*Malcolm St. Juste
2021 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate
PC Technician / Win 10 Deployment Technician at Lifespan
The Computer & Networking program curriculum at MTTI offers hands-on training for students, who like Malcolm, enter with limited prior experience, as well as for people who need to update or expand their skills. Students work towards earning the TestOut PC Pro Certification and the CompTIA A+ Certification. Those who pass both parts of the A+ exam, are supported in preparing for the CompTIA Network+ Certification exam.
Malcolm’s goal was to begin a career doing skilled work.
A 2017 graduate of Central High in Providence, Malcolm worked for a couple of years at a nursing home, as a Dietary Aide. Building relationships with patients and co-workers, he developed customer service skills that employers in any industry would value. “I would take trays to patients and navigate the conversation with them—always remaining respectful, regardless of how they interacted with me. Most of the residents were very nice to talk with.”
He took classes at a local college, hoping to earn a computer degree.
“The program required that I take Gen Ed courses in non-related subjects. The computer course I was in focused on programming—something I didn’t see myself doing as a job. At the college, there were 20-30 students in a class, and very little individual attention to learning needs. A lot of the time, I just felt like giving up.”
Taking a leave-of-absence, Malcolm considered what kind of training he wanted.
“When I was ready to return to school, I wanted a program where I could build from the basics to more advanced knowledge—and the skills taught would be matched to my interests. I wanted the focus to be on training to enter the workforce quickly. I searched the internet for schools and found MTTI’s Computer & Networking program. The Build-To-Keep Computer bonus that was part of the program appealed to me. I had never built a computer. Like many people my age, I enjoy using internet technology, but didn’t have the skills and experience to be hired into a professional IT position.”
Malcolm also chose MTTI to develop job search and interview skills.
“When I interviewed for the Dietary Aide position, I was over-dressed and nervous. I wanted to feel better prepared for securing a skilled position in the IT industry. MTTI provides extensive career development. Shawn, the Career Services Specialist for the program, helped me write a professional resume, practice for job interviews and to conduct an effective job search. Learning how to talk with prospective employers built my confidence. Due to COVID, interviews had to be conducted on Zoom. We practiced beforehand so that the actual interviews were comfortable.”
The path for Malcolm to complete the program was not always smooth.
“It was not an easy program, but there was a big difference between learning at MTTI and at the college I had attended. At MTTI, you are in one class all day. Classes are small, so there is plenty of opportunity for one-on-one help—it’s a more personalized education. I also found more people I could relate to at MTTI; my classmates were a great support throughout the program. You still have to work hard, but at MTTI your persistence pays off.”
“The light turned on for me when I passed the TestOut PC Pro Certification exam.”
“The most difficult part of the program has been preparing for the CompTIA A+ Certification exam. The simulations in TestOut PC Pro have helped a lot. The tasks and problem solving I practiced are similar to those I now encounter on the job—and I earned a Certification. While employers are interested in the full experience I had in the program, Certifications are helpful when being considered for a position. For me personally, earning the TestOut Certification made me know I could be successful working in this industry.”
Malcolm interviewed with the Manager of IS Infrastructure at Lifespan, who knows MTTI well.
“Early in my job search, I applied online for an IT position at Lifespan, but I didn’t get called for an interview. The Career Services Specialist, Shawn, connected me with TEK Systems; they had an open position at Lifespan. Jeff Berube, who interviewed me, has participated on MTTI’s Program Advisory Committee for a number of years—he knows the instructors and the curriculum. Jeff asked me questions about my skill set. He told me they really needed someone on the team, and that they were looking to hire. The internship would give him the opportunity to evaluate my fit for the position.”
This was Malcolm’s first full time job—and first skilled position.
“My manager showed me around and asked what we did at school. I asked him a lot of questions to understand what my job would be. I began to relax as he explained what they did and what I was expected to do. In my head, I was checking off the things he was explaining to me—recognizing that I had already done these at school. The only real difference was the specific software they used, and how they installed it on their PCs. Everything else was familiar.”
Malcolm provides internal IT services to healthcare providers and administrative personnel.
“Lifespan includes RI Hospital and its Hasbro Children’s Hospital, The Miriam Hospital, Bradley Hospital and Newport Hospital. I had worked in a health environment at the nursing home, so I felt comfortable about starting an IT career in a medical setting. Before I was hired, I needed to complete online training to be compliant with Patient Privacy and HIPAA regulations. I’ve been learning quite a bit on the job; the IT team I am a part of gets a lot of tickets.”
“My team handles troubleshooting issues,” Malcolm explains.
“We’ll break down PCs sent to us with hardware issues. Common issues are problems with the battery or hard drive, or too little RAM (Random Access Memory stores data for short-term use and works with the hard drive, which provides the long-term storage.) We’ll also install hospital software on laptops and PCs, then pass them to computers techs on another team for set-up. The Techs on that team will send them to people throughout the hospital system.”
“MTTI is a wonderful school.”
“The Computer Service Technician / Network Installer program offers a more personal learning experience—the kind I needed. All of the instructors at MTTI have worked for years in their industry. My instructor, Boris is a great teacher. In addition to the technical skills that he taught us, he provided valuable tips about how to manage our demeanor and maintain focus when under pressure in an IT position.”
“Before I came to MTTI, I had a job—but didn’t have skills for a career.”
“After completing the Computer Service Technician / Network Installer program, I feel a sense of relief, as well as excitement. I have the IT skills to work in a professional position and to earn a good living. I look forward to a great future, continuing to learn new and evolving technology, and advancing in my career.
Top left: Malcolm with his bonus of the Build-To Keep Computer & accessories
Top Right: Malcolm at the computer in MTTI's lab
Bottom Right: Malcolm in the lab during the cabling/fiber optic cross-training
Bottom Left: Malcolm holding his Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Diploma
Sabrina Dosoito, 2020 MTTI Medical Assistant Graduate Provides Patient Care at Nisbet Women's Care, Inc., Warwick, RI.
2020 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant at Nisbet Women’s Care, Inc. in Warwick
Growing up, I knew that I wanted to work in Pediatrics or in OB-GYN.
After graduating East Providence High School, I planned to go into nursing. I attended community college, but after a few years, I felt like I wasn’t any closer to becoming a nurse. Courses kept on being added to earn the degree; my journey kept getting longer. I took a break from schooling to get my feet on the ground and figure out if a healthcare career was really what I wanted.
My Aunt Jean suggested I look into MTTI’s Medical Assistant program.
She graduated from MTTI in 2013. She encouraged me, saying, “Some people start small and then work their way up.” I contacted the school, went through the tour and interviewed with the Lead Instructor, Ms. Courtney. I knew MTTI was where I wanted to be. I enrolled in the evening program; Ms. Stephanie was my instructor.
Starting school was a little bit scary, but also exciting.
Scary because it was a new journey. I didn’t know what path I would take as a Medical Assistant or how difficult the training might be. I wondered, ‘Will I succeed?’ Exciting because it is always what I wanted to do. I knew that if I put my mind to it, I could do almost anything.
My world outside of school tested my determination to stay in the program.
I had been diagnosed with the same health issue that my older brother and dad have. Struggling with health challenges was rough; it would wear me down. Some days I didn’t have enough energy to go to school. But my determination to become a Medical Assistant pushed me. I wanted to be in class as much as possible, so I handled it. If you are truly dedicated to your goal, then you find a way to do it.
My brother inspired me to want to be in a medical career.
When he was 13, he almost died. Battling strep pneumonia, he was in a coma for two weeks. When I learned he was on his deathbed, it really hit me—he might not live. I had the chance to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. Fortunately, he survived his illness. He went to school and now works as an EMT (Emergency Medical Technician). Encouraged by his example, I decided that if he could work through his obstacles, I could push through mine.
In school, I was nervous about learning phlebotomy—most students are.
I asked myself, ‘What will happen when I try to draw blood? Will I be able to do it without hurting someone?’ Ms. Stephanie patiently supported me. Being in a small class, I benefitted from the one-on-one help I received. Extra attention from Ms. Stephanie, and repeated hands-on practice, eased my shaky hands. I felt well prepared to draw blood when I went out to internship and work.
When we had to learn from home due to COVID-19, I was scared to go remote.
I’m a hands-on learner; I have to look at what I am learning. I need to sit in front of the teacher and ask questions. How would I learn everything online? I am grateful for the support of my family. They kept telling me I could get through this. They reminded me that it was only a short time before I would be starting internship and work—and that I would be happy in my new career. I had made it this far; I felt encouraged to complete my school journey!
Fortunately, we were able to return to class to complete the hands-on training.
The class was split up into two groups, so that we could maintain social distancing. It was great to see my classmates again, face-to-face. It felt so good to be in the environment we had started off in. Everyone at MTTI is so friendly and willing to help.
The whole process of learning to be a Medical Assistant is challenging.
Ms. Steph taught us not to be afraid to ask patients the right questions, so that we can get crucial information that the healthcare provider needs to diagnose and treat them. Now in practice, I ask the patient if there is anything that they want to ask the provider, so I can let the provider know, even before entering the room, what concerns the patient has. When I have completed the health intake, I’ll ask ‘Is there anything you haven’t mentioned to me?’ Just asking that question, they may remember something important they want to talk about with the provider.
I interned and was hired at a very small internal medicine office.
I was one of two Medical Assistants—and sometimes just one, working with the Office Manager. I took vital signs, performed EKGs, documented the Chief Complaint, gave injections and performed administrative tasks, including using EPIC to schedule patients’ appointments.
Shortly after I was hired, I received an email about another open position.
MTTI’s Career Services Specialist, Shawn, knew I had always wanted to work in OB-GYN. He sent me the job description for a Medical Assistant at Nisbet Women’s Care in Warwick, RI. I decided to go for it. Now I am working where I always wanted to be, in OB-GYN. I check patients in and perform some administrative tasks, but most of the work I do is clinical.
I love going through the journey with pregnant patients.
It is gratifying to be their support person, especially during COVID, when their spouse can’t come with them to appointments. I see them again when they return for their post-partum and annual visits. Especially if they, or their family members have immune issues, they may still be unable to visit with them. We share a happy vibe that puts a smile on their face. And when they ask how I am doing, it puts a smile on my face, too. It feels good when they tell me how nice I am. That gets me through the day and keeps me enjoying every day that I am working in women’s care.
Going to MTTI was very different than attending community college.
I couldn’t see myself being successful in the way we were learning at the college. At MTTI, I had the full support of my teacher and classmates all the way through the program. My classmates and I studied the same topics at the same time, so we developed a close-knit bond. We could joke around together but still get down to business to learn. Everyone at MTTI helps one another; going to school there feels like being part of a big family.
Attending MTTI was an amazing experience; I would recommend MTTI to anyone.
I appreciated the opportunity I had to train at MTTI, and how much help I received from everyone. I feel confident referring people to MTTI because I know that anyone who attends school there will be able to accomplish their educational goals. I’ve already referred people to the school; my boyfriend will be attending the computer program during 2021.
The struggles I went through to complete the program have all been worth it.
The Medical Assistant program is not easy. At times you might think it’s too difficult to get through. When I would get down on myself, my biggest supporter and motivator, my Mom, would remind me to look on the brighter side—she would tell me that things will get better. She taught me to never give up, even when sometimes I wanted to. If you are a student or thinking about becoming a student, never give up on your dreams—stay positive to accomplish what you want to do. Everything has its struggles and challenges. Because I didn’t give up when things got tough, I’m now doing what I’m most passionate about, working as a Medical Assistant in an OB-GYN practice.
Michael Pannoni, 2018 MTTI Graduate, is a Refrigeration Apprentice at SS Service Corp. in Massachusetts.
2018 HVAC/R Graduate
Bronze Wrench Award & Highest Academic Average
Refrigeration Apprentice at SS Service Corp.
I served for four years in the United States Marine Corps.
During the years after I was honorably discharged, I went from job to job.
I never found anything I enjoyed much or felt proud to be doing.
I worked as a limousine driver and as a custodian for a school department.
I had no experience related to HVAC or Refrigeration.
None of the work I did in the past involved electrical, A/C, heat or refrigeration.
I was excited to enroll in MTTI’s HVAC/R Program and learn something new.
I especially looked forward to learning how to service, troubleshoot and fix units. I knew from my research that HVAC and Refrigeration has a lot of employment opportunities.
I was the oldest person in my class.
Some of my classmates were 18 or 19 years old. Still, it was very comfortable in the classroom. We all got along well, and helped each other.
I was relieved that we started with the basics.
The course is tailored to build up your knowledge and skills.
Key to a good school experience is having a great instructor.
My instructor, Mike Siravo, took the time to make sure we understood the information, before going onto something else.
I had an “aha” moment during the electrical portion of the program.
Learning about wiring diagrams /schematics was tough. Mike got us colored pencils, so that we could color-code the schematics—the low and high voltage sides. Once I understood that, everything fell into place.
The Career Services Specialist, Erin Gamelin, was a huge help.
She assisted us in putting our resumes together and gave us internship packets to bring to employers. Erin also scheduled visits by employers from different companies. The interview practice process we went through was amazing.
I was expecting to intern with a company that did residential heating and cooling.
I had multiple interviews with them; they told me they wanted to hire me.
At 6 pm on the day before the scheduled start of internship, I received an email.
They were holding off on hiring until April.
I looked up companies in Taunton and delivered internship packets to them.
I dropped off a packet at SS Service Corp.; they called me just as I was returning to my car. I went back in to talk with them. As I started to leave a second time, they called and asked me to start work the following Monday.
Not being hired by the first company turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
SS Service does all commercial work, which I really like.
I was nervous, but excited to get out there and apply what I had learned.
I began by providing Preventive Maintenance, changing filters and belts, and changing out electrical parts of units.
Being hired on the first day of internship took a little of the pressure off of me.
I didn’t have to worry about whether there would be a job opening.
I felt like the company was investing in me.
I still have to demonstrate that I can do a good job. I’m always on time and dependable. I arrive at work by 7:00 am, and get the inventory I will need into the truck for a 7:30 am start.
I was trained by a younger tech, who has been working in the industry for five years.
He was impressed about what I knew, just coming out of school.
He would test me, for example, asking me what individual components do.
My ability to answer correctly speaks well of the school—especially because I had no previous HVAC experience.
I had my own van by the time we graduated from the program.
Typically it takes time before that happens, but it happened quickly for me.
I have been doing service calls regularly.
I am able to go out on calls by myself. Soon I expect to be put on-call for emergency jobs, troubleshooting and repairing units for commercial customers.
I’m fortunate to be a Refrigeration Apprentice—working in the area that most interested me during school.
I enjoyed learning about electrical, gas, oil and hydronics, but the technical complexity of refrigeration, compared with A/C and heat, heightened my interest.
MTTI's HVAC/R program counts as one year toward the Journeyman’s License.
The Journeyman’s License requires 6,000 of on-the-job experience. After two years on-the-job, I will have the additional 4,000 hours to be eligible for the license.
There are so many paths you can take in this field—and the work is plentiful.
It’s easy to get 50-60 hours a week at some times of the year, which cuts down on the time to get the Journeyman’s license. You can go into installation, service, controls—even sales.
The support of the company's owner is great.
If I am out in the middle of the night on an emergency call, I can call the owner—even at 3 am.
Technology helps me quickly communicate to get the job done.
Mike, my Instructor, taught us to google the model number of a unit. I can download the manual and other resources, or use apps for Pressure-Temperature Charts to help resolve problems in the field.
I can FaceTime using the phone to show the system to someone from the company.
They can see how certain things are wired. Once, when I was talking to my boss on the phone, he could hear the compressor on a unit making a certain noise. He said to me, “It is single-phasing”. I was able to correct the wiring, where wires had been reversed and connected to the wrong terminal.
The work is rewarding; everyone is so happy when I fix their equipment.
People appreciate what I do—and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.
I am going to different places, and doing different things, every day.
When I worked as a limousine driver or as a custodian, the work was always the same.
I wanted to find a sense of purpose; now I take pride in the work that I do.
Not only am I doing interesting work that has a good future, but I am helping people.
I only wish I had gone to school a long time ago.
I will enjoy working for another twenty years in HVAC /Refrigeration.
When someone asks me whether they should go to MTTI, I tell them, 'Do it'.
'It will be worth it. You will gain a lot of knowledge and get a great head start on your career. If you have gone to MTTI, you’ll be ahead of the game.'
Danielle Phaneuf Chose To Change From College Courses To MTTI's Tech School To Prepare For A Medical Billing/Coding Career.
2018 Medical Billing and Coding/Office Administration
Certified Professional Coder-Apprentice® (CPC-A®)
Billing Specialist I at the Kenney Donovan Center
I always knew I wanted to work in the medical field.
I didn’t immediately know which area I was called to. I first thought I wanted to enter a Diagnostic Medical Sonography program.
I took pre-requisite courses at the Community College to enter their Sonography program.
I drove an hour to the college, took a class for an hour, and then drove another hour back home. I kept taking classes; the College kept adding courses they said I needed for admittance to the Sonography program. After four years of taking classes, I felt lost. I was getting nowhere—just wasting time and money.
I began researching other kinds of medical training programs.
I had heard about medical coding, but didn’t know much about it. I knew I was good with numbers. I wanted to attend a Tech school, where I would have the structure and consistency of knowing Monday through Friday what I would be doing every day.
I knew graduates from MTTI who were working in the fields for which they had attended school.
One friend is working as a Medical Assistant. My boyfriend, a 2014 MTTI graduate, loves his work as an HVAC/R Technician.
I read MTTI’s Facebook reviews; students described the great experience they’d had attending the school.
I thought, ‘If they could do it, why can’t I?’ I toured the school and interviewed with an Instructor in the Billing and Coding program. Everyone is so friendly at MTTI! I decided to enroll.
At the Community College it was all talking and slide shows; MTTI is hands-on learning.
Smaller classes, with one-on-one time from the instructor helped me learn faster. The instructor engaged us by teaching to all different learning styles.
The program includes MS Office Suite, so you can learn or improve computer skills.
One of my classmates hadn’t been in school in ten years; she re-learned typing and office skills needed for employment in the medical industry.
Learning coding was challenging, but help was always here.
There was no need to remain ‘stuck’ on any question. When one of us was felt stuck, another classmate would step in to help. Outside of class, my classmates called one another. We sent group texts and emailed our instructor, Ms. Christine, with our questions.
The instructor was awesome!
Ms. Christine could read your face and body language and know if you were ‘iffy’ about understanding the information. She’d give constructive critique to get us on the right path toward finding our own answers. I wouldn’t want someone to just give me the answers. When it comes time to take the certification exam, it is important to know how to get to the answer on one’s own.
Ms. Christine also prepared us to search for shadow and internship opportunities.
She was very real—she didn’t sugarcoat the experience of contacting employers. She told us that some places might not welcome us—so I didn’t expect every place to greet me with a smile. If they weren’t friendly, I wasn’t deterred from going to the next place. Shadow and internship search hones your customer service skills and how you present yourself.
The hands-on practice in the program prepared me for internship at Women & Infants.
Initially it felt ‘nerve-wracking’ to intern, because this was my first experience working in billing. They welcomed having some help. They put me on a computer, showed me how to do it and then let me do it myself. I performed patient data entries, charge entries, reviewed denial claims and reviewed clean claims (double checking insurance claims already billed to ensure they had no errors).
When a woman who was teaching me was out due to illness, I was able to lighten her workload.
At first I felt overwhelmed by the number of charge slips—with the doctor’s name and diagnostic codes—all to be converted into hospital codes. The stack was so high I didn’t think I would get through—but I did. When she returned the next day she was happy to find that she wasn’t behind.
MTTI offers a (free) Boot Camp to prepare for the AAPC Certified Professional Coder® exam.
After classes had completed, we met in the evening and went page by page through the coding manual. Beyond learning the answers, Ms. Christine gave us the rationale for why each answer was correct. One point can make the difference between passing and failing the test. Everyone became more confident as we progressed through the Boot Camp.
I like knowing that, even behind the scenes, I am helping people.
During internship, I helped a patient whose claim was denied. She was confused about having to pay for a specific service she thought was covered by insurance. She was so grateful when I told her that we had resolved the issue, and she wouldn’t have to pay. It made me feel good to have helped relieve her stress.
Leaning Billing and Coding at MTTI was a challenging experience—but very rewarding.
At MTTI, you get out of the program what you put into it. No one can do it for you—you have to do it yourself. Put in 100% and you’ll get out 100%--you’ll know you can do this work in the real world. Now that I am working as a Billing Specialist, I am excited to put into practice what I learned at MTTI!
(top) Danielle accepting her Diploma and Special Award as Class Valedictorian from Instructor, Christine Pereira.
(middle) MTTI 2014 HVAC/R Graduate, Tyler Babbitt, joined Danielle to celebrate her graduation.
(bottom) Danielle with Instructors, Ms. Christine and Ms. Roc, and her classmates at the Graduation Ceremony.
Postscript from Danielle on May 30, 2018:
"I have been checking my phone every day, 3 times a day, since I took the test! I am so happy and proud to say that I passed! I am so beyond excited! I couldn’t help but jump up and down like a little kid when I saw the results."
Nelson Ramos,MTTI Graduate, Is An Electrical Apprentice At AK Electric in Palmer, MA
Nelson Ramos, 2021 Residential and Commercial Electrician Graduate
Electrical Apprentice at AK Electric in Palmer, MA
Ambitious and hardworking, Nelson enjoys learning new things while getting his job done well and safely. He is easy to work with and finds work fun. He explains why, as a family man, his plans to become an electrician took a while longer, and how he finally got his plan ‘done’.
My ‘official’ plan always was to join the electrical field right after high school.
I attended a technical high school, where I took electrical classes during my freshman year all the way through my senior year. I earned a Residential Wiring Certificate. I enjoyed electrical work, but when I became a father, my plans changed. I went to work in non-electrical jobs to support my family.
Becoming a Marine taught me discipline.
