We’re not so different from the students we serve. Like them, we each have our individual goals, dreams, personal roadblocks, and vision for who want to be and where we want to go. Here at Ashworth College, we’re all about inspiring and enabling students to be their best selves, so we thought we’d share insights into what motivates our staff to GO BEYOND the ordinary and always—always—strive for more.
Social Media Coordinator Danielle Smith shares her story of breaking down barriers and overcoming the odds to create a career, family, and life that she’s proud of.
A: I started when I was 19 as an admissions specialist. After two weeks they pulled me into the conference room and I thought I was being fired. Instead they told me I was top in enrollments and they wanted to cross-train me. So for the next five years I did a bit of everything: QA, supervisor, sales team trainer, recruiter. I left to have kids then came back two years later as part of student services. All told, I’ve been here 15+ years.
A: I am! I graduated in 2013 with my Associate Degree in Criminal Justice. I wanted a degree and I wanted something interesting, and I got both. Our instructor was a detective and he had real-life accounts of things like walking into a house in the summer to find a decomposing body. (Laughs) I was fascinated!
A: I left home at 16 and got my GED and went straight to work. I never felt like college was for me. But I was here at Ashworth so I thought, “Why not do it?” It wasn’t easy. At the time I was a single mom with two toddlers, working full-time. But I was super regimented. I would study 3X/week from 8 pm – 10 pm after the kids were in bed. That way, I had four other days to devote to the kids and house.
A: I’m the only girl in my family, out of five kids, to earn a college degree. My parents were there to see me walk the stage in my cap and gown and I just kept thinking, “I was supposed to be a statistic, and instead I just earned my degree.” It felt amazing.
A: So, this was when social was first taking off. We had a quirky guy who worked for us who handpicked some of us to start this social media team. No one knew if it would succeed or fail. I remember our first meeting, he explained what a “tweet” was.
A: We’re a little more in the know. (Laughs). But I learned a lot by taking the risk and joining the team. I’m doing things now in my career I never would have imagined. It’s especially powerful for me because I’ve been where so many of our students are. They’re facing all these barriers and I love being able to use Instagram or Facebook to remind them they can do this—they can beat the odds or whatever barriers they face and completely transform their lives! I know because I did it.
A: I can see things from others’ perspective. With that, I like to think I have a sensitivity as to why others might do something, and that makes me a little more understanding.
Look at you! You got swole and you loved it so much you’ve decided to help others get swole. What’s your next step? Professional certification! You already look the part of a legit personal trainer and that’s excellent for marketing your skills. But it’s a professional certification that really shows your potential clients that you’re qualified to train them. In other words, it gives them permission to trust you right from the start.
Don’t worry, training your brain for certification won’t take as long as training your body into the best physical shape of your life. You also don’t have to go anywhere to get it done; you can learn everything you need to know with online personal training courses at Ashworth College. Our Personal Trainer Career Diploma program can be completed in as few as four months and you can study at your own pace.
The program curriculum aligns with the standards set by the National Council on Strength and Fitness and helps prep you specifically for their Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification exam. Because of the NCSF mission to promote high levels of professional competency, ethics, and safety, their CPTs are considered highly-reputable industry wide.
There are nearly a dozen well-known certification programs available for aspiring personal trainers. They feature a range of costs, time commitments, and reputation levels. Here are some reasons why Ashworth College chose to base our program on the NCSF-CPT exam:
By the way, when you enroll in the Personal Trainer Career Diploma program at Ashworth College, you’ll also have the cost of the NCSF-CPT exam, practice test, study guides, and a 1-year membership covered by tuition! Once you graduate, you’ll be ready to sit for your exam without jumping through hoops. We’ll help you get prepped and get done so you can start pursuing your passion for personal training with confidence.
Terrence Jones of Raleigh, North Carolina, should have been a concert pianist. In fact, he graduated in 1998 with a Bachelor of Music degree in performance piano from Virginia State University. But there was one small problem.
“I walked the stage and got my degree, but I never actually finished my recital,” Terrence laughs today. “I completed all the coursework, but hey, it’s difficult to memorize an hour-long recital and then play it for an audience from memory.”
And while Terrence still plays the piano daily, he harbors no dreams of making his living as the next “piano man.” Instead, he used his first college experience to drive his determination to finish a different education and get started on a new, lucrative career path.
