Jody Smith
A.A.S. Medical Assistant

We tend to define whether something is “economical” in terms of money but economical can also mean being resourcefully frugal and making the best use of all resources available. Jody Smith’s experience at Harrison reflects that broader definition. She stated, “Part of what helped me make the decision to attend Harrison College was having previously attended a university that raised the price of a course every term, and it had become too much. When I enrolled at Harrison I was able to lock in my tuition for the program and it was the program I was looking for.”

Smith discovered “human resources” when she participated in a Life-Long Learning course taught by Mr. John Frapwell. Although she had given several presentations during her previous educational endeavors, it was Frapwell’swords of wisdom and encouragement that instilled in her the belief that she could, in fact, present with confidence and even enjoy the process. “To date, I look forward to giving presentations in both my career and educational courses,”shared Smith. Frapwell also provided suggestions on how to overcome time management constraints and make time work for her when Smith’s father became ill and she had to assume sole responsibility for his in-home healthcare,transport him to doctors’ appointments and juggle her coursework. Stephanie Branson, CMA served as another valuable resource. Smith explained, “Miss Stephanie Branson was my instructor when my father passed away and I had to miss a week of clinicals. She went above and beyond to ensure that her students succeeded and provided emotional support when needed. In this instance she came in on a Saturday and recruited a personal friend and fellow student to allow me to complete my clinicals on time. I saw her as being the most thoughtful and caring person I had met at the College. Even after graduating she continued to contact me to see how things were going and offer words of advice, support, and just someone to talk to. Miss Stephanie Branson is someone I want to emulate.” Smith further reported that the closeness and caring exhibited by staff toward students extended to other staff members as well. “There appeared to be a close bond amongst the instructors and it showed. It felt like family.”

Another resource Smith discovered at Harrison was what she described as soft skills. “Although my major at Harrison was Medical Assisting, the soft skills I learned in many classes have aided in and been vital to my success in my current position a Human Resource manager. Communicating in classroom discussions, self-confidence, time management skills, and giving presentations have all helped me tremendously. Law and ethics courses have also been very valuable because confidentiality and HIPAA laws not only apply to the medical professions but to the HR profession as well.”

Smith is applying those soft skills in another important way by serving as an eMentor for current Harrison College students. “I could have used a mentor a time or two. I enjoy the opportunity to help others,which also provides personal fulfillment,” she said.

Her sound advice for those considering attending Harrison College included these thoughts: “Ask questions when in doubt. The faculty and staff are thereto see you succeed. Take advantage of the resources available to you.” Spoken by a woman who successfully leveraged the resources available to her at Harrison.