Military training opened up my mind and helped me see things differently. Before the military, when it came to getting something done, I would try it once, and then if I failed, I failed—I would just give up. After being in the military, I learned that one way or another, you have to figure it out and get the job done.
I was fortunate to have GI Bill® benefits to pay for education.
After leaving the military, I began searching on the internet for trade schools around where I live in Holyoke, MA. A few schools came up, but they didn’t have very good reviews, especially from other veterans. Searching further from home, I came across MTTI. All of the reviews were great, including all of the feedback from other veterans.
I am so glad I took a chance on enrolling at MTTI!
It was worth driving an hour-and-a-half every day to go to school. The first weeks of the program felt like a refresher, because I knew some of the basic info. But once we got further into the curriculum, I was being exposed to things I hadn’t learned in high school. Coming to MTTI, I thought I knew a lot about electricity; once in the program, I realized how little I knew.
It felt great just being in school at MTTI.
It didn’t matter what we were learning or doing on a given day; I was excited and pumped to do it. Learning electrical theory and skills wasn’t difficult—it challenged me, and I liked that. School went smoothly for me all the way through. I had wanted to do this for so long; now that I actually had the chance, I wasn’t going to let the opportunity go by. I gave it my all.
The way the curriculum was structured was perfect.
The instructors did a good job of breaking things down. Everything they taught went hand-in-hand, which made it easier for me to learn. Everything came together at the end and it all made sense. Now that I am working in the field, I can see that the tools we used, and the set-up of the commercial and residential shops in which we learned hands-on, were just the way things actually are on the job. I know they are continuing to add more modules in the shops, for example, a second floor of a ‘house’. That will be even better, because that is exactly what you are going to encounter in the field.
It was an advantage to have multiple Instructors.
I would go to one of my teachers and ask him how to do something; he would explain his way of doing it. Then I’d ask another instructor, and he would show me a different way to do that. Electricians will all get from point A to point B, but they do it in different ways. That’s what I wanted—to get a more complete picture by having each person’s perspective about how to get the job done.
The instructors keep you sharp by challenging your knowledge when you least expect it.
Mike and Ian would come around in the shop and randomly ask us questions. One of them would show you a connector or a locknut and ask, “What is this?” You would tell them what it is, but if you got it wrong, they would give you the right answer. I loved it when the Program Supervisor Pat Church was around. You could be focused on what you were doing in the shop. He would take you aside and ask you 10 different questions about 10 different things. He makes you use your mind and think, which was fun for me.
The instructors go beyond.
They weren’t just reading from the text book to us; they would give us feedback from their own experiences as electricians. They would say, “This is how I handled this situation. I did this, and this is what I used to get it done.” They showed us all of the equipment—taught us all the trades names, the real names and the nicknames of everything, from screws to materials to connectors. If something has three names, they are going to tell you all of the names for it, so you won’t feel lost once you are in the field.
The instructors strive to ‘over-prepare’ you.
For example, one of my instructors explained how to use a pancake box. It’s a small lighting fixture box that you use in very specific situations. I’ve only used it once since I’ve been working. Why bring it up if it is not going to be used often? At MTTI, they go out of their way to tell you what it is, because they want you to feel ready for anything.
The school helps you get a job.
Towards the end of the program, I was having trouble finding an internship and employment near the school. The employers I would speak to were afraid that my hour-and-a-half drive from home was too far. I felt pressured by having only 3 weeks until classes ended. Almost all of my classmates had a place to go for internship—most of them were already hired. Shawn, the Career Services Specialist told me he would do a separate search just for me. He found AK Electric in Palmer, MA, closer to where I live.
AK Electric took a chance on me.
Located further from the school, they didn’t know MTTI as well as the employers who had interned or apprenticed MTTI students. AK knew straight off the bat that I had no field experience—that was the first question they asked me. I answered honestly that I had no field experience, but that I was completing the Residential and Commercial Electrician program at MTTI. I explained that hours in the program fulfilled the educational hours needed to take the Massachusetts Electrical Journeyman licensing exam.
All of the skills AK Electrical asked me about during the interview, I had done at school.
I think it was my confidence about what I had learned at school that got me the job. The owner asked, “Do you know how to work with MC (metal-clad) cable for commercial applications? Fire alarm systems? Romex electrical wire? Do you know how to do services?” I told them, ‘Yes, I can do this; yes, I can do that”. The owner said that he had hired people before who had gone to school. “They told me they could do all these things and then, once they were on the job, they didn’t know a thing.” I responded, “I’m not going to lie to you. I’m looking for long-term employment. This is what I can do, this is what I have been taught. I’m pretty good.”
Later that day the owner called me at home: “You’ve got the job. We want to hire you.”
As my internship began, I was already a paid employee. I got a raise a week later. My boss said, “Now that I know where you are at, this is what you deserve—he gave me a $2/hour raise. I felt great. Getting a raise let me know that I was doing a good job.
As an Apprentice, I always work with a Master Electrician.
He’s great—I learn a lot from him. We go from job to job. My first day we were working at a group of units, roughing in two levels in one of the condos. I was doing a little bit of everything: putting up recessed can lighting; installing the main panel in the basement; doing the home runs to the panel; running coaxial cable and T-STAT (low voltage) cable to the thermostat.
At AK Electrical, I work on residential, commercial and industrial projects.
Everything we do on the job I have done at school—just not on such a large scale. On the second day, we did an underground service. We had spoken about that at school, so I was familiar with the parts and what has to be done. All of the practice in naming parts and tools during the program helps me in the field when my boss asks me to go to the truck and get this and that, or sends me to a supply house and says “We need to get two of these and two of those.” Because of what I learned at school I know exactly what he is talking about.
Electrical work is always new—every day is different.
I like the thrill of putting things together, and how, when you turn the power on, things come on—things work. Electrical work challenges me to brainstorm and figure out new ways to do things. You can do a service for a house, but every time you do it, it’s different. Because the house or the structure is different, you have to figure out ways to get your power from A to B. Half the time I feel like I am not working—just having a good time.
It feels great to say I am an electrician; it took a while but I got it done.
My wife and I have I have been together for going on 12 years; we have two daughters, 4 and 10. She was in the shop with me when I taking electrical in high school. She has always told me, “I know you want to be an electrician—go for it!” I’m already all set with the schooling. I just have to get the 4,000 working hours and I can go for my license; it takes about 3 years or so. Electrical work pays well. After I am a licensed Journeyman, the pay goes up—a lot.
To anyone thinking about attending MTTI I would say: Do It!
Don’t think about it twice; it’s the way to go. You always hear bad stories about trade schools--that they take your money or they don’t help you get a job. MTTI over-prepares you so that you can be successful in a trade or technical career. They help you get a job. MTTI is the real deal.
Top Left: Nelson in MTTI's Residential and Commercial Electrician Shop
Right: Nelson on the job at AK Electric working on a panel (photo sent by Nelson)
Left: Nelson on the job at AK Electric (photo sent by Nelson)
Bottom: Nelson with his classmates and Instructor, Ian (left) and Shop Skills Instructor, Keith (right) at MTTI in East Providence, RI
Matt Tetreault, MTTI Graduate, Is A Small Engine Mechanic At Environmental Systems, Inc., Attleboro, MA.
Matt Tetreault, 2021 Building & Property Trades Technician
Small Projects Mechanic at Environmental Systems, Inc.
I rushed into going to college right after graduating high school.
Everyone thinks you need to go to college to be successful. I thought college was what I wanted to do. I like art, so I pursued an Associate’s Degree in Architecture and Graphic Design at Roger Williams University. I took classes on and off for 2 ½ - 3 years, but I wasn’t too comfortable with the program. After college, I took time off to think about the kind of work I really wanted to do.
Searching online for ‘trade schools near me’, MTTI popped right up.
I knew from my research that trades workers are in high demand. I was looking for my best option in the trades. On MTTI’s website, I read that the Building & Property Trades program covers 7 or 8 skills areas in multiple trades, including plumbing, electrical and HVAC. Not many programs offer all of these trades in just one class. I could see a better future in it—the broad curriculum would provide so much opportunity for me.
When I toured the school, I was excited to see the module in the Building Trades shop.
The house module that the students built included framing, wallboards, siding, roofing, interior archways between rooms and trim, wallpaper, paint and flooring. The electrical panels, outlets, lighting and plumbing they installed inside the module were all operational. I was in awe that one program can teach all of that in 7 months!
Being able to interview with the instructor before enrolling in the program was cool.
My instructors, Don and Jake were phenomenal. Both did an awesome job explaining every day what you had to do and how to do it. Jake was great at connecting with students. He is one of my all-time favorite teachers—and has become a friend. Don has so much knowledge; you can ask him any question and he will be able to answer it. If you are hesitant about going to school because you think the instructors won’t care about you, they are here for you. The Building Trades instructors at MTTI help everyone—they want you to do well.
The first days in the program—in a new environment—can be a little nerve-wracking.
I quickly realized I didn’t need to be afraid to ask questions. It’s easy to feel that others know more than you do, or that you won’t be good enough. But no one knows everything. Everyone comes to learn the same thing. Everyone wants to get the internship and the job at the end of the program. Class members work closely together from Monday through Friday each week, for six months until internship—it’s a lot like working with colleagues at a job. I overcame any shyness by introducing myself to my classmates right away, and made my first friend—now he is one of my best friends. As you make friends with everyone, the program starts to flow; you get your rhythm down.
The hands-on approach helped me learn—and made the training a lot of fun.
My favorite units were HVAC and electrical; I also enjoyed plumbing. I came in with some background in construction, but whether you are new to the trades or have experience, the program teaches you more than can ever imagine knowing. All of the skills were equally challenging, but the way in which the instructors taught them made us able to successfully apply them.
Recognizing that employers appreciate initiative, I reached out to Environmental Systems, Inc.
I emailed ESI’s Service Manager, Mike Muratori, and President, Shawn Elliot. I told them my story and asked for an interview. They agreed to meet with me. Mike has served on MTTI’s HVACR Technician Program Advisory Committee for years, but he was surprised to learn about all of the skills that I was learning in the Building & Property Trades program. My interview went really well. On my first day of internship, I was already hired as a Small Projects Mechanic.
ESI is a mechanical contractor specializing in air conditioning and heating.
Recently they opened a small projects department for jobs that take 2 or 3 weeks compared with large industrial projects that can extend for months. Our department is the first on the job. We install ductwork for rooftop heaters and inside the buildings. We also put in the electrical wiring along the walls with the piping. We make sure we have everything set up and in place for the service technicians; they turn everything on and make sure it is working for the customer. Sometimes our group will do the whole job, from start to finish.
I never would have expected to become a Sheet Metal Apprentice.
Going into the program, I didn’t have a vision of where I would go at the program’s end. I thought I might work in something involving HVAC or electrical—so I was excited to hit those subjects during the program. Even better, working at ESI I get to use the HVAC and electrical skills I learned in the program. I am getting a Massachusetts Sheet Metal License, an EPA card for refrigeration, a Hot Works Safety Certificate. I had already earned my OSHA Certification at MTTI, so that was all set.
I appreciate all that ESI provides for its employees.
I’ve been given a gas card and in the near future will have my own ESI truck to drive to job sites. The company also gives us uniforms and cell phones, for communicating on the job. They also supply head-to-toe safety harnesses and retractable harnesses. We will be working pretty high up, either on rooftops or 60 feet up in the air on the lift, while installing piping that could be 100 feet long.
Finding out about trade schools was a lifesaver.
I don’t know what I would be doing if I hadn’t enrolled in the building and property trades program. Going to college had ups and down; most of the time I wasn’t really enjoying it—I just wanted to get it done. I tried different types of jobs, but they never really worked out for me. I would get down on myself some days, thinking I would never find anything I would like to do.
Getting into the Building Trades class when I did was a gift.
Initially I was on the wait list to attend the program. Someone who had enrolled was unable to attend, and I got that spot. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had to wait another year to start school
I was inspired go into the trades by being an outdoorsy, hands-on person.
The first person in my family to choose to work in the trades, MTTI opened my eyes to new possibilities. I love getting down and dirty, working with my hands, and getting things done. I can’t sit behind a desk every day from 9-5; I have to be moving around. I want to feel like I am contributing to this life I have by building things. Working in the trades now gives me a sense of accomplishment—when I complete a project, it makes me feel good.
I’m excited about the journey I’m on and where it is taking me.
If I hadn’t risked trying things that didn’t work out, I probably wouldn’t be doing work now that I really enjoy. As I complete the Building Trades Program, I’m very happy with my work life. ESI is a good company to work for, with plenty of room to grow. I can go into the service side, the mechanical side—or I can use my skills in graphic design and architecture in the AutoCAD department, if in the future, I want to do the mechanical drawing.
Trade schools are awesome!
Young people like me question whether to go to college or to a trade school. If you are choosing between college or a trade school, ask yourself whether the work you will be doing after graduating school will make you happy in the long run. Will you feel you are being successful in whatever job you have chosen to do? Will you wake up every day, looking forward to going to work? If, in your gut, training to work in the trades feels right for you, then go for it.
The Building & Property Trades program offers a great opportunity to make your own success.
I had a great time in school. The instructors do a good job connecting with their students. The program gives you plenty of room to explore the different trades, and ties everything together in the end. At the program’s completion, you can choose which trade you want to pursue—or use all of your skills in a property maintenance position. The work I put into the program was well worth it; it has paid off for me.
SGT Kenny Torres, 2016 MTTI Auto Tech Graduate, Is A Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic At The RI Army National Guard FMS #4
SGT Kenny Torres, Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic in the RI Army National Guard FMS #4
2016 MTTI Automotive Service Technician Graduate
Even before graduating from high school, I knew I wanted to go to MTTI’s Auto Tech program.
Born and raised in Providence, RI, I graduated from Hope High School in 2014. While I was in high school, I talked with the school guidance counselor about automotive training programs. I considered another technical school, but it was way too much money—and didn’t have as much hands-on as MTTI’s program, where 50-60% of the learning is conducted in the shop.
I didn’t grow up intending to have an automotive career.
When I was young, I thought that I wanted to be an obstetrician to deliver babies. Then, in the 11th grade, I got my first car. I wanted to work on my own car—and, when I started to do that, it just clicked. My passion for working on cars grew, but without training, I didn’t know how to make the repairs the right way.
I joined the RI Army National Guard during 2014, as a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic (91B).
After graduating from high school, I was stationed in South Carolina, where I completed Basic Training. Then I entered the U.S. Army Advanced Individual Training at the Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic School. I gained a lot of experience in repairing diesel engines. Knowledge of diesel mechanics helped me understand the fundamentals, but it did not give me an advantage for being hired in the automotive industry.
MTTI helped me achieve my goal to become a technician in both worlds—civilian and military.
Going to MTTI gave me a leg up on people who were applying for auto technician positions. The training I received in the Automotive Service Technician program made me stand out when employers at dealerships were considering applicants. Attending MTTI has also been the extra helping hand I needed to become a full-time technician with the RI National Guard.
I was serving in the National Guard, while training in MTTI’s auto tech program.
That meant that, during the summer, I had to be out of school so I could go to a two-week training in Virginia. During those weeks, I was able to use the skills I had been learning at MTTI to get us up and running when our vehicles broke down.
After completing the Auto Tech program, I was offered multiple positions at Rhode Island dealerships.
The instructors and career services helped me build a network of employers. I first worked for Greico-Honda and then with Firestone in Warwick, RI. I had the opportunity, during the year I worked at Bald Hill Dodge, to become a RI Inspector. If I return at some time to the civilian workforce, being an Inspector will be a good choice pay-wise. Not many people have the state inspector license.
I took a 1 ½ year assignment as a Recruiter for the Rhode Island Army National Guard.
When new recruits came to me, I asked what goals they had—what did they want to do? Did they want to learn a trade? I kept the MTTI Automotive Service Technician tri-fold brochure, with my photo on the cover, framed and on my desk. I recommended to recruits interested in attending a technical or trade school—people who were hesitant to go to college—that they consider MTTI’s automotive, medical, computer, HVAC/R or motorsports programs. I helped them ease their transition from the Army to school. If someone wasn’t eligible to enlist, I recommended MTTI to them.
During an annual training cycle, I had the opportunity to train in Europe.
I went to Romania with the unit of 861st engineers who were working with Romanian and Dutch soldiers to construct engineering projects. As NATO allies, these units were building strong international relationships, while serving alongside one another. The knowledge from MTTI, and my experience in the National Guard’s FMS #4, helped me keep their vehicles running. I had my own radio, which kept me in contact with the team. I would report to any site requesting assistance for repairs that needed to be done on the spot. Corporal Justin Crespo, who works at FMS #4, and is being trained by Kenny, added, “We ran into a ton of problems that new guys wouldn’t be able to handle, so Kenney was very much in demand.”
I started back in the Field Maintenance Shop #4 in November, 2020.
I love it. Every day it gets better and better. Each year, I get opportunities for further training so that I can excel in the field. Each training focuses on certain parts of vehicles that mechanics can benefit from learning. In FMS #4, we make sure “nothing is broken; anything that is broken, we fix.” According to Army Regulations, the Field Maintenance Shop complies with the 10/20 Maintenance Standard, identifying all faults and performing repairs, services and other related work, so that all equipment is fully mission capable. As a Wheeled Vehicle Mechanic, I supervise and perform maintenance, repair, and recovery operations on wheeled vehicles, and select armored vehicles, that serve the Army in a variety of mission-critical roles.
I stand by MTTI’s real world learning and hands-on approach to education.
At MTTI, the shop skills instructor, Arturo, taught me a lot of good ‘tricks’, which he called 'old mechanical tricks’. These little tricks help even when I’m working on diesel engines in the Army. I’m grateful I got the opportunity to be trained both at MTTI and in the Army National Guard. MTTI is where I’ve learned the skills I know now. The army has shaped me to want to teach and groom my new soldiers and my peers. I like knowing that my training and knowledge is being passed to my subordinates, and that they can then pass this down to their own subordinates.
I have no regrets about my choice to go to MTTI.
Looking towards the future, I have two possible goals in mind. One would be to work as a Junior ROTC teacher in a high school. The other would be to become a shop skills Instructor—or eventually even a lead instructor—at MTTI. As I continue to gain experience, I will be better able to help others who are passionate about automotive technology to pursue their dreams. Every person I can inspire, who in turn inspires others, will pay forward what I’ve gained from the opportunities I’ve had to train at MTTI and with the Army National Guard.
Photo Credits Top Left: Sgt. Kenny Torres returns to visit MTTI Top right: Sgt. Kenny Torres at FMS #4 (Courtesy of Corporal Justin Crespo, FMS #4) Bottom left: Sgt. Kenny Torres at FMS #4 (Courtesy of Corporal Justin Crespo, FMS #4) Bottom right: Sgt Kenny Torres with Master Sergeant (MSG) Jose Vega, Surface Maintenance Mechanic Supervisor (Courtesy of Corporal Justin Crespo, FMS #4)
2021 MTTI Motorcycle Grad, Evan Newman, Works As A Bike Tech At Motorsports Nation in Seekonk, MA.
Evan Newman, 2021 Motorcycle / Power Equipment Technician Graduate
MTTI Top Tech Award
Bike Tech at Motorsports Nation Massachusetts, LLC
For the past six years, I’ve been riding down a rough road.
During my teen years, I surrounded myself with people who were doing the wrong things. Even knowing that their values weren’t the same as mine, I fell under their influence. Finally, I reached a breaking point. I made a bad decision that afterwards I regretted.
It was challenging to support myself
I needed steady work and an income, but it was difficult to convince employers to hire me. Worrying about my future, I felt at risk for making more mistakes in life. I went from job-to-job, doing seasonal work as a landscaper—and then, for a while, working as a laborer. That job paid well and had benefits, but the work made me miserable. I was unhappy thinking this might be my long-term career.
The first time I applied to attend MTTI, I wasn’t able to enroll.
I figured I would just have to keep working as a laborer. Fortunately, my grandmother’s husband, Bob, helped me get a better lawyer, who worked out a solution to my situation. My mom, my grandmother and Bob all encouraged me to go to school. They kept telling me, “You should do it!”
I wrote a letter to Ward, the President and Founder of MTTI.
Bob knew Ward. He and Cheryl, the Admissions Representative for the Motorcycle Tech program, suggested I write to Ward. In my letter, I explained that I was working hard to make up for some poor choices I had made in the past. I had been riding and working on bikes since I was 6 years old. I knew that working on bikes was what I loved most to do—and with the proper training and guidance, I believed I could make a good living and a happy life as a motorcycle mechanic.
I am very thankful to MTTI for how things turned out.
It felt really good when Ward gave me a chance to prove myself. Still, I felt anxious about whether I could succeed in the program. Once school started in the fall, I began getting to know my classmates. Day-by-day, I became more comfortable with everyone, and with what I was learning in the classroom and shop. At school, I was getting more detailed information than when I had researched on my own how to work on bikes.
Going to MTTI helped me get back on—and stay on—the right track.
The skills we were learning made me happy—especially because I could do them. Erin in Career Services helped me search for a job. It’s difficult for me to be sociable with others until I get to know them, so my interview skills weren’t great. Erin coached me on how to talk with employers about what I wanted to do during my internship. She helped me know how to answer the hard questions about my past that employers might ask me.
While I was still interning, I visited Motorsports Nation.
I went in to get some parts and heard they were looking for help. Past MTTI grads had been hired there; they told me that Motorsports Nation is a good place to work. I transferred my internship to Motorsports Nation—and after my second day there, they hired me. They appreciate my strong work ethic, knowing that I will do whatever they ask me to do.
Being a Motorcycle Tech at Motorsports Nation doesn’t even feel like work.
As a Tech, I am assembling new bikes out of crates, prepping bikes for new owners, and even starting to provide service. It’s my dream job. In what other kind of job can you go for a ride while being paid to work? We recently held a demo of the 2021 Can-Am Spyder RT. It is a three-wheeled motorcycle that has a single rear drive wheel and two wheels in front for steering, laid out like a modern snowmobile. My boss asked if I wanted to go for a ride—I did, and it was awesome!
