Medical Assisting Degree Student Shares Insight, Experience

After 31 years of cutting and coloring clients as a hairstylist, Kristen Anderson decided to make a career change – pronto.

It wasn’t that Anderson didn’t enjoy transforming someone’s appearance once they walked into the doors of the salon or learning friendly details about her clients’ lives; she became allergic to the chemicals she had been using on her clients’ hair all those years.

As a result, Anderson decided it was time for a career change. “I’ve always been interested in healthcare,” she said.

Anderson came to Rasmussen College with credits from Seminole State College in Orlando. She was able to transfer her credits, which gave her a head start in the courses she began at Rasmussen College’s School of Health Sciences in July 2011.

Currently, she is finishing up the remaining courses needed in order to receive her Medical Assisting Diploma. Her courses also prepped her for the certification exam, which she will take in August.  After one more quarter of classes, she will be able to earn her Medical Assisting Associate’s degree.

And Anderson doesn’t plan on stopping there.

“I’m happy I’ll be able to move these credits to an even higher degree,” Anderson said.

She’s also glad her hard work has paid off in numerous ways.

Anderson said she liked going back to school because it challenged her again, and she was able to learn something new. It has shown her that if she puts her mind to it, she is capable of many things.

As part of her coursework, she was required to participate in a 240-hour externship, which she completed at the University of Minnesota. Anderson heard that she was accepted at other externship locations before hearing back from the U of MN, but she really wanted to do her externship at the U of MN.

She waited it out and said it was worth it. “Being able to do my externship where I truly wanted was a huge thing for me,” she added.

Once Anderson was accepted to the U of MN’s externship program, she put passion and diligence into her hands-on training.

According to Anderson, her experience at Rasmussen College has been a positive one. She has taken courses at both the Eagan and Lake Elmo/Woodbury campuses, which included hands-on training and online courses.

“I’ve been really happy with the instructors…they’ve been knowledgeable and available,” she said. “And it’s been a good balance of hands-on and academic training, [as well as] practical and book testing.”

Anderson was also impressed with the support services the school supplied, which includes tutors.

“[The tutors] were really adequate and they were there anytime I needed help,” she said.

At first, going back to school had its challenges, Anderson said, pointing to something as simple as getting back into the routine of studying again as evidence. However, she says it didn't take long to realize she truly missed learning, and the more courses at Rasmussen College Anderson took, the more she liked it.

And not only did her classes and externship supply her with real-world experience, it provided her with the necessary tools to obtain a job.

“On the last day of my externship, [the Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Clinic at] the U of MN offered me a [permanent, full-time position],” Anderson said. “I wanted to work at the U of MN because it’s in academia, a nonprofit and a teaching facility.”

She added that her college experience has made her want to continue with her education and she plans to work toward a bachelor’s degree.

Before she does so, though, Anderson wants to leave two pieces of advice for future medical assisting degree students:

Before pursuing this degree, “make sure you’d be comfortable talking to people on an intimate and personal level because that’s a huge part of a medical assisting career,” she said. “Also, do volunteer work in the field area you’re interested in…that’ll help a lot when you’re looking for your externship.”

About the author

Jennifer Pfeffer

Jennifer is a Content Marketing Specialist at Collegis Education who researches and writes articles on behalf of Rasmussen University. She is passionate about learning and higher education and enjoys writing engaging content to help current and future students on their path to a rewarding education.

Rasmussen blog author

Related Content

Related Content

This piece of ad content was created by Rasmussen University to support its educational programs. Rasmussen University may not prepare students for all positions featured within this content. Please visit for a list of programs offered. External links provided on are for reference only. Rasmussen University does not guarantee, approve, control, or specifically endorse the information or products available on websites linked to, and is not endorsed by website owners, authors and/or organizations referenced. Rasmussen University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, an institutional accreditation agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