After completing his music degree, Terrence returned to Raleigh and began working as a server in various chain restaurants. Eventually he took a position as a banquet server at a local Sheraton hotel, which proved to be a life-altering decision.
“As I progressed in my career as a banquet server, I became very curious about how it all worked behind the scenes,” Terrence said. “I started asking questions about how everything came together – how the event contracts were negotiated, and all of that stuff.”
Terrence’s supervisors took note of his curiosity and began to mentor him. “Eventually one of them said to me, ‘You’re going to have to get an education to advance in this career,’ and that’s when I found Ashworth College,” he said.
— Terrence Jones, Ashworth College graduate
Terrence enrolled in the Ashworth College career diploma program in hotel and restaurant management in 2016, determined to finish it. He said the sense of “unfinished business” left by his first college experience drove his desire to complete the entire program this time around. It probably helped his determination when he experienced the immediate value of his coursework.
“When I was enrolled in the hotel management program, I was working at a thirty year old property that was undergoing renovation, and the first educational concept I learned in the course was that hotels must keep up with trends in order to remain viable,” Terrence said. “There was an instant, direct correlation between my education and the real world. I’ll give you another example: when I attended my very first sales meeting, they used the term RPM – rate per room – and I understood it! I felt like, wow, the lightbulb has turned on for me.”
Not long after completing the hotel management career diploma at Ashworth College, Terrence enrolled in the event planning program, which he finished in 2018. These two shrewd educational moves have boosted his career tremendously.
“In less than seven years I went from making $16.25 an hour as a server to making over $50,000 a year as a catering and convention manager,” Terrence says with delight. “Ever since I stepped into Ashworth College online, my life began to change. I truly give it all to God. I’m so surprised at where the courses have taken me so far.”
Some people hit their career stride early, while others take a more meandering path, as Terrence did. He turned 43 this past year and now sees his career future as a boundless opportunity to succeed. “My next step probably will be to take some finance courses, to get a better handle on that end of things,” he says of his plans. “My ultimate goal is to be a general manager.”
No doubt this should-have-been-pianist who followed his curiosity to a satisfying career in hotel management will succeed.
Whether, like Terrence, you’re looking to launch a new career, or perhaps advance in your current industry, Ashworth College offers a range of career diploma, career certificates, and advanced degrees to meet your needs. Getting started is simple and we’ll help keep you on track. Talk to an admissions advisor today to learn more.
Animal lovers, rejoice! You can take your passion for furry (and scaly…and feathered) critters to the next level by becoming a veterinary technician. But before you take the plunge, how much do you know about vet tech salary? How much do vet techs make, anyway? Let’s dive into the key factors that affect vet tech pay.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for veterinary technicians and technologists looks rosy. The profession is expected to grow much faster than average, adding more than 20,000 jobs over the next decade.
That means demand for vet techs is high right now, and the wages are correspondingly generous. The median pay for vet techs runs $33,400 per year. “Median” means half of vet techs earn more than that, while half earn less. The top 10 percent of vet techs make more than $50,000 per year. That’s not chicken feed.
So how can you land the higher-paying vet tech jobs? It comes down to which industry you work in, as well as your geographic location.
Many people think of vet techs as the people who work at their veterinarian’s office, but veterinary technicians actually work in a wide range of industries, from advocacy organizations to zoos. And how much a vet tech makes can hinge on what industry they decide to work in.
The top-paying industry for vet techs is the federal government’s executive branch, with an annual mean wage of $51,320. The executive branch includes agencies like the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Commerce, which may employ vet techs to work in animal inspection jobs, at fisheries, or in other interesting positions. Other top-paying industries for vet techs include:
In addition to the industry you choose to work in as a vet tech, your geographic location can affect your pay, too. If you want to earn the highest salary as a vet tech, pack up the van and move to one of these states.
And which states pay the least to vet techs?
As you can see, a vet tech salary can be very generous. And because the profession is growing, there’s never been a better time to get started on this path. Learn more about the AVMA CVTEA-accredited online veterinary technician program at Ashworth College or talk to an Admissions Advisor today by calling 1-800-957-5412.
Ready to enroll? You can sign up and start classes the same day! Start now.