My goal now is to be one of the top techs at Motorsports Nation.
To be a top tech takes the ambition to figure everything out—not giving up or making mistakes that cost the shop. I know what it is like to search shops for a good mechanic. I had brought my bike to places where they gave it back to me, saying they couldn’t fix it. I don’t want to do that to anyone. I want to be the person they bring it to, who fixes it right the first time. A good mechanic is hard to find—I want to be that mechanic.
I no longer feel miserable about what to do for work.
I don’t have to freak out about having to go to a job I don’t like. I’m not feeling angry any more about work and wanting to quit. Working at a job that I feel I’m meant to do—that I love—helps keep me out of trouble. It gives me a sense of purpose, and security in life—now and for the future.
At MTTI you get a lot of hands-on experience in a short amount of time.
The school has extremely knowledgeable and supportive teachers, who have a lot of experience in their industry. People who are new to the motorcycle industry can come out of the program and be well on their way to becoming good mechanics. During the program, I met like-minded people who have similar interests—people who I will stay in touch with my whole life. MTTI made me feel like I was somewhere I belong—that I am part of their community. That’s a very good feeling.
Ian Dexter, 2020 MTTI Graduate, Is An Auto Tech At Patriot Subaru
2020 Automotive Service Technician Graduate
Automotive Tech at Patriot Subaru
Why, at 40, did I decide to go to school to start a new career?
Entering a new industry, I’m starting at the bottom, as an entry-level technician. Before enrolling at MTTI, I had worked for the same supermarket company for 20 years. I worked my way up to Deli Manager. Doing it for so long, I was good at it. But I wasn’t happy; I was just going through the motions. I didn’t want to outright quit, but every day I dreaded going to work.
I didn’t dream, when I was young, about working on cars.
I was more interested in music. I liked cars, and during high school I took some automotive classes. I even did a little work on my own car. At that time, working on cars was just a passing interest.
I always looked up to my dad.
I enjoyed going to the track with my him. Growing up, my father had driven race cars and worked on our own family cars. My dad was only 52 when I lost him to cancer. As I was about to become a father myself, I wanted something to pass down to my son. Even if my son doesn’t want to work on cars for a living, someday his own car will need work, and he will be able to come to me.
I was still working days at the deli when the coronavirus hit.
Someone I worked with tested positive for the virus. It didn’t feel great to be working in a supermarket, worrying about whether I would bring the virus home to my family. I had vacation time saved, so I took some time off. My wife and I agreed I would stay home, while I figured out what I wanted to do.
Then a friend asked me, “Why don’t you go to school to train to work on cars?”
It all came together for me. I replied, “You’re right.” I began looking at local schools where I could get my education in the evening and continue working during the day.
I loved staying home with my son, Ben.
He was just a baby at that time. When my wife returned to work after three months of family leave, we didn’t want to leave him with outside babysitters. Having this time together every day with my young son has been priceless.
During the first months in the automotive program, I doubted myself.
Some days I wondered if I was cut out for this. ‘Can I do it?’ And then a couple of days later, I would think to myself, ‘Yes. I can’. I felt happy to be working on cars in the shop. Maybe I was only doing an oil change that day, but I liked doing it—it would put me in a good mood.
The school was a great learning environment.
One of the best things at school was when another student brought in a vehicle with a problem, and we worked it out. Jameson and Tony have different ways of teaching; they complement each other well. Both are very knowledgeable and both make learning enjoyable. They were honest with us; when we did something the wrong way, they would tell us and show us how to do it the right way. Having the opportunity to make mistakes at school, and to learn those lessons, gave me the working knowledge and skills to take into the workforce.
The first time I applied to Patriot Subaru, I didn’t get the job.
Then one day I got a text message asking me to come in to work the following Monday. They liked the way I had interviewed when I first applied. Starting a new job for the first time in a garage, I was nervous and excited. At the grocery chain where I had worked for such a long time, I knew everyone. At Patriot Subaru, I was going into a new environment. Fortunately, my Instructor, Tony, has been working there for many years. I talk with Tony every day; he’s “above me”, but we work together. MTTI graduates—Veronica, Ashley, Natasha, Dominic, Cody and Devon from my night class—were already working there. It’s fun to be working on a car and look around to see other technicians pulling engines.
Working in the auto industry while still in school added another layer of learning.
What the instructors taught in the program had even more meaning when I applied what I had learned on the job. Sometimes at work, I’d say, “Jameson just talked about that in class”. I could bring questions I had at work back to school. Sharing with other students what I did on the job helped all of us better understand how things work mechanically. It felt like the two ends were coming together—like I was getting a double dose of learning.
MTTI was a great experience; as an older student, I never felt like I didn’t belong.
If you want to learn, regardless of your age or experience, you belong at MTTI. Going into the industry as an older person, I’m pleased that I can still learn new ‘tricks.’ Maturity also helps me have a good attitude about how I look at life. Beyond knowledge and skills, part of being a mechanic is learning how to deal with adversity—how to cope with what you are working on when it goes wrong. I feel fortunate that when things are tough on the job, I am able to learn other ways of doing things from the people I work with.
MTTI is a great place to learn, where the Instructors care about the people they teach.
I got a great start in school with Tony and Jameson. Practicing hands-on in the school shop built my confidence to go to work in the industry. They gave me an understanding of the whole automotive system and how things work—to knowing why things work—and then the steps to take to fix things. They want to train us not to just work on cars, but to become really good mechanics. MTTI instructors have an investment in their students. They want us to succeed; our success is their success. We’re students now, but in the long run, we become their colleagues.
Starting over in a new career at 40, I have a job and career I am proud of.
Working in the automotive industry can be a tough job, physically and mentally. When a customer leaves with his car, it’s on the mechanic to make sure it is road-worthy. I ask myself, ‘Did I tighten everything?’ It is also very rewarding. Each car is a puzzle to figure out. When I can, with my knowledge and my hands, make something that didn’t work—work, I feel a sense of pride and accomplishment. I feel I am contributing to society by having a skill and the tools to be able to fix something that the customer can’t fix on his own.
If you work hard and do a good job in the auto tech industry, you will be rewarded financially.
Even through you won’t be working 80 hours a week, when you work flat-rate, you can do 80 hours of work. If certain jobs are rated at 2 hours, and you do it in just 1, you get paid for 2. Starting out, I know that what I earn will pay the bills. As I gain experience in the industry, I’ll be able to work faster and the pay will become more lucrative. Working in the dealership every day builds belief in my ability to do what I have learned at school. Every day at work is a new lesson.
My son, Ben, will never know my father—his grandfather.
Ben is very interested in cars. When I brought him to Patriot Subaru, we had to stay an extra half-hour so he could look at all the cars. If my dad was alive today, he would share his passion for race cars with Ben. He would show Ben how to work on cars. In his absence, I feel like I am passing down to Ben what my father passed to me. I can teach my son what his grandfather would have taught him.
Deciding to go to MTTI at 40 to train for a new career was right for me.
We have a limited amount of time in life; our time here is precious. Work is so important to our mental well-being and to how we interact with others in the world. If we are not working to our full potential—if what we do at work does not make us happy—it affects every part of our lives—especially our relationships with family and friends. I no longer dread going to work. I go to work thinking, ‘Maybe I’ll learn something today. Maybe I’ll help someone today.’ I feel happier and more satisfied with my life. I know my family shares that happiness with me.
Top Left: Ian with his son, Ben.
Middle Right: Ian & Instructor, Tony Garcia, shake hands at his graduation ceremony.
Middle Left: Ian accepts his diploma from Instructor, Jameson Infantino.
Bottom Right: Ian learning hands-on in MTTI's automotive tech shop (already hired before he graduated, he is wearing his Patriot Subaru uniform).
Bottom Center: Ian with the auto eve graduates.
Heydi Herrera, 2020 MTTI Graduate, Is A Medical Assistant On Physician One Urgent Care's Mobile Response Team.
2020 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant on the Mobile Response Team of Physician One Urgent Care
I like taking care of people.
Working as a Certified Nursing Assistant for several years, I recognized that I was good at it. Caring for elderly patients at the nursing homes where I worked, they would begin to think of me as family. I would get attached to these patients; I felt sad when they passed away.
Helping others as a CNA, I wanted to continue my medical education and career.
I was still working as a CNA during COVID. Nursing homes were closed to visitors; patients often didn’t understand why their loved ones couldn’t visit them. The Physician Assistants I worked with inspired me; I set a long-term goal to one day become a PA myself. I took courses at a Community College—and then repeated those same courses at a higher level. I felt like I was getting nowhere and would never be done.
I talked with my husband about changing to a Medical Assistant program.
Contacting MTTI, I spoke with Amy in Admissions and then with Ms. Courtney, the Lead Medical Assistant Instructor. Ms. Courtney asked me questions to determine if the program was a good fit for me. I was comfortable with my choice to enroll; as a CNA, I already knew I could take blood pressures and pulses, and treat lacerations.
Because COVID-19 had been declared a pandemic, we began learning remotely from home.
Learning online, you can think you understand something. But as a hands-on person, I have to see it and practice it myself. Fortunately, Medical Assistants are considered essential workers; we were allowed to come to school a couple of days a week. Our class was split into two smaller groups, so we could maintain social distancing.
Medical Assistants use a lot more skills in practice than do CNAs.
I was excited to be learning how to give injections, perform EKGs, conduct pregnancy tests and capillary / blood tests. I liked phlebotomy right away. Comfortable about practicing blood draws on classmates, I was more nervous about having someone else draw blood from me. The first time I had to offer my arm to another student, I felt like I might pass out! Fortunately, she was pretty good at drawing blood.
My classmates were a positive, great group; we supported one another.
Ms. Courtney was the glue that held us together. She gave us study guides and would go over anything we weren’t clear about until she was sure we understood it. Because I’m not that good at taking tests, I worried I wouldn’t pass the course. When I failed a test, Ms. Courtney would coach me after class. She helped me stop second guessing myself. I appreciate that she pushed me. Ms. Courtney is tough but passionate about the medical profession. She wants her students to achieve their goals.
I chose to intern at an urgent care because I like working at a fast pace.
The urgent care was hectic during the pandemic. Unlike medical practices that were conducting virtual visits, patients continued to come into the urgent care during COVID. At school I had become accustomed to seeing the same faces, and performing skills on the same people; at the urgent care, I worked with people in diverse populations—elderly, youth, children and even newborns.
The staff at the urgent care welcomed me as part of the team.
When the providers conducted examinations or procedures that I couldn’t do as a Medical Assistant, they would invite me to watch. I was able to assist with removal of fish hooks! Friends and family member sometimes asked if I was ‘grossed out’ by some of the things I saw. I explained that, for years as a CNA, I had cleaned people; I am not grossed out by seeing blood or other bodily fluids.
I gained a lot of experience practicing everything I had learned at school.
I drew blood, gave injections, took vital signs, tested for Rapid Strep and COVID, assisted with pelvic exams, cleaned and dressed lacerations. Once, when performing an EKG, because I had learned at school what a normal read out looks like, I recognized a patient was experiencing AFib. Atrial fibrillation is an arrhythmia—an irregular heartbeat that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications. As a Medical Assistant, I made sure that the provider had this information to properly diagnose and treat the patient.
Physician One Urgent Care was advertising positions for new graduates.
Physician One has a network of urgent care centers in the northeast. I applied on-line, had a phone call and then an on-site interview. I was offered a position as a Medical Assistant with their Mobile Response Team in Massachusetts. Mobile Response was a little different than what I had been doing; I decided to try it.
I wondered if I would like it—and found I love it.
I work outdoors most of the day. We conduct COVID screening, COVID PCR and antibody testing in the field—in some locations, we test people while they are in their car. I’ll either be stationed where we register people or where we do the nasal swabs. To register them, we go from car to car, scanning in QR Codes for appointments. Then they drive forward to where we do the swabs. Most people are thankful for the service we provide; some are even joyful and express their gratitude. Seeing these people makes our day.
The clinical, administrative and soft skills I learned at MTTI qualified me for the job.
To work with the Mobile Response Team, we need to know medical terminology, how to comply with HIPAA & patient confidentiality, and with safety standards. We need to be comfortable using HRE and EMR records systems; have excellent communication and organizational skills; understand medical legal and ethical guidelines. Medical Assistants have to multi-task while maintaining compassionate patient care. At school, learning aseptic technique and proper PPE, practicing simulations of Electronic Medical Records, plus honing our communication and soft skills—together with repeatedly practicing clinical skills hands-on—made me feel ready to jump in.
When people ask me if they should enroll at MTTI, I tell them, ‘Go for it!’
The confidence I have in the skills I learned at MTTI helps me stay calm and mellow, even in busy medical settings. The Medical Assistant instructors are passionate about what they are teaching. They are also compassionate, and will give you extra help when you need it.
I put my heart into the Medical Assistant program and made it my priority.
My dedication paid off. I love working as a Medical Assistant. I’m making a better living than when I worked as a CNA. Now I enjoy learning more every day on the job, and am able to communicate my knowledge to help educate patients. I’m planning to go back to school part-time while working. Training to be a Medical Assistant was the right choice for me; it’s a perfect stepping stone from Nursing Assistant toward my long-term goal of becoming a Physician Assistant.
Dang Nguyen, Technical Specialist For Attleboro Public Schools, Is A 2020 MTTI Computer / Networking Graduate.
2020 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate
Technical Specialist for Attleboro Public Schools
I always wanted to go back to school for further education.
It was never the right time. I worked full-time on the third shift, as a Characterization Senior Technician for a small semi-conductor company. The job involved processing and testing sensor chips which were later used in cars, computers and mobile phones. I have a family—a wife and a kid—that I want to spend time with.
I decided, ‘If I don’t go to school now, it will never happen’.
I thought about mechanical training, but approaching 40, I felt technology was a better long-term match for me. I knew I liked working with computers and have always enjoyed helping people. Using skills that I learned on my own, I’ve tried to help people with their computer problems; but I knew I needed more training. I pushed myself past my concerns about going to school while supporting my family, and applied to MTTI’s Computer / Networking program.
I always want to give 100% to everything I do.
Continuing to work at night allowed me to attend school during the day. But having to work all night and come to class in the morning was not easy. My job took a lot of my energy and focus. I would go to sleep as soon as I returned home from school on Monday through Friday, then get up at 10 pm on Sunday through Thursday to go to work. I worried that because I had to keep working, I wouldn’t be able to do well in class. I had little time off; thankfully my wife took care of everything—our child and our home.
My responsibilities to my family motivated me to do well in the program.
I had to take out a loan plus pay part out-of-pocket for school tuition. I took seriously how I applied myself; I wanted to get the most I could out of the program. If you go to school and don’t do the work, you can lose your financial investment; although, over time you could still make that money back. But if you don’t apply yourself, you can never get back the time you invested. I knew that this was my one opportunity to train for a new career; I didn’t have time to lose.
During COVID, we had to learn remotely from home.
My instructor, Ken put in the extra effort to make videos demonstrating what we were learning, and to share other online resources with us. He is a very good instructor, who always makes time to answer students’ questions. During COVID, Ken gave time for each of us to call in on Zoom, so we could get one-on-one help with any questions.
Using TestOut Pro simulations helped a lot.
The lab exercises simulated realistic problems—ones we could expect to encounter in real-life situations. Working online, were able to practice installing, repairing, configuring, securing and managing computer operating systems (OS), PC hardware and software, basic networking devices and printers and mobile devices.
I appreciated Ken’s support during the program.
He is very attentive to students and understanding of their individual situations. Ken knew I was working hard to keep up; he was flexible with me about due dates of assignments. He could do this because I had earned his trust. He knew that I would do my best to complete assignments on schedule.
I am also thankful for help from Shawn in Career Services.
If it wasn’t for Shawn, I wouldn’t have known about the opportunity to intern at, and eventually be hired by, Attleboro Public Schools. Shawn worked with me throughout the program to write my resume, practice interviewing and make contacts with prospective employers. He helped keep me on track with the search process.
MTTI gave me the opportunity to start a whole new chapter of my life.
A part of why I did this was to prove to myself I could do it. I had so much riding on completing the training—and it was not an easy ride. Because I had to work harder to do well in school, while maintaining a full-time job, I appreciate even more what the program has given me. And, the for the first time after 15 years on the night shift, I have a normal work week. I am enjoying having dinners with my family!
The instructors at MTTI want you to succeed.
But it all comes down to you. You have to do the homework and lab assignments. You need to reach out to let the instructors know when you need their help. If you speak up and ask for help, you will get it. The computer and networking industry offers many interesting and exciting career opportunities. If you take seriously the knowledge and support that the school offers, you will make something of yourself.
Kelley Schwartz, 2020 MTTI Medical Billing & Coding Graduate, Is An EDI Admin For PMG In Pawtucket, RI.
2020 Medical Billing & Coding / Office Administration Graduate
Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) Admin at PMG (Priority Management Group)
Starting school at 40 was the scariest, most exciting decision I have ever made!
I had worked for almost 20 years at a family run business—I spent half my life there. Sadly, I felt I had reached my ceiling years ago, within that company, and within the printing industry. Still, I was reluctant to leave my comfort zone, especially because everyone there felt like family.
I drove by MTTI every day, yet it had never occurred to me to contact the school.
One day, as I was sitting at the traffic light, I looked over at the electronic sign outside the building: Now enrolling - Medical Billing and Coding/ Office Administration. I knew almost nothing about medical billing and coding, but I thought, ‘I think I’d be good at that’.
Looking at MTTI’s website, something inside me said, ‘This is what is ahead of you’.
I emailed the school asking for more information. But I stopped listening to the Admissions Representative, Amy’s, voice message when I heard, “It’s a full day program.” I was working full-time. There was no way I could make this happen. I returned her call to say I appreciated that she had reached out, but it wasn’t an opportunity I could take at that time. I let it go, life went on.
Amy sent an email in February: “Hey, we have another class starting in March.”
“If you start in the next class group, you’ll be done by the end of the year…new year, new career.” I was still working full time; I emailed her saying I would keep it in mind. At the Open House at MTTI on March 4th, I met the program instructors, Ms. Roc and Ms. Dawn. Ms. Roc said, “I have a good feeling about you; if it is meant to be, I’ll see you back here.” I replied to her, ‘Maybe in the fall’.
Two weeks later, the region locked down to stop the spread of the Coronavirus.
Business at the company had been slowing down even before the pandemic. A few days later I and all of the people I worked with, were laid off. I called Amy and asked if I could still enroll in the next class start; she set up all the interviews for me. Confined to home while waiting four weeks for the program to start, with no job and unable to go anywhere, was the strangest time in my life.
People I knew encouraged me to return to school.
I had a lot of questions—including, ‘Am I going to be able to handle this?’ A close friend had graduated from MTTI—she assured me that she had loved it. I have another friend who had taught at MTTI in the past. I reached out to her; and she said, “It’s going to be hard, but you will be great at it.” It was a little scary because I didn’t know what to expect. But not having anything to compare it to took some of the tension away; it felt kind of like reckless abandon. ‘Here goes nothing!’
For the first four weeks of the program, I never left my house.
I studied, read and prepared for the next day. I liked having something to do, and enjoyed exercising my brain. Learning to understand insurances and insurance forms, and the history of HIPAA, was a little daunting—as were our next units: anatomy and medical terminology. Ms. Roc made me feel I was going to be great at what we were learning. I appreciated that she was pulling for me. Her faith in me made me want to do well; I didn’t want to let her down.
When we started learning coding and ICD-10, I loved it.
Coding is like a puzzle you put together. It made my brain work in ways it never had before. And I was excited to be getting really good grades. Learning started to become much easier for me; in turn, I was able to help some of my classmates.
I panicked when I took the qualifying test to sit for the Certified Professional Coder exam.
I just passed with a 70—by the skin of my teeth. During the course, I hadn’t gotten less than a 90 on any test. Ms. Roc held a free boot camp right before the CPC exam. She taught us strategies to take the test and prepared us well. When I sat for the exam, I felt more confident about that exam than any other test I had taken that year. I scored a 90 to become a CPC-Apprentice (CPC-A). Next fall, I will be eligible to remove the “A” to be a Certified Professional Coder.
We were the first class to be completely remote from the beginning.
The class before us had moved to remote learning towards the end of their program. We only went on-site a couple of times during our program to pick up books, as we needed them. Shawn, the Career Services Specialist, held workshops on Zoom to help us write our resumes. During the internship, we went to school for weekly check-ins.
During my interview at PMG, Mark in HR told me they were looking for an intern in the EDI Department.
I knew nothing about what they do in the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) department. It intrigued me, because it was definitely something different, and a bit more complex than the billing process we had just learned at school. I accepted the internship on the basis of them knowing—of my supervisor, Kristie knowing—that this was very new, not what I had been prepared to do, just coming out of coding and billing school. However, it helped that I had learned about insurances at school and knew some history of Medicare and Medicaid. Seeing codes and billing items all of the time, I understand the vocabulary. When someone says, “1500 form”, I know what that is.
Just as I planned to start the internship, I had a COVID scare.
I had been exposed, but thankfully didn’t test positive or become ill. Fortunately, nothing I do as part of my job requires that I be physically in the office. Hired as an employee on the first day of internship, they said I could work from home. Sometimes being so new to the job and not having that face-to-face is a little challenging, but it is getting better. We check in once a day, and I can always request help through our interoffice messaging system. I’ve found I actually prefer to be working at home.
I didn’t think I’d like my work in EDI as much as I do.
We deal with Federally Qualified Health Centers; the EDI Department works with the different practice management systems that our clients use. We’re the go-between for claims, our clients, our clearing houses and our payers. The projects I’ve worked on involve checking the status of claims. I am learning different things about how claims are sent and payments are received, and all of the different practice management systems that are used—not just for our clients, but in general. Currently I’m working on a project checking on our clients who use clearing houses to send claims and receive payments. Looking through our clients’ clearing houses, I am identifying which payers were not set up to receive ERA (Electronic Remittance Advice) enrollments. If these are not set up, I send paperwork to get them set up in the program.
