South College student Vicki Winston is currently studying health science and desires to work as a PA. Today, she told us about her journey to get here and what she plans to do after.
South College: What program are you in?
Vicki Winston: I am in the Bachelor of Science in Health Science program.
SC: Why did you choose that? What was that thought process for you?
VW: I literally woke up one morning and knew I was supposed to be a PA. I contacted a friend who had completed the program all the way through and was a practicing PA. She said go for it, that it would be worth the sacrifice. So I did it!
SC: Why did you choose South College?
VW: The college and program came highly recommended. Plus, the location was convenient to my job at the time.
SC: Did you come back to school after working, raising a family, etc? Are you changing careers? Or are you coming straight out of high school? Describe that journey.
VW: I’m 49 years old. I’ve been to college three times and had five full time careers. My first major was music education, my second was human resources training and development, and now health science, which will be my first degree. I’ve been a restaurant manager, a substance abuse counselor, a corporate trainer, and I’ve owned my own massage practice. I am a divorced, single mother of a 15-year-old daughter. I am tired 98 percent of the time but I am driven to reach the top of each and every endeavor I undertake. I let go of my business in 2009 after the recession made it impossible for me to rebuild. I then explored education and taught at a massage school for a few years. My massage clientele told me many times that I was meant for something greater. I finally started to believe in myself. Now, I work as a master therapist at an upscale spa in town, and if you open the pages of local papers and magazines, you’ll see my name on the “best of” lists. But honestly, I get more excited seeing my name on the President’s List in the South College newsletter!
SC: What is your favorite part of your studies?
VW: I love going to class. Class is a reprieve from the normal stressors of my life. I feel like a whole person, a real person, when I’m with my classmates, learning something and challenging myself to do more. I’ve made lifelong friends of these people, and I hope someday to call them my professional peers.
SC: What is your goal for after you graduate?
VW: My goal is to be accepted into the 2018 rotation of South College PA program. Between now and then, I’m going to complete some educational projects for the massage profession. My degree gives me additional credibility that I will use to my advantage.
SC: Do you have any advice for future students who might be in your same position?
VW: Go for it! Kira and the admissions staff will answer all your questions and help you make it happen. Trust me, I had serious doubts about my degree ever becoming reality. Walking onto campus that first time, and every time since, has strengthened my belief in the impossible.