logo-accreditation-acen logo-accreditation-ccne chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors-masters 0 Credits 90 Credits 180 Credits 48 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE Start Here MASTER'S DEGREE PURSUERS End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE End Here MASTER'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-associates-bachelors 0 Credits Start Here HIGH SCHOOL GRADS Start Here TRANSFER STUDENTS 90 Credits Start Here SECOND DEGREE PURSUERS End Here ASSOCIATE'S DEGREE 180 Credits End Here BACHELOR'S DEGREE chart-credential-laddering-msn chart-credential-laddering-nursing-programs chart-credential-laddering-post-grad-np chart-credential-laddering-nursing DNP MSN RN to BSN LPN to RN Bridge Accelerated BSN Professional Nursing ADN Practical Nursing Diploma Pre-Licensure Post-Licensure icon-colored-outline-bank icon-colored-outline-certificate icon-colored-outline-circle-dollar-sign icon-colored-outline-folder-search icon-colored-outline-hand-heart icon-colored-outline-head-blocks icon-colored-outline-head-cog icon-colored-outline-head-heart icon-colored-outline-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-outline-hospital icon-colored-outline-lifelong-learning icon-colored-outline-light-bulb-analytics icon-colored-outline-location-pin icon-colored-outline-magnifying-glass icon-colored-outline-monitor-healthcare icon-colored-outline-monitor-paper-search icon-colored-outline-nurse-rays icon-colored-outline-padlock-shield icon-colored-outline-person-presenter-screen icon-colored-outline-scales ras-logo-flame ras-logo-horizontal ras-logo-stacked icon-colored-advance icon-colored-arrows-cross-curve icon-colored-briefcase-star icon-colored-build icon-colored-bulb-analytics icon-colored-certificate icon-colored-continual-development icon-colored-duo-chatbox icon-colored-folder-mortarboard icon-colored-forward-ribbon icon-colored-gears-clock icon-colored-globe-pen icon-colored-growth icon-colored-hand-bubble icon-colored-hand-stars icon-colored-hands-gear icon-colored-head-blocks icon-colored-head-cog icon-colored-health-plus-leaves icon-colored-hospital-building icon-colored-laptop-cbe-skyscraper icon-colored-laptop-checkmark icon-colored-laptop-webpage icon-colored-location-map icon-colored-location-pin icon-colored-monitor-paper-scan icon-colored-mortarboard-dollar icon-colored-national icon-colored-people-chat-bubbles icon-colored-person-cheer-star icon-colored-person-laptop-checkboxes icon-colored-person-screen-instructor icon-colored-person-whiteboard icon-colored-phone-chatbox icon-colored-police-light icon-colored-prep icon-colored-presenter icon-colored-regional icon-colored-save-time icon-colored-shirt-hat icon-colored-skyscraper icon-colored-state icon-colored-student-centered icon-colored-support icon-colored-world-experience icon-triangle-arrow-up-plant icon-triangle-calendar-pencil icon-triangle-clock-rotating-arrows icon-triangle-display-gears icon-triangle-hand-right-speech-bubble icon-triangle-laptop-coding-brackets icon-triangle-mortarboard icon-triangle-paper-ribbon icon-triangle-person-cheer-star icon-triangle-person-juggle icon-triangle-triple-people-chat-bubble icon-modality-campus icon-modality-field icon-modality-online icon-modality-residential icon-arrow icon-bank icon-camera icon-filter icon-general-chart icon-general-connect icon-general-degree icon-general-discuss icon-general-email icon-general-find icon-general-hat icon-general-heart icon-general-laptop-building icon-general-laptop icon-general-leader icon-general-map icon-general-money icon-general-paperwork icon-general-people icon-general-phone icon-general-speak-out icon-head-heart icon-info-circle icon-mail-forward icon-mglass icon-play-solid icon-quote-mark-left icon-quote-mark-right icon-scales icon-share-square-o icon-simple-chat icon-simple-desktop icon-simple-find icon-simple-hamburger icon-simple-phone icon-spinner icon-tag icon-testimonial-quotes icon-util-checkbox-white icon-util-checkbox icon-util-checked-white icon-util-checked icon-util-chevron-down icon-util-chevron-left icon-util-chevron-right icon-util-chevron-up icon-util-circle-arrow-down icon-util-circle-dot icon-util-language-switch icon-util-loading icon-util-open-window-link icon-util-pdf-link icon-util-refresh icon-util-x rebrand-arrows icon-social-facebook-colored icon-social-facebook-square-colored icon-social-facebook-square icon-social-facebook icon-social-google-plus-square icon-social-google-plus icon-social-instagram-colored icon-social-instagram icon-social-linkedin-square-colored icon-social-linkedin-square icon-social-linkedin icon-social-pinterest-p-colored icon-social-pinterest-p icon-social-twitter-colored icon-social-twitter-square icon-social-twitter icon-social-youtube-play-colored icon-social-youtube-play graduate-cap-star-coin hand-coin hand-heart nurse-stethoscope-rays card-send-smile person-yoga-pose suitcase-star