I needn’t have worried about going back to school as an older student.
My years of professional experience and work maturity helped me learn at school and on the job. Medical employers appreciate the work ethic and customer service skills that I have. When I had first been hired at the printing company as a proof reader, I was told I had a very keen attention to detail. It is in my nature to look for mistakes and to focus on the details that make someone a good biller or coder.
I keep in mind how fortunate I am, and try to never take my good fortune for granted.
I am keenly aware of how difficult this year has been for so many people. Despite losing a long-term job, breaking up with my boyfriend and being confined to home during the pandemic, it’s been a good year for me. Serendipitously, being laid off from work gave me the opportunity to go to school. Many of my classmates worked while attending school; some also had family responsibilities. My only job was to do well in the program.
Training at MTTI to start a new career has been life changing.
I feel a level of motivation and confidence in myself that I’ve never felt before. I’m making more money. I have a new outlook on my future and look forward to earning more certifications. Everything I’ve learned about medical billing and coding is pretty cool. Joking with my friends whenever a medical conversation comes up—I’ll tell them, ‘I’m practically a doctor’. We all laugh about that. They tell me, “You look calm and happy—it looks good on you.”
Starting a job where everything is new, I feel excited to be learning more each day.
I have so much more to learn, but this feels like the right career path for me. I remind myself each day, ‘you’ve got this’. Even if I am struggling—even on days when it is overwhelming and feels like nothing is going right—behind that I still feel a strong sense of confidence in myself.
I had a great experience at MTTI.
I definitely recommend MTTI to anyone. The school offers programs in eight different industries. You don’t need to have prior knowledge coming in. Everyone I dealt with—Ms. Roc, Shawn, Alicia in Financial Aid and Amy—has been so encouraging; they make you feel you want to be there, and be part of the school.
I am grateful to have a really great life.
As a single person, I take full advantage of this time to be with my friends and pursue other interests—like sports. I’m a trail runner. I ran a trail marathon when I was 38 and back-packed through the Grand Canyon that same year. My goal is to someday run an ultra-marathon. Having a new career that I love just adds to that.
I‘m such a cheerleader for trade schools!
They provide such good opportunities for people who don’t want to invest four years of their life in getting a college degree that may not even lead to a career. If I could go back and tell my young 21-year-old self—or 18- year-old self, "Don’t go here, do this instead”, I would. But I don’t regret starting off this late; I’m just so glad that I have been able to go to MTTI and begin my new career now.
Don Desforges Is MTTI's Building & Property Trades Lead Instructor & Department Chair
*Don Desforges, Building & Property Trades Instructor
Don Desforges, Building & Property Trades Technician Lead Instructor & Department Chair
Don assumed the responsibilities of Lead Building Trades Instructor, as long-term Building Trades Instructor and Department Chair, Pat Church, transitioned into a new role as Program Supervisor. An MTTI Building Trades graduate and a skilled tradesman, we asked Don why he chose to return to MTTI as an instructor.
‘You have to like what you do; I like helping people get started on their life-long careers. I tell prospective students that this is a great program. If you are attracted to the trades, but unsure in which trade you’d like you have a career, the building trades program teaches skills for flooring, framing, roofing, finish work, electrical, plumbing—potentially there are many pathways forward. My goal is to help students have the best possible chance for success with whatever they decide to do.”
I’ve been around trades workers all of my life.
My parents owned rental properties and did the majority of the work themselves. I grew up in that environment, painting the fixer-uppers and start-ups they bought. During High School at Diman Regional Voc-Tech, I studied plumbing for 3 1/2 years. During junior year, I was already working part-time as a plumber.
As I completed High School, I had a strong interest in joining the military.
But at 17, I needed my parent’s blessing to enlist; my parents flat out said “no”—they wouldn’t sign for me. After graduation, I enjoyed working with the plumber for 7 ½ years; then I wanted a change. Enlisting in the Army, I told the Army recruiter that I was experienced in plumbing, but didn’t want to do trades work in the military. I wanted to learn something new.
In the Army, I served as a Human Intelligence Collector-Strategic Debriefer.
I took courses in Intelligence Operations at Cochise College. I became a lead instructor for incoming new privates or people re-classifying, delivering concurrent and remedial training for four different weapon platforms. I also completed a nine-month strategic deployment in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Working in Human Intelligence taught me a lot about verbal and non-verbal communication and about how people learn.
Honorably Discharged in 2014, I considered what work I wanted to do.
I visited the Providence Vocational Rehab, where vets who have a service-connected disability get assistance in finding their career path, as they re-enter civilian life. The Counselor and I talked about the likelihood of taking over the responsibility for some of the properties my parents owned in Fall River. Tim knew MTTI and was familiar with the Building Trades program. He contacted Admissions and helped set up a tour of the school.
All of the programs at MTTI are fantastic; two were more closely matched to my interests.
HVAC/R was a strong contender; I had done a little of that when I was working with the plumber. When I toured the Building Trades program, Pat Church, the Lead Instructor and Department Chair, was in the shop, instructing students on drywall patching and repair. Pat was fantastic in how he answered my questions. Apologizing when he had to go back to the class, he said we would sit down to talk.
During my interview with Pat, I appreciated how extremely knowledgeable he is.
I also liked that he gave honest responses to my questions about placement. I love to learn and liked the idea of gaining skills in multiple trades. Coming in, I knew a lot about plumbing, but not much about electricity. Even though I had installed heating systems while working in plumbing, I needed more experience in troubleshooting them. I did have cross-skills, for example in measurement, which I knew were important for framing and carpentry.
At the time I enrolled, the Building Trades program had rolling admissions.
Students joining the program today all start with the first unit that overviews the industry and teaches the proper use of hand and power tools. I had to jump into the middle of the program, entering as students were starting the siding unit.
I loved every moment of the Building Trades program.
There was so much information! What one person leaves the program with is different than the next person. They get the same material, but not everyone has the same mindset. Some people see it as their future and soak it up like a sponge. I was very focused on learning, sometimes working through lunch, or even after class.
While in school, I was using skills in the field I had learned in the program.
I helped my parents with their properties, and got paid for the side work I was doing. When we got to the plumbing unit in the program, I drew on my prior work experience in plumbing to teach some of the people in my group different ways of piping and venting drain-waste-vent systems. One of the students said to me, 'You make a really good teacher.'
After completing the program, I got a call from Richard Thompson at Cumberland Farms.
He offered me a position as a Regional Maintenance Technician for 120-130 stores. Every day became a different adventure. One day I might be doing a roofing repair; the next day an interior repair—and the following day I’d be installing flooring or dry wall. Cumberland Farms is a great company—there’s a lot opportunity for growth. One maintenance tech told me he had been there twenty years. Richard is a fantastic supervisor—someone you want to work for. If you are comfortable driving to different locations and taking on new tasks each day, the company offers great career potential.
While working at a Cumberland Farms store in MTTI’s neighborhood, I stopped in to say ‘hi’.
It was snowing; the students had left. Two staff members said that the school might be hiring a Skills Instructor. Skills Instructors work with students hands-on in the shop, supporting the Primary Instructor. They told me that my name came up as a possible candidate.
When Pat reached out to assess my interest, I told him I was interested.
I’ve always, even while growing up, enjoyed helping people. When I had been placed, by chance, in a position as an Instructor in the Army, I gained experience in teaching people. Having attended the Building Trades, I knew the program curriculum; I’ve used almost everything the program teaches every day on the job.
As Skills Instructor, Pat and I worked well together; our minds are very much the same.
We can have fun with the students—but we draw the line. Classes at MTTI simulate the actual workplace. Just as projects in the field have to be completed on budget and on time, so do projects in the Building Trades shop. That way, we prepare students not only with technical skills, but with the communication, customer service and time management skills employers tell us they look for.
One of the most challenging parts of teaching is identifying how an individual learns.
Most instructors in any of MTTI’s programs will tell you that everyone learns differently. Even after having taught 9 different class groups over 4 ½ years, I continue to run into people who have unique personalities and individual thought processes. As an Instructor, that keeps me on my toes. There are many ways to do things; If someone does things differently, it’s not necessarily wrong. As an instructor, I’ve learned from students to see things from someone else’s viewpoint.
Life is busy with work and family; when I have ‘free time’ I enjoy playing video games.
I appreciate how Pat interwove references to current cultural event together with his instruction. I do that, too, every now and then. When we transitioned to having classes virtually on Zoom during the COVID-19 lockdown, I definitely had my gaming hat on. Student recognized that, and they more easily embraced the new way of learning.
I like my job—that’s how 4 ½ years goes by fast!
I feel fortunate to have been taught and mentored by Pat. As the Lead Instructor & Department Chair, I wear many hats. I hear a multitude of life problems. I try to help where I can. My goal is to support students in having the best possible chance for success, with whatever they decide to do.
Teaching at MTTI, I can re-live some of the camaraderie I enjoyed in the military.
What I enjoyed most during my Army career was the feeling that everyone was in it together. I want to give students the experience of being part of a team and working together towards shared project goals. Instructing students at MTTI is vastly different compared with the military, but both involve helping people learn. Witnessing that moment when someone who has been struggling connects, and ‘gets it’, is the same. When students can explain what we have learned, and are excited to be learning—that’s the fun for me.
For Kiara Ayala-Calderon, 2020 MTTI Medical Assistant Graduate, It's Been A Long Journey; This Is Her Year To Shine!"
2020 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant at CareWell Urgent Care
It’s been a long road for me to become a Medical Assistant—and the person I am today.
I haven't always had the compassion needed to be a good medical professional. During my teenage years, I thought of myself three times over before ever thinking of others; it was ‘me-me-me’. I didn’t care enough to think about other people’s feelings.
Witnessing my mom’s difficult life inspired me to make a better life for myself.
I saw how she has been affected by her difficult circumstances. A single parent at 49 with 6 children, she is still raising a 16-year-old, while also helping my other 3 siblings. My mom is one of 13 kids herself; she and her siblings were split up when young, and raised in different households. My mom feels fortunate to have been raised by a woman who was a doctor. The times when my mom spoke with me about this woman, her face glowed with love and admiration.
My mom is an angel; even in hard times, she is humble and compassionate.
She likes helping others. If her circumstances had been different, I believe she would have become a caring medical practitioner, like the woman who raised her. Understanding that she couldn’t fulfill those dreams, I came to recognize that I could make her dream come true.
At only 20 years old, I became a single mom.
My newborn son opened my heart; I wanted to nourish and teach him. Growing up, I had thought about becoming a doctor. I was in awe to learn how much money doctors earned. As a young person then, becoming a doctor was more about achieving an ideal than a heart-felt desire to help others heal.
A few years after my first son’s birth, my second child was born.
Putting the dream of becoming a doctor on the shelf, I devoted myself to my growing family. Still, I read articles and watched videos on YouTube, and became more and more interested in medicine. I took courses in psychology at Hudson Community College. I attended a Medical Assistant course in New Jersey, where I was living, and volunteered for a short time in an Internal Medicine practice.
I couldn’t afford a babysitter to continue going to school.
I was living with my partner and two children in a one-bedroom apartment. I did the cooking, cleaning and child care while he went to work. When I became pregnant with our third child, we knew it was time to move. We looked and looked for a larger apartment in New Jersey. My sister, who lives in Massachusetts, invited me to come stay with her, so I could look for a place in New Bedford that we could move to.
I had faith in God’s plan and the hope that things would work out.
I took only our clothes and toys from the apartment in New Jersey, and left everything else behind. We moved into the same three-family house where my sister lives on the third floor. My partner, three children (9, 5 and 2 years old) and a 5-month old dog are enjoying a more spacious apartment. The rent is fair and the kids have a yard to play in. We would not have been able to achieve that standard of living had we stayed in New Jersey.
I began looking for an affordable Medical Assistant training program in Massachusetts.
The Medical Assistant course in New Jersey didn’t qualify me to take the Registered Medical Assistant exam. A shorter program, we didn’t get much practice in hands-on skills. I wanted to develop competent patient care skills and also be eligible to earn the RMA. Searching online for ‘Medical Assistant Schools’, I compared MTTI’s reviews with those of other schools in the area. I met with Amy, the Admissions Rep for MTTI’s Medical Assistant program and then interviewed with the evening Instructor, Ms. Steph.
It wasn’t easy balancing school with work and family—especially during COVID-19.
Working part-time and attending school three evenings a week, we haven’t had much ‘fun time’ for the family. I would get up at 6 am on Saturday to go to work, and get home at 10:30 pm. I’d be up again at 6 am on Sunday, and work until 3, getting home to my family by 4 pm. Monday through Friday, I’d be home cooking and cleaning. When the grade schools closed during the pandemic, I tried to help the kids at home, while they struggled to ‘attend’ school virtually.
When MTTI had to close during the lock-down, we continued learning remotely.
We covered the classroom lessons and watched demonstrations of skills online. When we returned to school—maintaining social distancing, sanitizing and wearing masks—we were able to practice all of the hands-on skills we would need to successfully work in healthcare. At MTTI, I’ve learned so much more about each aspect of Medical Assisting than I did at the program I attended in New Jersey.
During the pandemic, I interned and was hired at a busy urgent care.
Because COVID is surging, patients coming to the urgent care may have to sit in their cars for 4-5 or even 8 hours. They come out for pre-registration, then again for the full registration, and once more to be seen by a medical practitioner. It is challenging to work at the fast pace expected in urgent care. I needed to be in and out of the room in minutes. I always want to take a moment to make the patient feel cared for and comfortable. One day, a young, female patient was in the treatment room, crying. I offered her a tissue and tried to help her relax. I told her, “I’d give you a hug if I could."
I’ve grown up and into the person I want to be.
I think less about me and more about others. I treat everyone with respect. An OB GYN doctor who visited the urgent care as a patient told another doctor, who was also there as a patient, “Let Kiara do your intake. She is very gentle and knows what she is doing.” Hearing that validated that I am providing good care as a Medical Assistant—I’m on the right path.
Working at the urgent care, I’m thankful to Ms. Steph for having built my confidence.
She made me unafraid to ask less-than-comfortable questions to get the answers that help me do the best job I can. Ms. Steph is an amazing person—gentle, kind, straightforward and such a good teacher. Even though I’m a mom, raising 3 children at home, sometimes I wasn’t sure I could get through the program to graduate as a Medical Assistant and go to work. At times I would tell Ms. Steph that I couldn’t do a particular skill—drawing blood, for example. She would say, “Yes, you can—you can do it.” She would tell me she had more faith in me than I had in myself.
My classmate’s confidence in me helped, too.
When I told them that I had passed the qualifying exam to sit for the actual RMA exam, they weren’t surprised. They told me, “We knew you could pass it.”
MTTI’s Medical Assistant program was right for me.
The commute was easy—only 30 minutes from New Bedford. The program was affordable; I’ve seen schools where people are paying much more money. Financial Aid helped me with a plan that split the total loan amount into two, so I can pay one back before the second one. Paying back the loan at minimal interest, especially while I’m working, isn’t bad.
Before MTTI, I had become used to life being a bumpy road.
Part of me has always been waiting for failure—but in the Medical Assistant program, failure never came. The training went so smoothly it almost seemed too good to be true. I am so happy I called MTTI and came to school here!
In the future, I might complete the psychology credits I earned.
Maybe down the line I will become a Registered Nurse. Right now, I’m practicing how to pronounce the names of medications—all of the pharmaceuticals. I commented one day to a patient’s husband that I’m having difficulty with the names of meds, and that it stops me from thinking I could eventually become a nurse. He responded, “That shouldn’t stop you. I can see how much empathy you have. If you want to become a nurse, you can do it.” He saw that I have passion for what I do. He confirmed that I’m on the right track. I’m not just working as a Medical Assistant to earn money—I’m bringing to my patients my genuine love of caring for them.
We all have a time and place to shine.
In the midst of the pandemic, 2019-20 has been my time to shine! If my mom had been able to become a medical professional, she would have. I’m fulfilling her dream—a dream we share. And she is so proud of me. Maybe being a Medical Assistant is not, in some people’s eyes, as big as being a doctor. But I love working as a Medical Assistant. For me and my mom, being happy with what I do is everything.
Top & Bottom Left: Kiara With Her Children
Right: Kiara Receiving Her Medical Assistant Pin From Career Services Representative, Shawn
Right: Kiara Accepting Her Diploma From Medical Assistant Instructor, Stephanie
David Arnold, MTTI Electrician Graduate, Is A Fire Alarm Apprentice At Encore Fire Protection in Rhode Island.
David Arnold, Jr.
2020 Residential and Commercial Electrician Graduate
Gold Award for Excellence in Academics, Shop Skills & Attendance
Fire Alarm Apprentice at Encore Fire Protection in Pawtucket, RI
I knew I didn’t want a career in which I would be stuck behind a desk.
I enjoyed studying video editing at a community college, but felt my body needed to be moving. Meeting my girlfriend made me want to better my life for us, so we could have a more financially secure future. Knowing that the people in my family thrive in the trades, I thought I might also find a sense of accomplishment working with my hands.
My Dad’s sudden passing last year kicked me into overdrive to train for a career.
I first thought about attending MTTI’s Building Trades program to learn carpentry. My grandfather had been in the trades all of his life. Even as early as five years old, he had me and my cousin pick up a hammer to hammer nails. Feeling it would be a better fit for me, I chose to enroll in the Residential and Commercial Electrician program.
The first time I wired a switch to a lightbulb, my ‘mental lightbulb’ lit up.
When I flipped the switch, it literally turned on the light for me. Having that wiring project work left no shadow of a doubt that I had made the right decision. Every school day, I was the first person in the parking lot. I wanted to get the schoolwork done, because I was excited to start working at my new electrical career.
I’m not always the fastest at problem solving.
My instructor had an excellent teaching style; he was encouraging, but wouldn’t hand us the answer. He would say: ‘You know this. Just take a deep breath, walk away for a minute and come back to it—you’ll know exactly what to do.’ Sometimes now on the job, I do the same thing. I’ll take a break from a task or work on something different. When I step away and stop overthinking, the approach or solution comes to me.
I especially enjoyed the residential portion of MTTI's program.
The instructors gave us an overview but also allowed us the freedom to do things our own way. Two people in the class were elected to act as foremen. Working in modules that had ‘rooms’ framed in, we wired the main service for a whole house, and also wired a bathroom. We followed the code book as we designed and installed electrical circuitry and components. When we did it right, we would pass; if we did it wrong, we’d do it again to make it right.
On my own, I applied for a position at Encore and had a video interview.
They didn’t have an open position at that time. A month later, a spot opened up. I heard Shawn, the Career Services Specialist for the Electrician program, talking to another student about Encore; I asked if he would set up an interview for me, too. Then I had an in-person interview with the VP and the person who later became my boss; completed a Background Check and also took a 15-minute aptitude (problem-solving) test.
On the 1st day scheduled for internship, I was filling out my employment paperwork.
I was already hired. I found I was well-prepared by the school program. Still, being on-the-job feels different. The schedule changes every day—it can throw you off. Having ‘nerves’ at the beginning can make you feel like you’ve forgotten what you were taught. Once I calmed down and got accustomed to the new routine, I was able to continue developing my skills set—building on what I had learned at school. I had the opportunity to use new tools and see different approaches to jobs. I’ve been melding these approaches to create my own way of working.
During COVID-19, I was grateful to be employed as an essential worker.
Fire alarms are important protection for people. Initially I was concerned about how contagious the virus is. We all wore gloves, but didn’t know, until we learned from studies, that the Coronavirus spreads through the air, via droplets when someone sneezes or even speaks. Now we all wear masks—it’s second nature for me to put one on each day. I like wearing the company scarf with the Encore brand on it. The company is very understanding—if we don’t feel comfortable where we are, we can call and they’ll let us leave. I’m not going to let fear stop me from making a living and doing a job that helps people.
I’m glad I came to the job with a knowledge of basic electricity.
If I had apprenticed without having completed the Residential and Commercial Electrician program, I wouldn’t have known the tricks to running wire or how to properly splice wire. I recently recommended MTTI to my cousin—he enrolled in the HVAC/R program.
MTTI helped me get a good start in a career.
By attending MTTI’s program, I got all of my school hours out of the way for the Journeyman’s licensing exam. Not having to go to school at night, feeling exhausted from the day’s work, I can just concentrate on accruing the work hours to qualify to take the exam. As an entry-level electrician, my salary and benefits are already better than what I had made at my previous jobs. Only months after graduating, I’ve rented an apartment and am getting a puppy. I enjoy feeling that, now that I have a career, I am living a fully ‘adult’ life.
During school, when we worked on fire alarms, I felt a professional connection to my Dad.
My Dad has been my hero all my life—that will never change. My father was a fire fighter in Narragansett, RI, his whole life—even before I was born, until his retirement a few years ago. I grew up in a fire house. When I was 5 years old, I told my Dad I wanted to be a firefighter like him. Knowing the hazards of the profession, my Dad said, ‘No’.
My Dad went above and beyond to make sure things were done right.
During my first months as an Electrical Apprentice, I met people who had worked with my father. The Fire Marshall told me how well-respected my dad was. A stickler about fire code, my Dad always wanted to be on-site when the installation of a new panel was completed. Once, someone didn’t call him to do a pre-test on a panel for a fire station, thinking 8 pm was too late to contact him. Afterwards, my father rebuked him saying, ‘You should have called me’. Recently I worked with that same guy.
I started the Electrician program at MTTI almost one year after Dad passed.
It finally ‘clicked’ for me. My Mom had told me that, despite the health effects of smoke and firefighting chemicals, Dad would never have traded a day--even if he had known what his outcome would be. As a fireman, he was grateful to have saved so many people’s lives. I feel the same way about becoming an electrician. By making sure fire systems are installed to code and operating correctly, I can help save people’s lives.
