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DBU: We Got Jobs!

New Year’s Resolutions…Be Kind

It seems like every New Year I hear the same few things: “Wow, how is it 2015/2016/2017 already?”, “New year, new me!”, and of course something along the lines of “I hate new year’s resolutions.”

The New Year brings about the opportunity for a fresh start.  There is something about the start of a new year that makes you want to take charge of your life and get yourself together. You should be evaluating your life year round and making changes to better yourself; it is good to step back, look at your previous year, and figure out where you want to be at the end of the next year.

It is pretty shocking to look back at 2016 and see how much my life has changed in a year.   In the grand scheme of things, a year is such a short period of time yet so much can happen. Last January I was starting my 2nd quarter of school, was a member of SCNAVTA, and did not know my classmates (since I tended to always have my headphones in before class). Last year my main resolution was to be more open to new experiences, friends, challenges and opportunities. I decided that “NO” should not be in my vocabulary.

Over the past 12 months I continue to advance in school; I am now starting my 6th quarter and continue to learn every day.  My passion for veterinary technology grows stronger with each class I take.

I stopped wearing my headphones before class and started paying attention to my classmates, I have made some truly amazing and like-minded friends.  The girls in our vet tech program are unique, quirky, and have so much to offer; I feel so lucky to have gotten to know them. (If any of you girls are reading this I love you all so much, thank you for being you!) The next step in my growth was to help guide the program, so I also became the president of SCNAVTA rather than simply a member.  Leadership is an important trait to develop.  Being able to work on those skills with the people I love and in the program that defines my passion has helped me become more than I was before.  The SCNAVTA group did some pretty neat things last year; including Spirit Valley Days, a small roadside cleanup project, and a medallion hunt.  This year SCNAVTA has quite a bit planned and I’m excited to start getting things moving in the next few weeks! On February 7th we have having a presentation on Service Animals.  You are all welcome to attend.

Looking forward into 2017 the biggest thing I want to do this year is spread kindness, it seems like there was a lot of hate in 2016. I have been internalizing the saying “Be kind: for everyone who meet is fighting a difficult battle you know nothing about.” It has already impacted my interactions with others. It is only 17 days into the New Year and I was given the opportunity to put my resolution into practice.

The other day, I was rear ended at a stoplight yesterday. I’ll be honest, I screamed – I was frustrated. After collecting myself, I took a deep breath and reminded myself of my resolution – I was going to be kind.  Making sure to smile, I stepped out of my car and looked at the damage to both vehicles (the only thing wrong with my car was a small crack in my plastic bumper), then went to talk to the driver of the other car. We called the police and then pulled off into a parking lot where we exchanged insurance information.  She was shaken, but I reassured her that everything was going to be okay and that accidents happen. Her husband arrived before the police and pulled me aside, he explained that he had forgotten to pay their car insurance bill when the New Year began and that they weren’t covered.

I thought, you have got to be kidding me – I wanted to scream.  Remembering my resolution, I took a deep breath. I checked the time and I realized that if we waited for the police I would miss class, lose major points, and miss a really cool field trip. Again, I looked at my car and I decided to call off the police, get the other driver’s phone number and get to school. They also gave me the contact information for a friend of theirs who does body work, and they said they would pay for the new bumper out of pocket. I told them I would call that evening to discuss the plan for getting my car fixed.

As the day went on I kept thinking about my car, the accident and my resolution.

I called her up and told her that I wasn’t going to pursue having my car fixed. I explained that the damage was cosmetic and since they would be paying out of pocket I would not feel good about making them fix it. She was so grateful and asked if there was any way she could repay me. I simply told her about my resolution to be kind and that she should use the money that she would have had to spend fixing my car to fix hers – and pay for insurance! The relief in her voice made it worth it. I ended my day feeling the best I have in a while.

The resolution to be kind is very broad, but it’s a good one. It’s a resolution which directs me to every single day to act with kindness and understanding – no matter how large or small the gesture of kindness is.


Rachel is the President of the DBU Chapter of SCNAVTA (Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians of America), an eclectic vet tech student, and Jade’s and Jessi’s mama.


The Medical Assistant Career Opportunity


We all wonder at some point, what can I do, what will I be good at?  There is a third question which should be asked; will I be able to find a job when I am done with my training?


The first two questions call for introspection, self-belief, testing and guidance.  The third question involves research.  According to the Career Education Colleges and Universities (CECU) one of the fastest growing career fields is Medical Assistant; CECU says as much as 23% by 2024.  With Duluth being a regional medical hub, we can expect to see similar growth locally. 


In talking with Kathy Giese, the department head for the DBU Medical Assistant Program, the current opportunities for medical assistants are vast.  “Currently, there are over 35 openings in Duluth alone.  Those numbers do not include clinics in the surrounding areas or the state of the art clinics the Fond du Lac Band will be constructing over the next few years.”  Medical assistants have proven to be an indispensable part of the clinic team.

The Medical Assistant Program at DBU has been reengineered to provide a quicker and more student friendly training experience.

