Renee Collins is an Asher College success story. Renee worked in customer service for more than 20 years. She worked in various fields including medical, telecommunications and the financial sector. But she wanted to do something different and that led her to Asher College.
Renee began attending Asher College in January 2014 and graduated November 2015 with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Medical Billing and Coding.
Renee took the time to speak with us about Asher.
How did you find out about Asher College?
I knew I wanted to get back into the medical field, but move into the administrative side of health care. I was doing research online and mistakenly landed on Asher’s webpage. I decided to see what curriculum they had to offer. I saw the medical billing and coding program and I thought ‘this looks like something I could do.’ And then when I saw the address I realized it was located in my community. I decided to go in and I met with Kim Gasper and it was an amazing meeting. I eventually went back to Asher and enrolled.
Why did you choose Asher?
Asher has a wonderful program. It was something that could really fit my needs since I am a single parent. I was able to work my schedule around my son’s school and sports activities and maintain a really good grade-point average.
What was it like to go back to school?
At the beginning I was terrified. I felt alone and I didn’t think I was going to do well because it wasn’t something I was used to. I eventually took that fear and turned it around in my favor. I thrived on the fact that it was something new and a challenge.
Tell me a little about your experience at Asher College?
I really loved Asher. I learned at Asher to be accountable for myself. I was in charge of my schedule; I was the one in charge of getting my homework done. Giving the additional tools with the affirmations and the belief in myself, the experience got better. After meeting several students and bonding with them I found we were on the same level and their feelings were similar to mine. Bonding with them excelled my experience.
My instructor was amazing. I got excellent feedback from her and she was very easy to talk to and very encouraging. She offered lots of information and always answered all my questions. At times she could see the fear in my eyes and she was very supportive and understanding.
And the career services were great. The career classes and the mock interviews were very beneficial. Even someone like me who has been out in the workforce and has more than 20 years of customer service experience, can always learn something new about yourself and what you have to offer. I really enjoyed that aspect of the school; I was glad it was part of the curriculum.
Where are you doing now?
I currently work with a company called Community Psychiatry and I use every skill that Asher has taught me such as medical billing, medical coding and computer systems. I work hand-in-hand with psychiatrists. I am currently spear-heading a project and doing some ground-breaking things with tele-medicine. It is very similar to Skyping. Basically if a patient is scheduled for an appointment and they are unable to make it, we coordinate with them to meet remotely with their doctor. I also am working with the doctors to meet online with patients in rural areas. We have several clinics in remote locations and there is a need when our patients cannot drive to our locations. It’s my dream job. And I want to say thanks Asher.
What advice would you give someone contemplating going back to school?
I am really glad that I made the choice to go back to school. It was very beneficial to me. I don’t regret one moment of it, even my deepest darkest hours of wanting to give up and quit. I really want to thank everyone at Asher for being amazing and having an open-door policy so I could always go and talk to them.
I really appreciate everything that they offered to me. Overall, I would encourage anyone who wants to go back to school, no matter what age. Believe in yourself and take any kind of fear or doubt in yourself and turn it around into a good experience. Just look at me.