His Passion For Riding Dirt Bikes & Motocross Inspired Kevin To Train For A Motorcycle / Power Equipment Tech Career.
2020 Motorcycle / Power Equipment Technician Graduate
Tech / Parts at Wagner Motorsports
Riding dirt bikes and motocross has been an important part of my family life.
My father first got an electric bike that we would ride in the backyard. Then we bought a real gas-powered bike. I’m more of an-off-the-road person; I started trail riding with dirt bikes for fun and moved on to motocross. I raced first on a smaller KTM85 2-stroke, then on a 152 2-stroke and eventually upgraded to a 250 4-stroke.
Wagner Motorsports is the closest KTM dealership to where I live.
They offer BMW, KIA, Ducati and a full Indian line-up, in addition to KTM. They are the only full-service KTM dealer in this area, west of route 495. Way back, my Dad bought his first motorcycle there. Over the years, I bought parts to replace air filters, adjust and replace handlebars and make other small repairs. I could perform basic maintenance, but not work on an engine—I couldn’t replace a clutch.
I searched online for ‘technical schools’ and found MTTI.
I read all of the reviews on the internet—the school has very good reviews. I spent a Guest Day shadowing the program, during which I was able to observe instruction in the classroom and the shop. I liked what I saw the class doing and felt comfortable in the school environment. Looking at what they were able to teach, I knew I would enjoy the program; I felt confident it would lead me somewhere.
I especially liked how theory & skills were taught in-depth.
MTTI teaches much more in the motorcycle program than I had been able to learn on my own. During the program, we took engines apart and didn’t just replace the parts—we figured out what was wrong and fixed them.
Starting school, everything was scary at first.
It was a new place, new teachers, new people—even though I had some knowledge about dirt bikes and motorcycles, a lot in the curriculum was new to me. My classmates ranged from around my age—recently out of high school—to guys in their 60’s. Shy at first, I didn’t know what to expect. After a couple of weeks, the class gelled and it felt like a family. Everyone in the class was cool—all nice people, open to one another and to learning.
When I learned something new, the ‘light bulb turned on.’
I started to understand what I hadn’t before—how things work. I’d think to myself: ‘Now that makes sense’. As we moved forward to cover new topics, everything fell in line; the course ran smoothly. The most difficult area to understand was electronics. By that time, the pandemic had emerged, forcing us to learn online. Even with the challenge of learning remotely, I enjoyed the program.
Even scarier than going to school was starting internship and employment.
I really wanted to do well in internship, so I would be hired. Fortunately, everyone at Wagner was super nice and outgoing—they were all there to help. I concentrated on working hard to prove myself. I’ve been working my way up—from watching someone else do the tasks to doing them on my own. I began by doing tire changes to working on sales bikes, then performing set-up to ready the bikes for their new owners. The best part came when I was given permission to do test drives. I’ve driven some cool—even some scary big—bikes. A highlight was the first time driving a big cruiser—a 2021 KTM 250 XSF; it’s the new version of the KTM bike I own.
I interviewed with Wagner before COVD-19 and contracted with them for internship.
They would touch base with me while I was in school, to see when I would be ready to start interning. During the 2-3 weeks we were out of school because of COVID-19, Wagner contacted me and asked me to work for them in Parts. When we were able to go back to the school to complete the shop skills, I worked after school, from 4-6 pm. Even before I graduated school, I was already on the payroll.
I’ve signed up to the Braun School online, to become Braun Certified.
I’m hoping, in the future, to go to KTM to become Certified for working on KTM bikes. My goal now is to continue getting more in-depth experience working on engines, and to be ready when I am offered the opportunity to become KTM Certified.
I couldn’t have done this without my parents.
My mom and dad have always had my back and supported me in doing what I enjoy. My dad, who had raced with me, was my first teacher. He liked the idea of my attending the motorcycle program. He knew I would be happy—interested in what I was learning—and good at it. Throughout the program he would ask about what I was working on in class. After having finished school, our roles are reversed—now I’m his teacher.
The last hardest part of the program was leaving school.
I had a great experience at MTTI. I made friends, some of whom I’ve stayed in touch with. I’ve already recommended MTTI to a friend. I told him about the Instructors—how they know their stuff and were helpful to me. They wanted to share their knowledge and experience, because they want us to do well in the industry.
I also told my friend how the school helped me find a job.
When friends ask me about training for a career, I tell them, ‘Do what you love, what makes you happy’. For me it was dirt bikes. So that’s what I decided to pursue—training to work on dirt bikes and motorcycles. MTTI has been a good place to learn how to do that.
Shannon Quam, MTTI Medical Assistant Graduate, Loves Working At Compass Medical In Taunton, MA.
2019 Medical Assistant Graduate
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
Medical Assistant at Internal Medicine Group of Compass Medical in Taunton, MA
6 years in customer service was good preparation for a Medical Assistant career.
I learned how to work as part of a team, and to greet customers with a smile. I knew I could make people feel comfortable. I didn’t want to make working in fast food or retail a long-term career; I wanted to work in a medical position. Not having the means to go straight to medical school to become a doctor, I thought about becoming a Medical Assistant. I was concerned about whether I could afford a training program.
I needed short-term training to quickly go to work and earn a living.
Working at Burger King, I met MTTI students who said good things about the school. I found MTTI’s website online and then attended an Open House. When I met with the Admissions and Financial Aid Reps, they worked with me to find grants I was eligible to receive. MTTI has income-driven plans—they walk you through the process so you don’t feel alone or worry that you’ll be overwhelmed with debt at the end of the program. The balance, which I will pay in monthly installments, is very affordable.
Going to school was hard at first.
I sometimes felt frustrated, pulled between home and school. I had two step-children and two of my own children living at home. I worried about my attendance when one of the kids got sick. Fortunately, my boyfriend supported me by sharing in child care. But I felt stressed about needing to pump breast milk at school for my 10-month old baby.
My Instructors’ compassion helped me get through.
Ms. Roxanne and Ms. Courtney worked together as a team to help us become good Medical Assistants. They were relatable—both Instructors are mothers. Everything we as student were feeling, they had already experienced themselves; they understood our challenges. They told me, ‘We’ll find a place for you to pump breast milk for your baby. We’ll help you make it happen.’
I felt encouraged by Staff and Students at MTTI.
Just walking through the halls at MTTI you see how supportive the staff is of one another, and of the students. Ms. Courtney expected more from me than I expected from myself. That helped push me to want to be the best I could be. Shawn, the Career Services Specialist, went the extra mile to help us find internships and jobs. He was the extra push we needed to transition from school to work. I also made lifelong friends at school. Melissa and I got along especially well. We are different ages, but we both have young children and share similar values.
I had so much opportunity to practice EKGs and phlebotomy at school.
I loved learning phlebotomy and completed 100 sticks before leaving for internship. Ms. Courtney put so much effort into it—she even offered her own arm for us to draw blood from her, so she could be sure we were doing it right. Her confidence in my technique helped me be confident in myself, when drawing blood from others. I was able to continue practicing when I began internship at Hoye Family Medicine; it was the perfect place to intern.
Hoye wasn’t hiring at the time.
After completing internship, I accepted a position at Compass Medical. Compass is much bigger—super busy and fast-paced—which keeps me on my toes. There are more than 10 Docs plus Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants. I have the opportunity to learn so many new things! I was nervous at first, giving injections on-the-job. Because I had confidence in the skills I learned at school, it really wasn’t difficult giving injections to patients on the job.
We have a large patient population 80 years or older.
Patients range in age from the youngest at 16 to the oldest, who is 106 years old. Married couples come in together; we are able to see each of them simultaneously, in separate rooms. I’ve become especially interested in working with elderly patients. Seeing my parents lose some of their parents, I have a special interest in supporting older patients—especially those who don’t have family members who can accompany them to their medical appointments.
A few months after I was hired in December, the Coronavirus emerged.
The office had to down-size. I feel fortunate that I was never furloughed or let go. I’m happy about the way the office handled the outbreak. They have been keeping patients and staff safe, by offering the right PPE, policies and tools to help us. I didn’t want to bring the virus home to my children. I have felt reassured by how safe they have made it for us.
COVID-19 prompted many changes.
We began providing telehealth visits for patients, which was a new learning experience for me. I sat out front a lot to take the temperatures of patients who came to the office. Patients and practitioners were feeling stressed. New policies had to be created as we continually adapted to meet changing information. For example, we initially screened for three symptoms—now we screen for twenty symptoms to identify who may be infected with the Coronavirus.
My decision to train as a Medical Assistant turned out to be the best choice in my life.
Even with the stress of the viral outbreak, I get to see people every day and put a smile on their face. I like helping the doctors and other medical practitioners. Medical Assistants get a lot of respect; we are a vital and necessary part of the healthcare team.
I recommend MTTI’s Medical Assistant program for many reasons.
MTTI has both night and day options to attend school. I was able to go through the program super-fast; in less than a year, I started a new career. The hands-on approach at MTTI is how I learn best. A friend went to another school, and never drew blood during her program. It’s amazing that everyone at the school is so super-helpful and dedicated to helping us learn!
Medical Assisting is more than being good at giving injections.
Empathy is such a vital part of being a Medical Assistant. I am grateful for having learned empathy from my family—from my mom and dad who were so supportive and instilled good values in me.
I wish I had attended the Medical Assistant program earlier, instead of waiting 6 years.
After high school, I earned a Liberal Arts Associate’s Degree at a community college. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Now I see that as a Medical Assistant, there are so many places you can work—dermatology, internal medicine, pediatrics, hospitals. It is a great field. I like feeling really useful. If I had gone to MTTI as soon as I had graduated from high school, I would have had a career right away.
Top Photo: Shannon at Compass Medical
Middle Left Photo: Shannon Taking Vitals at MTTI
Middle Right Photo: Shannon With Her Daughter at Graduation
Bottom: Shannon (Far Left) Looking at Documents With Classmates & Instructor, Ms. Courtney
2020 MTTI Graduate Michael Vargas Is A Support Analyst At GreenPages.
2020 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate
Support Center Analyst at GreenPages
Imagine how happy Michael was to be hired in an IT position, at the company where he most wanted to work—even before graduating from school. Just as he was expecting to begin his new career at GreenPages, the country went into lock-down to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Instead of commuting to his new worksite, Michael began telecommuting from his home office, where he was sheltering-in-place with family—including his 2 ½ year old daughter. Although he was an essential worker, the support Michael received from his loved ones placed all of them on the front lines.
I came to MTTI, more than ready for a career change.
I wanted to get out of plastering full-time. It pays well, but it was tough on my back and knees. When I started searching for schools, I saw MTTI all over the place—on billboards and online. I scheduled an appointment and toured the school; the Computer & Networking program was definitely what I was looking for, but the next class scheduled to start was full. Enrolled for a December 2019 start, I was excited when the Admissions Rep, Cheryl, called me about an opening in the September class. At the last minute, someone couldn’t attend; she offered me the one open seat.
I liked everything about the school and the Computer & Networking program.
All of the staff were nice to deal with. My Instructor, Boris, is a cool guy. He’s smart, and knows everything about computers; he shared lots of information with us. My classmates were cool people. too. I enjoyed attending class with people of all different ages and backgrounds.
At MTTI it’s not just book work; you get fast-track hands-on training.
I’m not a book-savvy person, so I appreciated being in the classroom half the day and the other half learning in the computer lab. I built a working computer from scratch, and gained skills using a hands-on virtual program—TestOut—which simulates integrated hardware and Operation Systems. I could practice tasks similar to what computer professionals do on the job. I’d drag and drop components, including RAM, CPU, various wires and different sizes of motherboards, to the right places according to the different makes and models of computers.
Throughout the program, I stayed on top of my job search.
I applied to jobs every day. The Career Services Specialist for the computer program, Shawn, helped me with my resume and the search process; he regularly emailed me job leads. When I connected with Steve at GreenPages, I learned they were hiring for an intermediate position. I continued to call Steve; we spoke multiple times. He knew I was entry-level, but liked my persistence in keeping in contact. Steve also appreciated that I am an Army veteran; he recognized that military experience had honed my communication skills and instilled in me self-discipline and a strong work ethic.
GreenPages created a new entry-level position and hired me to fill it.
My internship was scheduled to begin April 1st; on March 25th I was hired to be a Support Center Analyst on the ‘AA’ team. Steve explained that, as I progress, I will move up into Tier 1 and eventually, Tier 2. GreenPages is a leading hybrid cloud services provider and systems integrator, that helps organizations virtualize their business environments. The company works with many different types of companies across the United States, especially commercial, healthcare and financial organizations.
I was all set to start my dream job; suddenly everyone was ordered to stay at home.
Fortunately, computer operations are essential. The only person in the company I had met face-to-face was Steve, when I interviewed with him at GreenPages’ headquarters in Kittery, Maine. I never imagined that, on the first day of my new job, I would have to work from home. Fresh out of school, where I had been learning ‘live’, with an instructor who could answer my questions and provide one-on-one help, I wondered if I would be able to learn to do the work by training remotely.
All of my training to-date for my new job has been virtual.
I shared my screen with trainers who I will never meet in person—one is in Maine and the other is in Florida. We communicated using Microsoft Teams Chat; I also attended Zoom meetings with my bosses. When I started taking support calls, the trainers listened. They could help by talking to me without the client hearing. It was a bit confusing at first to hear their voices while I listened simultaneously to the client, but I got accustomed to it. Then, it was a little scary when I started working with clients on my own; I knew I could always access the trainers using ‘chat’.
During school, I wondered how what I was learning in the program would play out on-the-job.
I was relieved that what I am doing at work is built on what I learned at school. I answer voicemail and email, then remote into the clients’ system. Similar to the tasks I did at school, I perform password re-sets, configure VPN, set up Active Directory and VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol).
In my home office, I work with a laptop and two large computer screens.
The job is very technical. We go into so many different programs, according to what software each client is using. Having two screens helps me manage as many as 15 open browsers at once. While I am working from home, I also have to copy documentation, fill out paperwork and send it to headquarters.
Working for GreenPages, I have so much opportunity for improvement and growth.
I’m finally going to make the transition from home to work at our Configuration center, where I will be trained on a different ticketing system. I want to learn as much as I can to become the best Tech I can be. Although I appreciate all tof he support I get from my team, I look forward to being able to resolve clients’ issues without having to ask for help.
Training from home wasn’t always easy, but I’m always up for a work challenge.
During the pandemic, I balanced between working and making my daughter, Savannah, happy. Fortunately, she has a stay-at-home mom. I am thankful for my girlfriend, Courtney, who took care of our baby. Courtney has been at my side the whole time.
As the region re-opens, I look forward to buying my own house in a year or two.
I’d like to buy a two-family house—I’m fortunate that my Dad and I can do all the work on it. And I can’t wait to tell my Instructor, Boris, whose passion, when he's not teaching, is flying rockets, about my new venture--I just bought a drone to take aerial photos and videography. I can fly it up to 400 feet high; it can ‘see’ for about a mile and a half.
My whole experience in the Computer & Networking program at MTTI was awesome.
Even the program’s schedule worked well for me—we started at 8:30 am and were out by 3:00 pm. I had the rest of my day to go home and hang out with my family—or when the weather was nice, to go fishing or just be outdoors. Even though I’m a hands-on person, I found I was well-prepared to learn my new job virtually. MTTI is a great place to learn—I recommend it.
Starting a new job and career during a pandemic has been a crazy time.
It’s been like something you’d see in a movie—and thought it could never happen here. I consider myself fortunate that during a difficult time, I’ve been able to make a good start on a great new career. And, did I mention the ‘tool bonus’ I earned at MTTI? By being hired prior to 90 days past graduation, I got to keep the computer I built during the program!
Devon Gomes, 2019 MTTI Medical Assistant Graduate Is An Essential Worker During COVID-19
Devon Gomes Update
MTTI Graduates at the Front-Line During the Coronavirus Outbreak:
Devon Gomes, 2019 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant at Coastal Family Medicine in East Providence, RI
Since graduating from MTTI, Devon has been a vital part of a health team that provides comprehensive care for newborns to seniors. She shares her frontline experience during this COVID-19 pandemic—and why she continues to love being a Medical Assistant.
I never expected to be front and center during a viral epidemic.
We’re learning to provide for patients in new ways—taking it day by day. Medical practices can’t shut down. To protect patients and providers we’re screening patients over the phone. Clinicians are providing patient ‘visits’ using telemedicine; patients can video conference with a doctor or nurse using a computer, smartphone, or iPad. Some of us will be working from home using SKYPE for Business to triage patients and schedule appointments.
The stress level is exceptionally high at this time—for patients and for me.
Everyone who calls thinks they may have the virus. Everyone wants to be seen. It can be hard to triage people when they feel frightened. It’s my job is to stay calm and reassure them so I can ask questions. I’ll say, ‘Do you have a cough?’ If they answer, ‘I think so,’ I’ll ask again: ‘Do you really have a cough?’ Most patients don’t have symptoms of the Coronavirus.
I’ve always practiced cleanliness and use aseptic techniques I learned at school.
Before the outbreak, I routinely wiped things down after a visit. Now, when patients come to the office, we all wear masks--patients and practitioners. We wipe everything down—doorknobs, pens, clipboards. We all wash our hands or use hand sanitizer regularly throughout the day.
When I return home after work, I take a hot shower.
I don’t wear my work shoes in the house. I take vitamins to boost immunity. I continue washing my hands or using hand sanitizer. At home, I can relax, which helps me to stay positive while working.
I never imagined I would be doing all that I do as a Medical Assistant.
As a smaller practice, the three Medical Assistants split Office Manager duties; I’m assigned to manage immunizations. I attend the manager meetings and communicate with the RI Department of Health. I order the immunizations, maintain inventory of vaccines, check expirations dates and mark what we need to send back.
As a Medical Assistant you will be exposed to all sorts of things.
You can’t pick and choose who you will help—so make the choice about whether this is the right career for you. When a doc asks for help with a patient who has fallen, and is bleeding from an open wound so deep that you can see the shin bones, you can’t say ‘no’. You can’t be grossed out by blood You want to be confident, make the patient comfortable and to competently assist the Doctor.
I love my job. I wouldn’t give it up for anything.
Every medical practice has their own way of doing things. School prepared me 100% to work as a Medical Assistant and to continue learning on the job. I chose to become a Medical Assistant; I signed up for the risk. The main goal in medicine is treating patients and doing it right. Despite the challenges of providing patient care during the COVID-19 epidemic, I still wake up with a smile knowing I am going to be helping people.
Read Devon's Original Success Story.
Clay Peacock, 2020 MTTI Graduate Is A HVAC/R Technician For Cumberland Farms In Massachusetts.
2020 HVACR Technician Graduate
HVAC/R Technician at Cumberland Farms
“Clay is an integral part of the very large machine that is Cumberland Farms. Without him and people like him, we would not be able to operate. Clay is as essential to Cumberland Farms as our business is to our customers, many of whom visit us every day, even now.”
“Cumberland Farms is considered an essential business during this difficult time we are experiencing. With Coronavirus affecting so many aspects of our life, it can be difficult to find what you need, when you need it. For our business to stay open we need skilled technicians to keep us running. We need heat and AC to keep the stores comfortable for our customers and team members. We must have working refrigeration systems to keep our food safe and available for those customers that need us.”
—Richard Thompson, Senior Facilities Manager, Cumberland Farms
I joined the Navy at 21; I continue to serve in the Navy Reserves.
I grew up in Colorado, but have lived away longer than I lived there. Being in the Navy taught me to talk to all sorts of people, from all walks of life, which is an asset now in a customer-focused HVAC/R career. During the last years of my Navy career, I was part of a building facilities team (NAVFAC) – Naval Facilities (Naval Facilities Engineering Command). I would escort tradesmen—plumbers, electrician and HVAC Technicians—through the building. Watching them work, I recognized I was interested in training for an HVAC career.
My boss, the Senior Chief, told me MTTI would be the best fit for me.
After completing my contract with the Navy, I planned to move to Rhode Island to be with family, including my twin sons. The Senior Chief went online to help research schools in the Pawtucket area, where I would be living. Recognizing that as a civilian, I would need to transition quickly into the workforce, he knew I wouldn’t have time to attend a two-year school. He said, ‘MTTI is where you’ll get the most out the training quickly.’
I chose the day HVAC/R program, so I could graduate and go to work in just over 6 months.
During my years in the Navy, I was based in San Diego, and in the Middle East, Bahrain—places where it is always warm or hot. When I began the HVAC/R program at MTTI, my classmates teased me about adapting to this first winter in the northeast; fortunately, it was a very mild one.
MTTI’s strategy is to get you out there quickly—which is exactly what I wanted.
The classes in MTTI’s HVAC/R program are very good. My Instructor, Ash, was very knowledgeable. You are thrown a lot of information and knowledge in a short amount of time. You could study HVAC for years—but the program gives a good baseline to enter into the industry.
As we prepared to start internship, I accepted a job with an HVAC company.
I liked the company and the people I would be working with. Looking back, If I had taken the installation position that they offered me, I would most likely have been laid off. Fortunately, Erin, the Career Services Specialist, told me about another opportunity with Cumberland Farms. Rich Thomas had interviewed me at the school, and I had a second interview with Miguel Sanchez at Cumberland Farms. During the interview, Miguel asked if I had ever been in a Cumberland Farms store. In California, where I had been living, we didn’t have a Cumberland Farms. I had to admit I hadn’t been in a store—thankfully he hired me anyway.
My first day interning was March 16th—just as recognition of the Coronavirus emergency hit.
Everybody was hurting. Fortunately, convenience stores are essential—the heating and cooling systems need to be maintained. If the walk-in freezers go down, the company would lose a lot of money. And customers need food, home and personal care products.
I took over the Taunton area from another MTTI Grad, Ray, who was promoted.