  • A full time student with normal progression can be out of school and in the workforce in 12 months.
  • Classes are held on Monday and Wednesday ONLY.  You can plan around a set schedule and enjoy your family, work, and whatever else you enjoy in your life without having to worry about a random class interfering with your success.
  • Small class sizes with significant hands on training opportunities.
  • A 240 hour internship program

With the demand for medical assistants on the rise and the number and variety of local clinics, jobs will be there for trained medical assistants who want to work.  The sooner someone interested starts their training, the sooner they will be ready to work.  At DBU that means you could be working as a medical assistant in as few as 12 months.

 Can you do it – Yes!  Will you be good at it, who knows, but you will be well trained.  Will there be jobs? If you look at the information currently available, the answer is a resounding yes!  Contact Teri at 218-722-4000 for more information or to schedule a visit.

David Cook – DBU Career Services Manager

For more information check out the CECU blog in its entirety.


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It’s Never Too Late To Go Home

grad91681Amy Ronchi was just really taking control of the Medical Assistant program at Duluth Business University.  Accreditations were completed, paperwork was organized, and a new lab instructor had been found; all that was left was reviewing student records and files.  As she was reviewing them and filing, one stood out.  Amy went to Associate Campus Director David Lutzka, and asked “who is Megan Gourley, what is her story?”

David explained that Megan was a student who did not graduate from the program.  That is when Amy decided to call Megan and find out what she was doing and if she would like to meet about DBU.  It took Amy six calls and Facebook messages for Megan to finally reach back to Amy.  “I did not recognize the number, Kathy Giese (MA program head) Facebooked me and told me to at least call Amy back.  So I did.”

“My first thought was that maybe she was scamming me.”  Megan said, “So I talked to my family and they said to at least meet with her.”  After that conversation, the meeting was set and Megan’s brother drove from Colorado to attend the meeting with her.  Amy’s recollection was that Megan was “really apprehensive, as the initial contact came out of the blue.”  Once the meeting was over, Amy told Megan she had a decision to make.  Megan said, “I had to decide if I wanted to do this again?”

During her first stint at DBU, Megan worked hard, but struggled balancing life and school.  She said, “I loved anatomy, but the internship was different.  One day I was called in and told I had failed my internship – and I was done.”  She was not sure why, but school seemed to be over for her.

“I felt numb.  Kind of like I got kicked in the gut.  I failed myself and everyone – I was becoming depressed.”  Megan on being let go from her first internship

Megan added that before Amy contacted her she had almost accepted the fact that she was not meant for college and that life was going to be spent doing minimum wage jobs.  The chance, which Amy offered her, represented an opportunity to improve her lot.  “I told her I would give her one more chance and I would be monitoring her, Megan accepted the challenge.”

Megan was nervous as she started her internship again.  “Amy told me that I needed to ask questions, but I really needed to listen and use the answers, so I did.”  Getting a second chance at an internship was not easy.  Megan had been out of school for over a year, she felt the pressure to take advantage of this opportunity and she made mistakes – but she heeded Amy’s advice and not only asked questions, but implemented the answers she received.  “I chose to accept the challenge of coming back to school, to be successful.  I needed to listen and apply what I was being told to my internship.” 

At some point, Megan realized that she had changed a little.  She said that she used to feel embarrassed if she did not know something or if she made a mistake, now she was accepting criticism and using it to become better at her job.  Amy added, “I had pulled her aside during her internship to discuss a small issue. I questioned whether she would take my advice and though she would just ignore me.”  Then Amy saw the thing she hoped to see, “the next day the habit was mainly gone.  She showed me then that she could take criticism and improve.  As an employee, what else can you ask for?” 

Megan finally graduated earlier this year and was spending time working, honing her interviewing skills, and creating a better resume.  Once she felt confident she started applying and interviewing.  “I had interviewed for a position a week before and I was about to start applying for other jobs.  Then I got the call!  I am now a Medical Assistant!!”

A person could read this story and think that Megan was lucky.  Amy was reviewing records at the right time and took interest in Megan, set up an internship and then she got a job in her field.  The reader would be right, but would be over looking much of the learning, hard work and lessons learned.  Megan pointed out many of the lessons she learned, but the most important one she had to learn was to speak up for herself.  “Seek answers, just don’t hide and hope the issue passes by.  It is better to know what you did wrong and have the opportunity to improve than hope no one knows you screwed up.” She added, “I work in the healthcare field, if you don’t learn from your mistakes, you can’t work here.” 

It is these types of lessons that Megan is now able to take with her as she starts her career.

Megan added that without the relationships she built with Amy, Kathy, and the rest of the staff this never would have been possible.  One thing she likes about the new updated MA program is how classes are only two days per week; “it makes it easier to work and be successful in school.”  Megan said, “Without Amy making that call, Kathy’s follow up, and Amy’s oversight of my internship, I would not be working as an MA, I would be in food service.”

“We are proud of her,” said Amy, “It took her a bit to change her habits, but she listened and look where she is now.”

After not thinking she was able to be successful, she is working in her field, which is where she is!

Photo – L to R  Amy Ronchi, Megan Gourley, Kathy Giese

Dave Cook, Career Services Manager