be a PA. However, I was driving on the interstate and saw South College – that is when I decided to speak with admissions. I have felt at home ever since. South College has given me the opportunity to flourish in my studies, and the professors are genuinely interested in the students’ success.
SC: Describe your journey of taking a break and coming back.
HH: I went to college in 2009, right after high school, but decided to take a break for personal and health reasons. I went back to UT in 2014, but the overwhelming class size and peer age deterred me from the program. Therefore, I looked into other options close by that would satisfy my needs, and that place was South College. I started at South College in the winter of 2015, and I hope to graduate this summer.
SC: What is your favorite part of your studies?
HH: I love to learn. I am the student who is always asking why. The science department here, especially the chemistry professors, makes the subject very intriguing and challenges their students to perform at their full potential. Also, while going through these difficult science courses, I have created a group of friends that I will be in touch with for the foreseeable future.
SC: What is your goal for after you graduate?
HH: I am currently applying to PA programs around the country, and I hope to start either this fall or next fall. I have had the opportunity to shadow surgery, and as strange as it sounds to some people, the OR is a place I thrive and hope to make a lasting career in.
Do you have any advice for future students who might be in your same position?
HH: Never be afraid to set goals that seem like dreams. Make those dreams goals, and turn those goals into reality. Speaking from experience, fear can really hold people down, and if you are willing to challenge yourself and push yourself when the fifth hour of studying rolls around, you just might find out that those dreams are goals that have been accomplished. Just like the South College statement says, “Where Dreams Find Direction,” with perseverance your dreams can find direction here at South College.