Ordinarily, the company gives you a truck right away and you pick up your tools. Because of the COVID-19 emergency, they couldn’t do the inventory right away. I did get my truck and tools during April. When I go into the stores, I keep in mind the need to take precautions. I follow the store’s rules. I don’t typically interact directly with customers, the way someone who works in the store will do. The parts of equipment I touch are not touched by others. As long as I maintain social distancing, wash my hands—and now wear a mask—I feel safe.
I’m excited to learn that there is so much more to learn!
It’s the challenge of learning all about the equipment in Cumberland Farms’ stores that really interests me. While the pace is slower because of the Coronavirus emergency, I’m able to get a really good learning experience. I’m getting comfortable using the tablet on which I receive orders and practicing looking up manuals to order parts. I’m also using skills every day that I learned at school: hooking up gauges to the units, brazing, troubleshooting the walk-in coolers, cleaning evaporators and condensers and troubleshooting the electrical components.
We’re getting ready for the world to start turning again!
I look forward to when the restrictions are lifted and we pick up the pace. I feel fortunate to be working during this difficult time. Cumberland Farms is a great company to work for; they are family-oriented. I’m happy I accepted the position with Cumberland Farms. I couldn’t be more excited that I have the opportunity to work for the company.
MTTI was the best place to get my training; I was able to complete school quickly.
We earned OSHA and EPA Certifications while still in the program. Attending the HVAC/R program set me up to get PJF Licenses for natural gas furnace and oil burning furnaces. The program also gave me 2,000 hours towards qualifying to take the Journeyman Licensing exam—which jumps you about 2 years ahead of someone who has not gone to school. I’m glad I picked this career path and trade; HVAC/R is a good fit for me.
Cumberland Farms is a family owned, family operated network of convenience stores across eight states. Our stores offer daily necessities with food, fuel, and other items. We offer both hot prepared food as well as staple items like milk, eggs, cheese, cereal, and pet food. We have other items that may not be available from other retailers either because they out of stock, closed or are working with reduced hours—items like medicine, home care and basic hygiene items. —Richard Thompson
Kim Tink, 2019 MTTI Computer & Networking Graduate, Is A Support Engineer At Spade Technology.
2019 Computer Service Technician Graduate
Highest Academic Average Award
Solutions Engineer (Support Engineer) at Spade Technology
Employed only months when the Coronavirus emerged in the US, Kim has been very busy helping her company set up employees to work from home, and meeting clients' needs. Even with the unexpected challenges of COVID-19, Kim continues to feel excited about choosing to work in the IT industry.
I have always been passionate about computers.
My father was a fan of technology. Growing up, we were one of the first in the neighborhood to have a computer. I had my first home computer during the mid-eighties; I knew I had a knack for it.
After high school, I attended RISD in Rhode Island.
I wanted to learn about art and painting. Leaving behind a bad relationship, I left school, moved to New Hampshire and raised my son as a single mom. I turned a negative into a positive by helping others at a local crisis center. At New Horizons, I earned certificates in Adobe and Microsoft Applications, and XHTML/CSS for website work. I was excited about taking a piece of art and changing it so many ways with technology —or turning a painting into a graphic design. Life was looking up.
When my financé unexpectedly died, I needed to figure out my life.
He had an undiagnosed genetic heart condition—there was no warning. I dropped out before completing the graphics design program. My son and I moved back to Weymouth, MA, where I had grown up. I took the only job I could find; I worked for three years in sales.
I did website and graphic work on the side.
Working as an independent contractor, I designed and built websites, marketing materials, brochures, signage, email marketing and social media. I brought one company’s pen and paper inventory into the 20th century by implementing a full cloud-based POS/Scheduling/Inventory Management System. For one organization, I even provided phone, remote or in-house IT support as needed—I was the person they called when things “broke”.
More and more, graphic and website projects were being outsourced to internet services.
Often people don’t appreciate the time and effort that goes into website work and graphic design. It was difficult to get paid what my work was worth. I no longer wanted my creative work to be deeply tied to the work that earned me a living. I wanted to have a career in which I would receive the appreciation and recognition for my hard work, talent and skills.
I felt blocked by my lack of a Bachelor’s Degree.
My sister, whose degree is in social work, and I applied for the same job at a hospital. She’s a hard worker, but computer is not her forté. However, she had gotten in on the ground floor when Epic—a powerful software that manages every aspect of the hospital—was implemented. My sister was hired in the position; I was not given an interview. She and my boyfriend, who is experienced in IT sales and business development, encouraged me to get trained in IT. They recommended I earn the CompTIA Certifications.
I researched what types of certificates and credentials are most valued in IT.
When my son graduated from high school, I decided I was ready to return to school. I didn’t have time or money to invest in a 4-year program. I was looking for a powerful concentrated program that would give me real-world skills and valued credentials that would get me in the door of the IT world.
I picked MTTI because it was like a job—I would attend school every week day.
I had no idea how vast the IT field is. I thought I knew a lot about technology coming in; I was surprised by how much I did not know. Very quickly it was overwhelming. The program was hard, but attainable--I loved it. Fortunately, I wasn’t afraid to try solving problems and dig deeper to find solutions. Because of my maturity and life experience, I understood and valued the experience I was getting in the program.
I knew I had talent with technology, but was anxious about going back to school.
I recognized I would be twice the age of most students in the program—and that it is a disproportionately male industry. Thankfully, my classmates were great. After they got to know me, some would ask me for help. My family took care of as much of my life as possible—cleaning while I took practice tests in the living room. My boyfriend gave me the space and time to do the work.
I went into MTTI with a plan mapped out in my mind.
I completed the CompTIA A+ Certification half-way through the class and got my Network+ on the last day of class. In between I earned a PC Pro and a Network Pro Test Out Certificate. TestOut is fantastic—they have simulated a full computer lab so that you can perform different actions with hardware, software, network cabling, hardware routers, switches and firewalls.
50-60% of time hands-on in the lab helped us learn.
Ken is a fantastic teacher; he does a great job of pacing the programs, and repeating things that helped us retain the information. Ken went above and beyond—he set me up to get manuals for Network+ and we did some special training in it. I was particularly interested in enterprise network (CISCO). Even though CISCO isn’t specifically part of the course, we did some work. All the Instructors—Ken, Boris, and Scott, who sometimes filled in—will go above and beyond if you go above and beyond in your efforts to learn. They’ll explain things one-on-one, and if you want to accelerate to earn certificates beyond the A+ they will support you in that.
I became the first—and the greenest intern—that Spade Technology ever had.
Bob Borges from Spade attended an MTTI Program Advisory Board Meeting and liked the program. At Spade, I went from being at the top of my class at MTTI to coming in at the bottom of their organization—this was hard for me. My goal as an intern was to retain as much information as I could, from one day to the next—I took a lot of notes.
At Spade, I am front-line in responding to tickets clients submit.
Spade has clients in multiple industries: insurance, engineering, biotech, scientific research companies, law firms. Many of them have multiple locations and hundreds of employees. A person from any of the 50 companies we provide service to can put in a ticket for any job—we can get hundreds of tickets in a week. I can schedule myself, or escalate it to have someone at a higher level resolve the issue.
We work as a team—everyone in their right place, moving forward together.
The roles and goals are very clear. There are four of us in the Tier 1 Team; two of us are new hires and one is an intern. It takes quick thinking, problem solving and the ability to seek information, calm people and manage expectations—there is a lot to balance. I couldn’t be happier about where I am, working for a great Managed Service Provider (MSP). They are incredibly supportive and give opportunities to grow. Today, at the meeting, they said the Service Desk had some of the highest ratings, compared with teams in the past. We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback about how we are keeping customers happy.
As a graduate of MTTI I feel valued in the workforce in a whole different way.
Before entering the program, I was hoping I would find the right company that would recognize my talents and appreciate my work ethic. Without the education behind you, companies won’t pay you a good salary. After completing the program at MTTI I can go into an interview with a whole different level of confidence.
For many, the program may be a better preparation than going to a 2 or 4-year college.
Students focus on doing—making the cables, building the computer from scratch, installing operating systems, configuring accounts and Active Directories—every day. I didn’t even know what an Active Directory was; now I work on them every day on the job.
IT is integral to every part of every company.
If the IT isn’t working, the company isn’t working. If computers and technology excite you, you’ll learn so much at MTTI about hardware, software technologies, understanding Operating Systems (OS) and viruses. If you want to do cabling and physically set up networks, or focus on installation, you have a solid base from this program to do that. If you want to be a high-level system administrator—you have the foundation to do that. If you just want to build an awesome gaming program, you can do that, too. The program also provides a solid foundation to be a stepping stone for high level corporate IT careers. At MTTI it is primarily ‘what you put into it you get out of it.’
Investing my time and money at MTTI has completely changed my employment prospects.
The possibilities in IT are endless. I know where I want to take my career; I’m able to map my path from here forward. I plan to earn Security+ and Microsoft Certifications next. It’s never too late to start a whole new career—something completely new. If we’ve been in jobs that frustrated our ability to grow, we can lose confidence in ourselves. At any age we are capable of learning—and with age you value and appreciate even more the opportunities you are given--and especially the people who helped you grow.
Ashley Talbot, 2020 MTTI Automotive Service Technician Is An Express Technician at Patriot Subaru,
2020 Automotive Service Technician Graduate
Express Technician at Patriot Subaru
I grew up wanting to become an Automotive Technician.
I enjoyed learning everything I could about cars. Often, I assisted friends who worked in the field or who helped me repair my own vehicles. I worked at two different ‘Mom & Pop’ shops, initially as a Service Advisor. My dream was to become an Automotive Technician, so I worked hard and finally earned my position as a Technician.
My instructors at MTTI believed in me.
Tony and Jameson always took the time to listen and to give me the advice I needed to complete different repairs in the shop. They mentored me to improve test taking skills. Both Jameson and Tony pushed and guided me throughout the program. That helped me build my confidence. Learning hands on skills with them absolutely prepared me for real world work, once I was hired.
Jameson helped me get hired at the shop where he worked.
Because of my training at school, I was able to jump right in and learn about all different makes and models, including classics! I instantly fell in love with working on every car I could get my hands on. It is an incredible feeling to fix a vehicle and later see it being driven by you on the road.
I’ve been working in the Express Service Department at Patriot Subaru.
As a student in MTTI’s evening program, I was able to be hired as an Automotive Technician even before completing the program. I've been tworking here for about 3 1/2 months. Express Service at Patriot Subaru provides mostly oil changes, tire rotations, Multi-Point Inspections and minor maintenance.
When the Coronavirus outbreak began, the State started making changes.
It was nerve wracking. My work colleagues and I didn’t know whether we were going to be laid off, or have to go on furlough until the epidemic declined. A huge chunk of our Sales Department was laid off, which in turn affects the Service Department. If there is not enough revenue coming in, the company simply can't afford to keep staff employed.
Unfortunately, everyone everywhere is being affected by COVID19.
Subaru however, always makes sure the employees know what is going on. State of emergencies are very tough on the owners of these companies. Patriot Subaru offered a helping hand to any employee who is falling on hard times due to the virus. There's nothing you can do about it, except to follow the CDC’s and the State’s guidelines for hand-washing and social distancing. While the epidemic continues, it feels good to be able to help people out in some way.
Since the viral outbreak, everything has slowed down.
All of the service work goes first to the flat rate technicians. Express employees are helping the Techs, doing a lot of cleaning. Our customers are concerned about people servicing their vehicles or handling their personal items inside their cars, which is totally understandable. They ask us to tell them what we are doing to keep them safe and how they can keep their own vehicle disinfected. We are vigilant about sanitizing every vehicle after service; we’ve even been gifting customers with small bottles of hand sanitizer. We want our customers to be happy with their service.
I’ve been assisting other techs more often with their maintenance and repair work.
When Express is slow, I move around, asking each Tech if they need help. By helping other Techs, I've learned how to disassemble engines, perform recall services and other routine maintenance procedures. I get the benefit of learning from them, and they can accomplish more work. I sometimes ask the service writers if they need assistance with moving cars, state inspection runs. In place of the shuttle rides we used to run, we now provide loaner vehicles; we answer any questions customers have about the vehicle’s special features.
Whenever I see a customer, I say ‘hi’ to make them feel welcome.
Sometimes service writers bring the customer in the shop to help explain their vehicle’s issues. While maintaining a safe distance, I help describe the problem in simple terms so I don’t overwhelm them.
I have honestly never been happier.
I finally feel like I'm in a rewarding career that I love. I love learning new things every day including tips and tricks from other technicians. MTTI not only provided me with the fundamental knowledge I need to perform in the industry, but also helped set me up in a company and job I love.
I am extremely thankful that automotive service is essential.
Travel is important. People still have to get to work, go to the store to get food and take care of other people who have been affected by the outbreak. Although my hours have been reduced, I am still able to come into work and get paid. Patriot Subaru is an amazing company—everyone there has your back. Their support is comforting in these times. Everyone who has had to go on furlough is welcome to come back.
I absolutely encourage people to become an Automotive Technician.
The automotive world is expanding with Hybrids and other innovative changes. The industry has a shortage right now, and needs more trained technicians. Our generation still has the best of both worlds—we’re able to work with classics, muscle, gas, diesel and hybrid vehicles. I wouldn't change a thing about entering into an automotive career. The Coronavirus epidemic doesn't change how much I love what I do. Sometimes Technicians need to be recognized for all that we do. We keep the world rolling!
I also encourage more women to get into the automotive industry.
I have done extremely well; I’ve had nothing but support from my co-workers. Sure, there are some challenges and some people don't think women can do the job—I love to prove them wrong. Especially with more and more women getting accepted into these fields, it's important that we show the world ‘We Can Do It.’
Going to MTTI changed my life in a positive way!
I always recommend to people who are looking to start, or to change, their career that they attend MTTI. I have never before been a part of a school that helps you so much to succeed at what you want to do. MTTI cares about their students, and has helped me every step of the way. I am so thankful I got to meet and work with my instructors, Tony and Jameson. I couldn't be more appreciative of everyone who has helped and supported me through this journey.
Dawn Tavares. Medical Billing & Coding Instructor Meets The Challenge Of COVID-19
Dawn Tavares, Instructor
CPC, AS Health Science, BSc Healthcare Management
While this story was being written, life changed dramatically. As COVID-19 quickly emerged, Dawn rose to the challenge of not only transitioning her own students to the Zoom platform for online learning—she set up and coached other instructors to bring their classes on-line. A student of hers praised her ability to continue delivering education without even missing a beat. Another student told us she had been nervous--she had experienced difficulty when taking online classes in the past. Now this student loves how all of her resources are in one place. We thank Dawn for being frontline in supporting staff and students to adapt to changing educational technology. Working together we will be strong than ever!
Dawn brings 20 years of experience in the medical industry to teach MTTI’s students.
“I was 15 when I started working after school for a surgeon as a file clerk and receptionist. All of the medical records were on paper. Since then, I’ve worked for private medical practices and health centers as a Biller, a Coder, a Medical Coding and Billing Coordinator, a Clinical Documentation Analyst and a Billing Manager. While a Billing Manager / Coder, I oversaw four locations and taught providers how to code.”
Teaching different learning strategies to a child inspired the way in which Dawn teaches adults.
“I came to appreciate how important it is to use visual, auditory and kinesthetic methods. In the Medical Billing & Coding program at MTTI, I ‘show’ and ‘tell’ students, then have them ‘do it’. The PowerPoints I use are visually rich with graphs and pie charts—and make extensive use of color. Students get a printed copy of the PowerPoint. I discuss everything we are learning related to the data and codes. About 50% of the course time is dedicated to hands-on practice of tasks that are the same or similar to those performed in a medical billing, coding or office position.”
Dawn strives to meet students’ learning needs so they can begin new careers.
“I want students to be well-rounded—to know a little bit of everything. That way they will be able to use what they’ve learned in school and expand upon the skills and knowledge to advance in their careers. At MTTI, we stress professionalism. Both in class and working with Career Services, students can polish their personal presentation and communication skills to enhance their employability.”
This year Medical Billing & Coding students will go through the program largely online.
“Some people are new to online learning; I’ll help them learn how to use Chrome Books. With the Director of Educarion, I will continue to modify the material to meet different classes’ learning needs. We want to get a good balance between online, chrome books and traditional printed materials. I’ll be asking for feedback from my students so I can continuously adapt the material according to what they tell me they need. “
The challenge of billing and coding is what drew Dawn into the medical field.
“If you thrive on change, you may enjoy a billing and coding career. I like researching—and keeping up-to-date with the regulations and requirements of different insurers. Some people say they like working in the industry because every day is ‘always something different’. I like the challenge of how it is always changing.”
Billing, Coding and Medical Office Administration offers good career opportunities.
“The field is vast. After school, there are so many different avenues you can pursue, depending on your personality and interests. Positions include front desk, billing and coding in medical practices, community health care settings, hospitals and in private billing companies or insurance companies.”
Dawn says, “Personally, I am captivated by how coding goes hand-in-hand with billing.
“I’m a ‘money person’. I’m always looking for strategies to decrease A/R (Accounts Receivable) status—the patient collectables—that will bring in more revenue for a practice. I like the challenge of figuring out how to code for the maximum reimbursement amount—that’s what a good coder does. Because I have successfully increased revenue for medical practices, I can pass this knowledge on to students.”
Coding is a direct translation of what office procedure or surgery the provider performs on the patient.
“The code you assign determines what the patient is reimbursed. Choosing the most correct CPT codes depends on having some knowledge about anatomy and physiology, medical terminology and medical / surgical procedures. We cover all of this in the Medical Billing and Coding program—especially in preparation for the Certified Professional Coders exam.”
A student told Dawn he felt a comfortable connection with her when they first met.
“My student told me that knowing his learning needs would be met at MTTI increased his confidence he could learn medical information. To be effective as an Instructor, you have to be positive and provide support. If you give students a good, positive learning environment, they will meet you more than halfway. I want to make people comfortable about learning so they get the most out of the program.”
“You need to be an effective communicator—clear and concise—and a bit of an entertainer.”
“If I see students’ attention is starting to drift, I think, ‘How can I liven this up?’ I draw on my own enthusiasm for billing and coding. Just as I have been captivated and intrigued by coding and insurance, I try to inspire the same in students. As an Instructor, it is my job to give them incentive—to make them want to participate. If I can do that, they will want to come to class each day.”
Jessica Carey, 2019 MTTI Graduate, Works At East Bay Neurology As A Medical Assistant / Medical Secretary
2019 Medical Assistant Graduate
Registered Medical Assistant (RMA)
Medical Secretary / Medical Assistant at East Bay Neurology
My brother inspired me to want to work in home care.
He was receiving personalized care in a home care program. After high school, I worked in home care. Over time, I wanted to branch out and experience working in different aspects of health care.
I started searching for a high-intensity Medical Assistant training program.
I wanted to provide front-line patient care. Medical Assistants can work in so many different settings—primary care, medical specialties, community health care, emergency medicine. I wanted the chance to develop new skills that I could use day-to-day on the job.
I learned about MTTI from people who had attended the school.
I researched the program online; it was what I was looking for—high-intensity, affordable and brief. Other schools I looked at had higher tuition and less of what I wanted in the curriculum. MTTI was the best fit.
When I visited the school, everyone was welcoming.
Amy, the Admissions Representative, was warm and personable. She answered all of my questions and walked me through the process. Alicia, the Financial Director, guided me through financial aid. The Medical Assistant Instructor who interviewed me, Diane, was lovely; she was honest but also reassuring about what the training would be like.
Meeting my Instructor, on the first day of class, was an experience.
I felt a bit intimidated. It was not easy being a student in Ms. Courtney’s class. She won’t hold your hand; she believes you can do great things without her handing it to you. At the same time, she puts in 110% for her students. Ultimately I understood that she wants what is best for you. She pushes you for your own sake. I came to really respect her.
Ms. Courtney lets you know she believes in you.
She would tell us, ‘I believe in you if you believe in yourself.’ We had to give ourselves that extra push. No matter how much you struggle with your self-esteem, who wants to say in the end that you failed? No one really wants to quit or to give up on themselves.
At first I thought I wouldn’t make it through.
Sometimes I wasn’t sure I wanted to. But eventually, I knew I would make it. It was a growth process. Growth can be painful at first--until you realize it is exactly what you need. Pushed out of your comfort zone, you can stretch yourself to reach new goals and achieve your full potential.
Learning new skills has always been a bit of a struggle for me.
During the Medical Assistant program, you repeat each skill multiple times. Eventually you have taken vitals, performed EKGs and drawn blood so many times you feel ‘I’ve survived this before, so I can do it again’. When it was time to go out to internship, I felt ready.
I was invited to intern at Rhode Island Hospital.
Being in that environment (ambulatory care in a hospital) gave me a better perspective about where I wanted to go after school. I recognized that in preference to the excitement of a fast-paced setting, I wanted to work in a smaller practice that provides more personalized care for patients.
Shawn, the Career Services Specialist for the program was wonderful.
He goes above and beyond to help students find their careers. He found the position at East Bay Neurology. I’ve always been interested in neurology and pulmonary medicine. I interviewed and a week later, they offered me a position. East Bay was open to taking on someone new to Medical Assisting—they were willing to give me a chance and train me.
Because I hadn’t interned at East Bay, I didn’t know what to expect.
I met the doc when I interviewed; during my first two weeks on the job he was away. I was able to learn more gradually and get used to helping. Trained as a Medical Assistant, I could also work as a Medical Secretary. Practices are open to cross-training on medical administrative skills if you are clinically trained—it opens doors.
MTTI gave me a foundation on which to build my knowledge of medications and neurology.
I work the front-desk, checking patients in and out. I answer the phone and triage the calls. I handle paperwork and referrals and call in prescriptions. I also put patients into rooms, take blood pressure readings and prepare them for injections. The clinical work I did at school helps me understand the whole cycle of patient care. At school I developed the ability to be thorough, attentive, good at multi-tasking, willing to learn--and above all to treat patients well no matter what else I am doing.
