Ivy Stories: Healthcare is adding more jobs than any other in the country

Ivy Stories is a short, occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights current students and/or recent graduates.

There is a common misconception that those who want to work in healthcare must have direct patient interaction. However, those careers are much further reaching than nurses and doctors, which is good news for anyone looking for a job: The country is adding 2.4 million new jobs in healthcare, more than any other occupational group in the country.

It’s one of the reasons Melissa Green chose to study Health Information Technology at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus.


When she started at Ivy Tech, she wasn’t positive what she wanted to study. She took an assessment test in the Career Development office, which suggested that she become a proofreader with a publisher or a medical records specialist.

“I chose the most promising one, as careers in healthcare are always available,” Green says. “This degree is an open-ended opportunity with an endless assortment of career choices. It’s such an exciting time.”

When Green graduated from our program in May, she was already working at Parkview Health when she accepted her diploma.

“My status as a future graduate helped me get that position,” she says.

Ivy Stories: Medical Assisting & Business Administration

Ivy Stories is a short, occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights current students and/or recent graduates.

Tisha Knott knew she wanted to study Medical Assisting since she lost her mother to lung cancer–because of the excellent care she received.

“I saw how much everyone involved with her care and treatment made a difference in how she handled the disease,” says Knott, a Medical Assisting student at Ivy Tech. “The knowledge they had was great, yes, but some of the kindest and caring people made my mom’s bad days better. I want to do that for people and give that back.”

From early in her education, Knott saw that the field was a good fit for her: She remembers watching a demonstration in Anatomy and Physiology–a sheep eyeball dissection–when a fellow classmate passed out. Knott remembers that she was the only person in class to react and catch his fall. He assured the classmate was OK and went to get help.

“He was fine, but when I reflect on that moment and how I reacted without any proper training–it was my instinct to help him–I knew that healthcare and direct patient care were for me,” she says.

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Just 4 percent of Millennials are self-employed at age 30; by comparison, 5.3 percent of Gen X’ers and 6.8 percent of Baby Boomers were self-employed at the same age. Despite the contradictory data, though, more than half of Millennials think their generation is more entrepreneurial than previous generations, perhaps because 62 percent have thought about starting a business.

Kendall Riecken is one of those who’s making his way: He won Ivy Tech’s New Venture Competition last year with KR Designs, his automotive company.

“My education prepared me to understand how the real world of business actually works,” says Riecken, a, Ivy Tech business administration graduate. “There were so many theories taught in school, and now I actually get to put them to use and understand what it takes to be successful in business.”

Ivy Stories: Education is the No. 2 ‘hot job’ in Indiana

Ivy Stories is a short, occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights current students and/or recent graduates.

Indiana needs teachers. Big time. Indiana needs teachers so badly, education is the No. 2 “hot job” in Indiana.

Crystal Terry plans to take advantage of that need–which is handy, since she wanted to be a teacher, anyway.

Terry with her daughter, Kiara Alexis

“I want to be an inspiration to other students the way that my teachers have been to me,” she says.

When Terry finishes her associate degree at Ivy Tech, she plans to transfer her credits to Purdue University Fort Wayne for her bachelor’s degree.

“The experience that I have had at Ivy Tech has been amazing,” says Terry, of Kendallville. “All of the professors and my advisor has made a huge impact on my journey here. I have had great times as well as hard times, but I always pushed through the hard times and kept on going. I have learned so much, and I am looking forward to using what I have learned by passing it on to my future students.”

Ivy Stories: ‘A thriving female in construction’

Ivy Stories is a short, occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights current students and/or recent graduates.

Corina Billman is a two-time Ivy Tech grad: In 1999, she earned her degree in Building Construction Technology and, in 2015, in Building Construction Management.

“I started in Construction Technology because I wanted to be a thriving female in the construction industry,” she says.

After graduating the first time, she went into drafting houses but realized she wanted to learn more and expand upon her skill set.

“Going to Ivy Tech boosted my confidence,” Billman says. “I got my foot in the door at some places and with many people, which led to the chain of events to get me where I am today. Confidence is an amazing thing.”

Today, Billman is the lead CAD designer at Bob Buescher Homes.


Ivy Stories: A future entrepreneur studying business

Ivy Stories is a short, occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights current students and/or recent graduates.

Meet Jose Ruiz, a business administration student at Ivy Tech’s Fort Wayne Campus. He plans to transfer to IPFW when he graduates and eventually earn his master’s degree. His future goal: to own his own business.

Specifically, he’s interested in restaurants and corner stores. Ruiz says,

“I always like to think big. They are fun businesses that give a lot of access to interaction with the community. On a more personal level, I am actually a control freak, so in order for me to feel comfortable with my future, I need to be the one driving it. Having my own business and being my own boss is something I need to have in my life.”

Ruiz cozies up to a lion statue at a local park.

He gives a shout out to his marketing instructor, Tony Ramey, for providing a major a-ha moment: After Ruiz presented a rough draft for a paper in front of some classmates and Ramey, Ramey pointed out that the some of Ruiz’s information was too “fluffy.”

“Basically, he was showing me how to write in a business format,” Ruiz says. “He wanted short, detailed, and to-the-point. It was embarrassing in the moment, but it taught me a lesson for the future.”

In the end, Ruiz says, he got an A on the project.

Ivy Stories: Why they chose Supply Chain

Ivy Stories is a short, occasional feature on Green Light that spotlights current students and/or recent graduates. Ivy Stories will tell a little about why they chose Ivy Tech and their particular program.

First up, we’re featuring Cory Scherer, of Avilla, a supply chain management/logistics student who plans to graduate in May and Ariel Dawson, of Churubusco, a supply chain management/logistics graduate.

Why did you choose Supply Chain?
Scherer: Supply chain management is such an expansive field that has a talent void needing to be filled. As I worked through college to earn my bachelor’s degree, I worked as a supervisor at UPS, and I enjoyed learning the industry. Ultimately, this led to my first attraction in the program—the importance of logistics—but as my course of study continued, I became more interested in lean manufacturing and process control. It is important for future generations to understand just how large a field supply chain management is. Almost every aspect of business is in play to a graduate of Supply Chain Management.


Dawson: I decided on supply chain because it’s the job I held in the Navy. When I enlisted, I just took the first job available to just leave. Turns out, I fell in love with the job. It’s something that seemed to come natural, which I hadn’t felt with any other career path.

Dawson (at left) with her husband James and her children Kayden (standing) and Harper.

How has Supply Chain helped you at work?
Scherer: I have been working full-time at Graphic Packaging International as a student, but my studies at Ivy Tech have enabled me to better understand my internal customers, which provides me better opportunities for advancement.

The associate degree in Supply Chain Management/Logistics has prepared me to ask the right questions when it comes to inventory control and production reporting. The courses I took in lean manufacturing and general logistics have taught me ways to reduce cost in processes and to increase inventory accuracy. Ultimately, the general business management courses have helped me in communications with other departments and their managers.

Dawson: The first that comes to mind is the experience with my instructors and classmates. I’ve learned to be more social and vocal toward people. I’ve learned more discipline with asking for help whenever I can’t figure something out. I’ve also learned more ways to complete tasks and figure things out better with each semester that passes.