MTTI prepares you to deal with feedback on the job.
I had to learn to take constructive critique well. It’s not an easy skill to develop. You have to be open to taking advice and accepting guidance—and then to apply it to the work you do. I learned from Ms. Courtney: ‘Take it to heart but don’t take it personally.’
Most of all, I am learning how to work with people—and to be compassionate.
No one goes to a neurology appointment thinking, ‘This is no big deal.’ At minimum, they are dealing with a potentially serious or frightening condition, or possibly with epilepsy. When someone who comes to the practice in pain or feeling depressed leaves feeling better—and tells you how you have helped them—it feels good. It increases my confidence when I am able to make patients feel at home.
You learn to be thorough and patient.
You are the first face patients see when they enter the office. You are responsible for patients’ health and comfort. Entering the workforce for administration is a learning curve. It teaches you how to work under pressure. The confidence I gained by training and working as a Medical Assistant / Medical Secretary has changed me. It has taught me to take responsibility for my future—and to take pride in what I do.
Training at MTTI has shown me I can do things to change my life.
I have more control over where I go in the future. Becoming a Medical Assistant / Medical Secretary has taught me the importance of attitude. If you want to succeed in the Medical Assistant program, or at work, you can do it with the right attitude. Not only has having the right attitude helped me complete the program and start a new career, I’ve also successfully passed the Registered Medical Assistant exam—I’m an RMA!
2019 MTTI Building Trades Graduate, Cyrus Irungu Can Now Work In Almost Any Trade.
2019 Building & Property Trades Technician Graduate
Maintenance Technician at East Side Enterprises
I came to MTTI with some electrical background, but none in plumbing or HVAC.
I grew up in Kenya Highlands, where you hardly ever need cooling or heat—and it is never humid. So I had no exposure to A/C or heating technology. In my country, plumbing is one of the best paid jobs, but people don’t want to do it. Not only is the plumbing poor in people’s houses, but the city sewage is not well done—it’s not very clean.
In 2010, I left my home country for better opportunities.
In Kenya, I had completed a Bachelor’s degree in Social Science. I couldn’t find a job—there were no employment opportunities for me. In the United States, I would need to attend additional classes to be considered as having a Bachelor’s degree; but I had a family to provide for.
In the US, I got into the trucking industry, initially as a driver.
Later I bought my own truck and started a small business. I would leave early in the morning, while my young daughter was still sleeping. Often when I returned home at night she was already in bed. An early talker; when she was only two years old she would ask me, “When will you come home?”
I needed to find balance between work and time to be with my wife and daughter.
Searching the internet for employment training, I looked for schools with an electrical program. I found two schools—one that was close to my home, and MTTI, which was a little further away. Deciding on a Sunday night that I was ready to go to school, I first checked out the other school; then on Wednesday I visited MTTI.
MTTI's electrical program had begun; the Building Trades program was about to start.
I met with one of the Instructors, who walked me through the Building Trades program. Don explained how the program is run and what training I would receive. In the shop, he showed me the plumbing that the class had just installed, and the room inside the house module that students had just painted. He showed me photos of framing, sheathing and siding of the module; electrical and plumbing installation; decorative interior archways, finish carpentry, wallpapering and painting. I would learn to use hand and power tools, and have an introduction to HVAC and green energy technology.
I enrolled right away in the Building & Property Trades Technician program.
Coming into the program with just a little electrical background, I liked that that program would expose me to new areas and new ways of doing things. I thought to myself, “If I don’t go to school right now, I might change my mind.”
My instructors, Don and Pat, were patient, especially about language and terminology.
Coming from a ‘metric country’, I had to learn to measure in inches and weigh in pounds. Now I can measure in both systems and convert from one to the other. Trade language differs from spoken language, especially when you have to explain things technically. Some of the words used in my home country are not the same as what we say here. For example, here we say ‘hot, neutral and ground’; in Africa, we still use ‘positive, negative and earth’.
Don and Pat were focused on training us to become professionals.
They didn’t want to just pass us and have us go out to work. They taught us to fully understand why we did each task in a certain way and how to do it. Don and Pat walked their talk. They would tell us we have to wear safety glasses—and they would wear the glasses and the boots every day. I appreciated their preparedness and professionalism.
Pat is full of knowledge and very resourceful.
He opens up your mind to think about doing things in different ways. He believes almost anything can be fixed—at least until it is completely damaged. Even now, I hear his voice in my head, saying, ‘You can do this, or you can do that to make it work.’
I found an advertisement on the internet for a maintenance technician.
That same week the company that was advertising came to the school to meet with Erin, the Career Service Specialist. East Side Enterprises had discovered MTTI and wanted to learn what the school and program offer. My performance in the class was good; Erin called me to meet with them. They also contacted my instructor for more information about me.
As I left school, I first worked for a different company in an electrical position.
It was a 3-hour drive each way in my own car--I was not given a company vehicle. I called Erin, and my instructor, Pat. I needed to find another opportunity quickly—one that offered some schedule flexibility so I could give time to my family.
I interviewed and accepted a position with East Side Enterprises.
The company owns gas stations with markets in them—last year they opened one in New Hampshire, two in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts. In the past they had used outside vendors to maintain their properties; they decided they wanted their own in-house technicians.
I like East Side Enterprises; they are family-oriented.
They care about making sure my family is happy—they will ask me, ‘How is your family doing?’ They have given me a company truck full of tools and they provide support whenever I ask for it.
Everything I learned in the Building & Property Trades program I use on the job.
It is all important. I need to know some HVAC, because their markets have walk-in and stand-alone coolers. The job also involves heating and cooling of the buildings.
Fortunately I earned OSHA-10 Certification at MTTI.
It is very important to know how to work safely. I paint and do roofing. What I learned at MTTI helps me know how to handle a ladder and work at heights or on a canopy. At school, I learned how to use power tools. On the job, if I am not cutting through a wall, I may be cutting pipes. When I demolish a wall inside a building, I know how to control dust. Terminology is important—for example, ‘miter saw’,’ double bevel’—you need to know what they are talking about when they tell you to use it.
Before coming to MTTI, I didn’t have the training to work in any trade.
Now I can work in almost every trade. There is no need for someone to train me from scratch—I am not an expert in any one thing, but I am trainable in any trade. Because of what I learned in the Building Trades program, I can apprentice in plumbing or electrical, carpentry or HVAC. Working with East Side Enterprises, I use all these of these skills as a maintenance technician.
I don’t see obstacles—I look for a way to do the job.
At MTTI I learned how to learn. If I open a wall on the job, and find something unexpected, I ask myself: ‘What would Don and Pat do?” My training has given me confidence to face any challenge and find creative solutions.
I’m glad that life directed me to the Building Trades program.
Training in multiple trades opens unexpected doors. For example, I can train and certify for maintaining underground storage tanks that hold petroleum—and make good money.
I would like to help change the perception people have about African countries.
I think about going back to Kenya to help my country. There are people in Africa who were injured in the war; they can’t access parts of their houses. I would like to use what I have learned in the US to help them make their homes handicap accessible.
Solar and wind turbine technology is important for places like Africa.
I know places in Africa where there is wind every day, and sun every morning. Wind and solar energy would give people hot water every day. Someday, I may take all the knowledge and skills I have learned back home, and introduce green energy technology to Kenya.
Top –Instructors Pat Church and Don Desforges Present Cyrus With His Diploma
Right – Displaying the Table Made With Hand Tools
Left – With Classmates In Front Of the Arch They Designed & Built
Right – Using Power Tools in the Module
Bottom – With Classmates, Instructors Pat & Don, in Front of the Module
MTTI Medical Billing & Coding/Office Admin. Graduate, Rebecca Adams, is a Medical Billing Specialist at Acadia Healthcare.
Rebecca (Adams) Rosemarino, 2019 Medical Billing & Coding/Office Administration Graduate
Medical Billing Specialist at Acadia Healthcare
Hited in 2019, during July 2021, we heard through another Medical Billing & Coding graduate, who had just been hired by Acadia Healthcare, that Rebecca had some exciting news. We contacted her, and she shared not only an update about her work, but also her new name. She has recently married! Congratulations, Rebecca!
"I have been promoted to a Billing Manager as of June 14th! I am very excited and I could not have done it without the help and support MTTI gave me. I skipped right over being a team lead and fell right into a management position. I feel like I will do very well in this position as MTTI prepared me with the knowledge of how Coding and Billing works. Without my schooling from MTTI I would not have had the confidence to have even gone for such a big promotion. I also look forward to working with many more MTTI students; I know that they are coming to Acadia Healthcare with the knowledge needed to be successful in this career."
Working all of my life as a waitress, I had no medical background.
I looked at different programs on MTTI’s website and chose Medical Billing & Coding/Office Admin. I liked that I could qualify for the exam to certify as a Medical Coder, and would not need further schooling to work in the industry.
I already had a positive impression of the school.
I knew a past student that MTTI had helped, after the school she attended suddenly closed before she completed her program. I met with Amy in Admissions to learn more about the program and employment in the healthcare industry. I’d been out of school a long time. Would I be able to study and pass tests?
Interviewing with the Medical Billing & Coding Instructor reassured me.
Ms. Dawn gave me a lot of information about the way she taught. I felt confident about her ability to teach to different learning styles—especially because I am a hands-on learner.
The first weeks of school, trying to juggle my schedule, challenged me.
I needed to balance working nights as a waitress with doing homework, keeping up with housework and giving time to my daughter. I looked for ‘free’ time in my schedule, and made adjustments; I studied during my lunch break. I told myself, ‘this is not forever’. I reminded myself that I wouldn’t need to do a night job after completing school; in a short time I would have a better choice of jobs.
Each time we began a new topic, it was both nerve-wracking and exciting.
MTTI’s Medical Billing and Coding program prepares you for multiple career pathways. You can choose medical billing or coding, office administration, medical insurance or records—there are many job titles. If you don’t like one, you can change to another. I would feel overwhelmed at first by the new information in billing, coding, insurance, anatomy & physiology, computer and office operations; after a week or so I would begin to roll with it.
Ms. Dawn was very supportive; she told me I’m smarter than I think I am.
Entering the program with no background, I came a long way academically. Ms. Dawn’s confidence in me helped me believe in myself. My classmates were also supportive; if someone got stuck on something, everyone helped. Because everyone learns differently, someone was always able to explain what another person didn’t get. Explaining the information to each other helped us remember what we learned.
When I began looking for places to intern, I found there are a lot of jobs.
Some positions do require experience. I felt confident that if I interned with a company, and showed them what I could do, I would overcome any reluctance they had to hire me. It was fun to contact different companies. I looked on glassdoor.com and Linkedin to see who was hiring. I searched different terms—‘medical billing’, ‘medical office manager’, ‘medical records’, ‘medical coding’—to discover places that were advertising positions.
Reading job descriptions, I asked myself, ‘If five people apply, which one will they hire?
What skills and qualities are they looking for? I was also thinking about whether each position would be a good match for me. You don’t always want to go for the highest pay; you want to go where you are going to be happy. I made good money working as a waitress, but didn’t want to do that job forever. I liked the idea of sitting at a desk instead of being on my feet all day. I wanted a position that offered a 401K to save for retirement.
Initially I thought I wanted to work for a large commercial insurance company.
I have friends who work for one that offers good pay and family plans as incentives, and treats their employees well. But the work would have focused on finding errors that help the insurance company. Instead, I wanted to do more to help people get paid by their insurer. When I found Acadia Healthcare during one of my searches, I saw it as a place where I could help patients and providers, grow professionally and earn promotions.
Learning the mechanics of the billing cycle during internship turned the light on for me.
During school, I had shadowed at Acadia for a day. Watching what other billers do helped me feel ready to take on tasks during internship. Acadia is a third-party biller; they review claims before sending them to insurance companies. You’d never imagine what goes into a visit to the doctor’s office or hospital. Seeing behind the scenes was intriguing—who gets paid, how much the insurance company gets paid compared with what the patient has to pay.
Figuring out why something has been denied is like solving a puzzle.
I like puzzles. I had thought I would be spending most of my time sending out bills. Instead, my work is resolving denials. My job is to spot errors that would cause the insurer not to pay the claim.
MTTI prepared me to know what questions to ask and where to find answers.
The coding I learned helps me prevent denials. Once I identify the problem, for example, if I see that a modifier is wrong, I will replace it with the right one to ensure the bill gets paid. My customer service skills from years of waitressing help me talk with healthcare providers and other third party insurance companies or clearing houses. I also post payments and make sure the payments go to our bank.
When on the last day of internship I was offered a full-time position, I felt relieved.
I knew during the program that I had made a good choice. I was on the right track, because I was working at something I wanted to do. Being hired confirmed for me that I was doing the job right. That really turned on the light for me—‘I can do this’!
MTTI’s 7-month program goes by fast—and the school provides lots of employment assistance.
At the end I felt it was worth it; my hard work had paid off. I like having a business job. I like the Monday through Friday schedule—steady hours, benefits and steady income. This is the right path for me. I have a career for the future that will enable me to build financially—to buy a house, and someday retire. Beyond providing for my family, I’m hoping that by training for and being successful in this career, I will be positive role model for my daughter.
Rebecca with Instructor, Dawn Tavares, at graduation.
Rebecca and her classmate display coding manuals.
Career Services Specialist, Shawn Barnes, presents Rebecca with her Kindle Fire, awarded for obtaining employment within 90 days of graduating.
Brady Snook, 2019 MTTI Graduate, Found A Fit In A Hands-On Residential And Commercial Electrician Career.
Brady Snook, 2019 Residential and Commercial Electrician Graduate
Electrical Apprentice at Reilly Electric (RELCO)
Not every student encounters major obstacles to learning; some progress easily and uneventfully through their program. They’re no less excited that their hard work and education has helped them start a new career they’ll love for life. Quick to learn, Brady found he had a natural ability to explain the work to his classmates. Helping others has sparked his interest in eventually becoming an electrical teacher.
I enlisted in the Army during my junior year of high school.
After graduating, I shipped off to Fort Jackson in South Carolina for Boot Camp. At Fort Eustice, Virginia, I learned to repair and maintain helicopters, including the electrical components. Following an Honorable Discharge, I looked for a program in which I could train for a career.
Unsure which industry I wanted to work in, I knew I was a hands-on learner.
I earned a Certificate of Completion at the National Aviation Academy Airframe and Powerplant School in Concord, Massachusetts. Although I enjoyed learning to work on aircraft, the lifestyle of an aviation mechanic didn’t appeal to me. Many companies have you follow the aircraft from location to location, riding with that plane and doing the inspection when it lands. It was expensive to test for the license, and I didn’t have the drive to do it. I couldn’t see myself doing this for life. I missed the wiring and electrical work I had done in the Army.
On a day when I was feeling at a low point in life, I drove by MTTI.
Working part-time as a construction laborer and a manager in food service, I didn’t feel either was a career path for me. The sign outside MTTI read ‘Residential and Commercial Electrician Program Enrolling’. Immediately after seeing the sign, I heard the commercial for MTTI’s Electrician program on the radio. I thought, ‘This must be a sign for me’.
On the day I toured the school, a new Electrician class was starting; only one seat was open.
In the classroom, I saw the instructor, ‘KD’ (Kevin Dacosta), and the people who would be my classmates. I enrolled, took the text books home, and read the whole first Chapter. Beginning the program on the second day of class, I was one step ahead.
Right away I could see the program was a good fit; I thought, ‘I can do this!’
The way the course was organized made it easy for me to learn. We were taught step-by-step how to do electrical work. When I had questions, I explained my understanding to the Instructor, who would confirm that I would be doing a task the right way. Overall, the program information was very in-depth and involved.
My instructors appreciated that I cared about helping other students in the class.
Growing up, my Dad had been a math teacher—he even won a Teacher of the Year Award. When he tutored me, I would listen to how he explained things. He wouldn’t give up when I didn’t understand something; he’d explain it four different ways until I got it. When classmates came to me with questions, like my Dad, I broke things down and explained it different ways. Someday I may want to become a teacher. At 25 years old, I can work for 20 years or so and then ‘retire’ from the industry to teach.
I met the Safety Director of RELCO (Reilly Electric) before I enrolled in school.
He came into the pizza place where I was working. I told him that I had worked on wiring helicopters in the military; he gave me his card. When, at MTTI, we had our first internship/job search day, I called him and delivered my resume to RELCO at 7 am, before the crews left to go to their worksites. The next day, they called me; two days after the search day, I returned to RELCO for an interview.
RELCO wanted to hire me right away; I explained I was still in school.
They waited until I completed classes; on the first day of internship, I was already hired and receiving pay. I gave RELCO a letter from MTTI documenting the hours of education I received in the program. They were surprised to find that I didn’t need to earn additional education to qualify for the licensing exam. I’ll complete the 8,000 hours of work and will only need to take a class when the Code Book gets revised in 3 years.
During my first weeks at RELCO, I worked in the pre-fab shop.
I made things for use on jobs; for example, temporary power stands and raceways (for mounting on the wall to enclose wiring). I was working with a graduate of a college program, who had paid twice what I paid for tuition at MTTI. In addition to electrical courses, he'd been required to take general education courses. At the completion of his program, he still didn’t have the 600 hours required by the state for licensure; he has to attend electrical classes at night.
After two weeks in the shop, I was chosen for a project on Cape Cod.
Typically an Apprentice stays in pre-fab for about 6 months, to give the company time to find out what he knows–and doesn’t know. The Head Shop Apprentice and five other Apprentices were chosen for a short-term project on Cape Cod, installing 300+ feet of PVC pipe underground, from a house down to the boat dock. The Shop Manager selected me as one of the five.
What I learned at MTTI prepared me for work in the field.
If you understand the job you are on, you can be pro-active in getting what is needed. The company liked that I responded well when other workers asked for tools, pipe wire or water. The Shop Manager shook my hand and said, “I’m so glad I called you to come on down.” After that, the Shop Manager took me to small side jobs for the company—we would work together, just the two of us. A month later, he told me I would be going out in the field soon. He said. “I’m going to make sure that it happens.”
The Project Manager sent me to work with a Foreman who is renovating a commercial building.
The renovation includes the whole first floor, 1/4 of the second floor, 2/3 of the third floor plus a penthouse—all while four companies in the building continue their business full-time. RELCO set up an electrical room with panels. We identified every circuit from the main building. As we work, we transfer the building’s power to the temporary transformers we brought in. Most days we start at 6 am—but occasionally we start at 5. We have to pull and transfer the power in less than an hour, to be ready by 7 am when the building tenants arrive at work.
My Foreman said to me, “You’re like a third-year Apprentice.”
Out in the field, I found that I had learned things at school that I wouldn’t be expected to know until I’d been 3-4 years on the job. It ‘turned heads’ here when the foreman would say, ‘You know how to do this.’ He has given me some pretty big tasks that I have since completed: setting up temporary power for the whole building. It’s great going to the job site knowing all the things I learned at MTTI.
I love electrical work; I wouldn’t want to go back and choose a different trade to train for.
I’m continuing to learn so many things on the job. I’ve enjoyed working with every co-worker I’ve met. RELCO has been working with the same construction company—going from building to building in that area of Massachusetts. The same crew has been working together; they get to know how crew members work—their strengths and weaknesses—so it is easy to divide up the tasks.
If you are thinking about attending MTTI—do it.
You won’t be disappointed. MTTI takes time and care to get to know each student. The classes are smaller, so there is more one-on-one time than at many schools. KD, my instructor, is a great guy—he definitely knows his stuff and is very dedicated to the students. If you ask a question he won’t stop until he finds the answer. He can laugh and joke with students, but he is serious about teaching the work. He’s able to hold 18 students, ranging in age from fresh out of high school to well above thirty, accountable for their performance in the classroom and shop.
This is going to be my life, my career.
I’m thankful to KD for helping us through the program—and to my girlfriend, Chloe, for supporting me. I enjoy knowing how things work—and how to do the work. Looking back, after an electrical job is complete, I feel a sense of accomplishment. The best thing is, electrical work won’t be phased out. There will always be companies hiring in electric—there will always be jobs.
Instructor, Kevin Dacosta (KD) and Brady at graduation.
Brady with KD on the roof at MTTI, inspecting solar panels and inverter
Brady handing a tool to classmate, Shane, as they adjust a solar panel.
Amanda DaSilva, MTTI 2019 Medical Assistant Graduate
Amanda DaSilva, 2019 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant at Coastal Medical
Amanda is currently frontline providing patient care during the COVID-19 Pandemic. She provided this update on 3/20/2020.
I’m beyond happy being a Medical Assistant.
Especially now, being able to provide care to those in need is very rewarding. The COVID-19 situation has been scary. At this point you don’t know who has it or who doesn’t have it. There is not enough testing happening, which is very unfortunate and also nerve wracking. However, at Coastal Medical, where I work, we are well equipped with the essentials to continue providing patient care to those in need.
To all new, incoming students: being a Medical Assistant is a great career choice.
I would choose to do it all over again for sure. At MTTI you learn everything you need to get you started in the medical field. Once you’ve completed the Medical Assistant program, you will thank yourself and be very proud of your accomplishments. It’s hard at first, but believe me, once you get into the groove it will seem less and less stressful. To all the Medical Assistant students getting ready for internship: ask questions--no question is a stupid question. Stay focused and you will succeed!
It was natural that I would want to pursue a medical career.
I was inspired by multiple family members in the medical field. After High School, I volunteered in Rhode Island Hospital’s gift shop. Then, for almost ten years, I worked in Target and CVS as a Nationally Certified Pharmacy Technician, and even provided training to onboarding Pharmacy Technicians and students.
I tried advancing my career by working in medical administrative positions.
Working as a Medical Receptionist/ Patient Service Representative at an eye care practice, I scheduled patient appointments, conducted insurance verifications, obtained prior authorizations and referrals from doctors and collected co-pays. I researched MRI safety for each patient and conducted MRI screening questions.
I wanted to grow into working more hands-on with patients.
I was also looking for better job security and a more personally rewarding career. At the eye care center, we had planned that I would be trained as a Technician. When that didn’t happen, I resigned and told my husband, ‘I’m going to go to school!’
Going to MTTI felt like the best opportunity for me.
My youngest brother had graduated MTTI’s Automotive Service Technician program. He would talk about having had a good experience at the school. I scheduled a tour and met with Cheryl in Admissions and Ms. Courtney, the Lead Medical Assistant Instructor. I liked the course and the lab—and appreciated that Ms. Courtney came from the industry. She knew the medical world and could teach us what to expect after we were hired.
At the beginning, attending school felt stressful.
I had been out of school for a while. The work load included a test every day and a unit final exam every week. Ms. Courtney was tough. I knew everything she was doing was meant to benefit us, but I felt the pressure of trying to meet her expectations. During those first weeks, my stress level escalated. I thought about quitting. Ms. Courtney urged me to stay in the program. If she hadn’t, I likely would have given up. Instead, I went home and thought, ‘I came so far to get into the program, why would I even think about quitting?’
Ms. Courtney will never know how much I appreciate her encouragement.
Throughout the program, she gave her all—blood, sweat, and tears—to get us through. Ms. Courtney gave us a calendar to follow, so we would know exactly what is expected. Once you get into a ‘groove’ it gets better. I learned how to set priorities and ‘got my groove on’!
I felt the stress again when we began the hands-on practice of phlebotomy.
I wanted to develop the best skills, but I was nervous. Ms. Courtney said that if I didn’t step up and get past my fears, I would be less prepared for entering the medical profession. Taking a deep breath, I approached my lab partner and with Ms. Courtney’s encouragement, I drew her blood.
I knew then that this was what I wanted—I wouldn’t let fear get in the way.
A couple more blood draws and I was golden! It helped to have Ms. Courtney by my side. She never gave up on us—anyone who has her as an Instructor is fortunate!
I shadowed at Coastal Medical and was planning to intern there.
Then I was selected for an internship at Lifespan. I told Coastal Medical, ‘I really like it here—you’ll see me when I’ve completed school.’ The internship in Employee Health at the hospital went well, but I didn’t have as much opportunity as I would have liked to practice all of my new skills.
As I completed my internship, I applied to Coastal Medical.
I didn’t hear back immediately. After a couple of weeks, I called to follow-up. It took another week, but because I had taken the initiative to call, I was invited to interview. Two Lead Medical Assistants interviewed me. I asked them questions to understand what I would be doing day-to-day, what skills I would be using. What kind of provider would I work with—would it be one MA to one Doc?
I was so excited to be hired where I most wanted to work.
The first day at the practice was a bit nerve-wracking. Having shadowed there, I had a sense of what to do. It’s a big office and there is a lot to learn! I continue to have questions—but they like that I am asking them; they know that I am eager to learn. Some things have to be learned in the field—for example, the way each practice handles insurance and prescriptions. At least I knew the medications because of my previous pharmacy experience and from school.
I feel I fit in here so well!
We have a great group of Doctors, Medical Assistants and Office Managers. The Medical Assistants on the team support one another. It feels like a large family. Officially I start at 8:30 am; but I’m there, by choice, at 7 am, getting rooms ready and printing reports. No one asks me to be there that early—it’s my own work ethic. If I am ready ahead of time, I won’t stress out the providers I work with. Patients won’t feel rushed—they are there for the care.
I’ve recently completed my 90 day probationary period.
I’m looking to add on a weekend per diem position in phlebotomy—just because I enjoy it. I am so happy to be working directly with people. I have a good heart. While I value my medical administrative experience, now as a Medical Assistant, I’m able to go above and beyond to help patients.
When people ask me, ‘Should I go to MTTI?’ I say, ‘Absolutely, do it!’
The Medical Assistant program is short—only 6 months—but I learned so much! MTTI offers excellent training and has amazing teachers and staff. They are always updating the curriculum to be in step with the changes in the medical field—MTTI teaches you what Medical Assistants actually do in practice.
What I learned in the program changed my personal outlook.
Every day at school I learned something new. I learned things in the program about taking better care if myself. My favorite project was about nutrition. You just don’t know what you are putting into your body! Learning about the amount of sugar and carbs in my food made me change my habits. As a Medical Assistant, I see patients everyday—some of whom are struggling with their health and aren’t able to change their medical conditions. What I’ve learned helps me take better care of myself, and also to help my family members take better care of themselves.
Going to MTTI changed my life.
I really love working as a Medical Assistant; I wouldn’t change it for anything. Now I feel like I am in a career I really want to be in—and I’m making a better living, too. Looking back, if I had to do it again, I would do it exactly the same way.
Electrician Apprentice at Island Lighting & Power Systems, Jonathan Cook Is a 2019 MTTI Graduate.
Jonathan Cook, 2019 Residential and Commercial Electrician Graduate
Electrician Apprentice at Island Lighting & Power Systems
UPDATE: Electrician Apprentice at MASS Power Solutions
The years when Jonathan returned to civilian life, after having served in the military, were not the easiest. Moving back to Massachusetts to be closer to family, he met and fell in love with Alyssa, an MTTI Marine Service Technician graduate. She encouraged Jonathan to go back into the trades and to train as an Electrician. Alyssa says, “I had a great experience at MTTI. I did not want Jonathan to feel obligated to enroll simply because of my experience. He researched and met with staff, and he felt MTTI was a great fit for him. Now he is doing the type of work he really enjoys. I think for both of us, MTTI was that first step toward something so much bigger than either of us imagined!”
UPDATE: Jonathan and Alyssa had planned to take their next big step in March 2020—getting married! First a hurricane wreacked havoc on the site where they had planned to hold a destination wedding. Then they deferred their new wedding plans due to COVID restrictions. This July the happy couple finally tied the knot at their wedding in Onset, MA, held on the fuel dock where Alyssa began her marine technician career. The wedding reception was at Point Independence Yacht Club next door to the dock. Jonathan told us, "It was an amazing and magical night".
"I now work for MASS Power Solutions. Jason, who was my instructor at MTTI, had the opportunity to buy into the company and I joined him. My scope of work is tremendous, from residential, commercial and industrial electrical to residential, commercial and industrial solar. Traveling throughout New England, we do full service upgrades, HVAC installs, residential wiring, and solar fields to commercial building rooftops--we do it all. Work has been non-stop. It's been an incredible journey!"
After High School, I was at loose ends and at risk of getting into trouble.
I needed structure and discipline to re-set my mind. Basic training in the Army was grueling physically and mentally, but it gave me a clear mind. The focus on tasks and missions felt like a good fit. Many years later, I can appreciate that the mental clarity and focus I learned in the military serves me well as an Electrician Apprentice. Back then though, I was not thinking about an Electrician career.
Serving in the military for 8+ years, I was deployed multiple times to Iraq.
After completing basic training at Fort Knox, I was stationed for a couple of years in Germany. I was moved to Fort Riley, Kansas; from there I was sent to Iraq. My first tour was scary—not knowing what to expect. After that, I felt uneasy when I went over, but was bolstered by knowing that I had a mission. I liked military life and being part of a unit that was like a well-oiled machine. I re-enlisted before my initial contract was up in preference to being called back in after I got out. I made friends and enjoyed camaraderie; being in the Army felt like I was part of a family.
After being Honorably Discharged, I lived for a few years in Florida.
Re-adjusting to civilian life was stressful. I coped with memories from the tours in Iraq. I earned an Associate’s Degree online—but it didn’t lead to a career. I was hired as a flooring installation laborer and worked my way up to specialist. Wanting to be close to family, I moved back to Plymouth, Massachusetts.
I started my own business installing flooring, subcontracting under others.
Being my own boss was great, but during the winter in New England, the work dries up. People don’t appreciate having you tracking snow and mud through their homes, onto their new floors. I found a job at the place where I had worked while growing up. An Agway agriculture supply store when I was young, coming back it was now Morrison’s Home and Garden. I maintained the receiving, shipping and warehouse operations. After 6 months, I was promoted to Assistant Manager.
I worked outdoors most of the time; I loved my job and was feeling more at home.
After a few years though, I felt I had peaked—there was no room for growth. I appreciated the opportunity this job afforded me, but I wanted more. After I chose to go back to school, Morry, Jeff, and the rest of Morrison’s staff supported my decision.
By then I had met and had fallen in love with Alyssa.
An MTTI grad, Alyssa has been working in the boating industry since she graduated in 2015 from the Marine Service Technician program. Alyssa recognized my drive to do more. She said, ‘You really should go back into the trades.’ I had always been a little fascinated with the work electricians do. I like using my hands and being outdoors. I had dabbled with running wire and putting in lights—small things. Alyssa suggested I consider training as an electrician—and she recommended MTTI.
I was a little nervous coming into the Electrician program.
I didn’t know if I could succeed in this industry—or whether I would even like it. Alyssa supported me unconditionally; she said, ‘It doesn’t matter what you do for a job. If you are not happy with the program, you can always go back to Morrison’s. I’ll always be there for you.’
MTTI’s electrician program went more in depth than I expected.
Throughout the program we practiced finding keywords in the National Electrical Code book, to prepare us to navigate the Code book when eventually we take the licensing exam. The hands-on portion is huge. I’m a visual person; when I see something being done once, I can do it. Learning which tools you need to use for specific jobs, and how to use those tools the correct way, has been important to my success.
We had a whole-house module with bedrooms, living and dining rooms, bathroom, utility room and kitchen.
Students served as foremen for projects. We had crews that started projects by hanging boxes. Another crew hung fixtures in the ceilings for lights. Everyone ran wire throughout the house. We also practiced pipe bending for both residential and commercial work. Outdoors on the roof, we removed solar panels to see how they ran in series.
Being part of a crew recalled the camaraderie I had enjoyed in the Army.
Although less intense than being in an Army Unit, my classmates and I worked together as a team to learn everything. When someone understood something a little better, they would help the others. Similarly to how we operated in the Army, we had each other’s back.
Going into internship I was nervous—as I might be on any new job.
My instructor, Jason, referred me to Island Lighting and Power Systems. Shawn, the Career Services Specialist for the program, reached out to Scott, the Shop Manager, on my behalf. When I interviewed at Island Lighting and Power Systems, they weren’t sure about taking on a third apprentice—they had already hired a graduate from the class before mine, and one of my classmates.
I appreciate that Island Lighting gave me a shot; I feel fortunate that it is working out well.
I get up early in the morning—3 or 4 am—and think, ‘This is fun! I want to go to work.’ I’ve been working with Musco Lighting, on football and soccer fields, traveling all over the state and beyond: Amherst, Gardner, Hull, Scituate, Boston –-to UCONN and to Manchester, NH. I’ve pulled a lot of wire, installed conduit in the ground, and terminated wires at Musco poles.
The electrician trade is a growing field with lots of opportunity.
Technology is evolving every year. There is so much electrical work out there; Island Lighting and Power Systems has had to subcontract out some of the work. You can take different pathways in the electrical field. We have guys who are linemen, or who handle drilling rigs and cranes. We have Master Electricians, Journeymen and Apprentices.
It’s exciting that I don’t always know where I will be working the next day.
I’m sent to different places and diverse types of jobs. The Licensed guys play a big role in helping me learn on the job. I ask good questions; when they see that I want to learn, they are patient in showing me what they are doing. They want to share their knowledge. Some want to show you their way of doing the work, so it will look neat and clean when it is inspected—which makes us all look good.
I have benefitted from getting my electrical education at MTTI.
Some apprentices have to attend classes for four years at night, while working days. By going to school, I have fulfilled the educational requirement. My goal is to keep on the path—get my Journeyman license and keep going forward. I have my apprentice card now. I’ll earn about 2,000 hours each year of the 8,000 hours required to sit for the licensing exam. You move up in steps—for every 1,000 hours your work during 6 months, you move up a tier. It’s a process—but well worth it.
I thought I might be too old at 38 to start a new career.
I believe now that you are never too old. It feels great knowing that, as long as I maintain the hours and keep on learning, I will be advancing. I finally feel like I am going in the right direction.
I highly recommend MTTI.
A lot of people are ‘book smart’; I am not. The environment at MTTI is designed to enable you to learn. It is an intense program—but a comfortable environment in the way that they teach you. The Instructors are encouraging—they want to pass their knowledge to you.
I feel relieved knowing that I have made decisions I am happy with.
For a long time, it felt like my life was a puzzle with missing pieces. I don’t talk much about the tours I did in Iraq, but I haven’t forgotten the things I saw. For a long time after returning to the states, I grappled with hearing loss and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): chronic headaches and recurrent nightmares—the bad dreams were the worst.
I’m putting the pieces of my life back together—new and happier pieces.
I had a great experience in MTTI’s Electrician program. I have a new job and career that I love. Alyssa and I are making a wonderful life together. The unexpected gift is that, these life choices make me happy—I am extremely happy. The bad dreams and headaches I suffered due to PTSD have significantly decreased. Maybe you are struggling to put your life together again. If so, my experience is that happiness is healing. You have every reason to have hope.
2019 MTTI Medical Billing & Coding Graduate, Danielle Joly, Is A Medical Billing Specialist At Accurate Billing.
Danielle Joly, 2019 MBCOA Graduate
Medical Billing Specialist at Accurate Billing in Warwick, RI
Employed as an event barista at a local zoological park, Danielle wanted a more stable career.
She hoped to find a position in which she’d eventually be able to work at home. Danielle talked with her best friend’s mom, Amy, about what kind of work she wanted to do. An Admissions Representative at MTTI, Amy thought the Medical Billing and Coding program might be a good fit for her.
Visiting the school Danielle says she liked how ‘cozy’ it felt.
“I could easily find my way around and locate the classroom, which lessened my anxious feelings." During her teacher interview, Danielle found the Instructor, Janet Roccabello, easy to talk with. “Right away, we had a good connection. Ms. Roc really listens to understand who you are. She told me the course would be difficult, and would require a lot of studying.”
Ms. Roc recalls her first meeting with Danielle.
“I don’t pull any punches—I’m not going to sugar coat it for any prospective student. I told Danielle that sometimes I’ll be carrying the heavy load and sometimes she would. Delivering coding information is on me, to make sure students learn it. MS Word and Excel—that’s on you.”
Danielle told Ms. Roc, “I’m resilient. I have a thirst for knowledge. So bring it on.”
She has good reason to be confident. Danielle is one of about 300 people in the US living with a specific rare bone condition. “Growing up, I recognized I wasn’t a ‘normal kid’. Every day brought new challenges. Waking up in the morning, I couldn’t be certain what the day would bring. So I know I can handle pain. I have the ability to take devastating news, feel sad—and be able to pick up and keep going.”
The Medical Billing and Coding course definitely challenged Danielle.
“Ms. Roc delivered on her promise that Coding would be difficult to learn—but that she would make sure we understood it. You really need to know how to use your CPT (Current Procedural Terminology) manuals to choose the correct procedural codes. I liked using my mind in new and dynamic ways to correctly code special circumstances.”
Danielle learned to accept she wasn’t always going to do as well as she would like.
“The Integumentary system (skin, hair, nails, oil and sweat glands) nearly did me in. It’s cool, though, to learn how the body works. A lot can go wrong in the body—but I’ve gained a new appreciation of how much goes right!”
Ms. Roc says, “Some days, Danielle would really make me laugh.”
“When Danielle—or any student—does poorly on a test, I tell them, ‘Let’s celebrate our mistakes—because mistakes are how we learn.’ After a test that was particularly tough for her, she’d say, “I’m celebrating big time today!”
Danielle says support from her classmates and Ms. Roc got her through difficult days.
“Ms. Roc took time to go over things; she was able to present information in different ways to help us understand. My classmates and I were really there for one another—whether we needed a shoulder to cry on or to share a good laugh.”
“The class gave a lot to Danielle; she, in turn gave a lot back,” Ms. Roc says.
“We helped Danielle come out of her shell. In the class, she made real friends. She experienced what it is like to be in a safe and supportive environment. Although she didn’t complain about her pain, when she presented her PowerPoint project, she used it to teach us about her bone condition.”
Danielle says, “Shawn in Career Services was really helpful to me.”
“He showed me how to find places to contact for internship—and prepared me for what to expect when I visited them. Interning at Accurate Billing, everyone was warm, friendly and patient in showing me things; I quickly became comfortable. What they expected me to do was similar to what we had learned at school—data entry, billing and posting payments. School can’t simulate exactly what each site will require. Even though they used different software than we did in school, I was able to take what I had learned and apply it at a different setting. I knew I was doing well when they offered me, on the 2nd or 3rd day of internship, a paid position.”
Danielle is pursuing additional education, while she’s gaining experience on the job.
“I decided to earn an Associate’s Degree in business administration and accounting at a community college. By the time I have completed the degree, I will have solid work experience in the medical industry. Someday I may want to own my own business. Right now, I love working alongside the supportive staff and owners of Accurate Billing—I think I’ll stick around there for a while!”
Danielle says she is excited: “It feels good to take another step in life.”
“Learning from Ms. Roc has built my confidence—not only academically, but it helped transform me personally. I have become more certain about my abilities and what I bring to others. MTTI’s program is challenging but fun— I would do it all over again. I’m enjoying helping people with their health insurance. I’ve personally experienced how confusing health insurance can be—it feels good to be able to guide people in understanding theirs.”
Ms. Roc says, “Danielle is an inspiration for me.”
“She came into my life when I was having a difficult time, after experiencing a personal loss. She helped me put things in my life into perspective. Danielle is determined and persevering—as well as nice to be around. No matter what happens to her, she goes on. She taught us all to look at the discomforts we gripe about and appreciate what real pain is.”
Danielle told Ms. Roc, “You are the grandmother that I don’t have—for life.”
“Danielle touches my heart. Every student I teach is important to me, but in each class there is someone a little special. She is one of the students I will remember for the rest of my life.” Ms. Roc laughs as she qualifies, “And I will remember her for all the right reasons.”
After She Was Laid Off From Her Long-Term Career, Helen Ponte-Rego Trained For A Medical Assistant Career At MTTI.
Helen Ponte Rego, 2019 Medical Assistant Graduate
Prima CARE P.C. Center for Vascular Diseases in Fall River
Enrolling in MTTI’s Medical Assistant program almost 30 years after graduating high school, I wondered if I could successfully train for a new career. The support of family, classmates and a great program Instructor helped me reach my goal.
What do you do when you’re laid off from a position in which you’ve worked for many years?
I was 46 years old, wondering where to go to start over. I had worked my way up from Personal Care Assistant to Home Health Aide to Habilitation Specialist—and finally to a Rehabilitation Therapy Assistant—for adults with disabilities. I loved the work; unfortunately budget cuts did away with the Rehab Therapy Assistant position.
Medical Assisting is a great fit for people who enjoy caring for others.
I’ve always been told I am a people-person. I need a job that offers security, stability and longevity. Some of my friends, who had gone to MTTI, told me to ‘check out the school’. I interviewed and enrolled in the Medical Assistant program. But I worried that, after so many years out of school, I might not be able to grab all the information in a 6-month training. Would I really be prepared to work at the end of the program?
I felt more than a little overwhelmed during the first weeks of school.
My husband and children encouraged me, ‘You can do this!’ I had been a single working mom--raising three children—until I married during 2017. The man I married is a videographer; I help him as second camera for the wedding videos he films. While in school, he helped me create pamphlets for my class projects.
I almost quit—but after the first month, I got into a groove.
It’s the ‘un-knowing’ that can make school nerve-wracking. You want to study the right material for each test. Ms. Courtney gave us a monthly calendar for each course module. By following the calendar, I knew when, and what to study. When I got back my first test scores, I was proud of the grade I had earned. I had confidence that, with the support of my family, and by continuing to study the way I had for this first test, I could move forward.
Support from Ms. Courtney and a great group of classmates helped keep me motivated.
During six months of training, the class became one big family. We got along well and helped each other, which made it pleasurable to learn. When one of us had a bad day, the rest of us would pick her up. Especially when more than one of us experienced the loss of a family member while in school, we shared a lot of caring and compassion.
My classmates ranged in age from 19 to my 46 years.
They called me the ‘mom of the class’; I was the nurturing one. In turn, the younger, more computer savvy students taught me how to share info on Google Docs. They helped me set up my account and navigate through it. Learning basic computer skills and how to share information helped me later on the job. I’m able to attach a file and email it to a doctor, and also share information from office to office. I can pull up documents on the exam room computers so that the ultrasound and test reports are ready for medical providers to review.
I was well-prepared at MTTI to meet expectations in the medical field.
Lots of hands-on practice in taking vitals and performing blood draws, plus learning about the tests and medications patients take, made me feel ready to re-enter the workforce. Ms. Courtney taught us to expect that providers will have good and bad days. She instilled in us the desire to do our best every day to put patients at ease and make it easier for providers to care for patients.
Internship smooths the transition from school to work.
My friend Rebecca, a 2017 MTTI graduate, suggested I shadow at her office before choosing an internship. She works at one of the Prima CARE P.C. Center for Vascular Disease locations. While shadowing there, I let the Office Manager know I was interested in an internship. Contracting with the Center for the 160-hour internship relieved some of my stress.
On the last day of internship The Vascular Center offered me a full-time position.
Internship gives you a chance to explore how the office runs, and what is expected of you. Four weeks into the internship, I felt comfortable that I ‘knew the ropes’. Since being hired, I have been learning new things I didn’t have access to while I was interning.
The practice values my language skills—I speak Portuguese as well as English.
I’m thankful my Grandfather was determined that I learn his native language. Several of our locations will call and ask if I can speak with patients whose primarily language is Portuguese. Speaking Portuguese with patients who come in to our Center makes them feel they’ve had a better experience than they had anticipated.
I feel rewarded when I am able to help a patient.
One day, while interacting with a Portuguese-speaking patient who was in pain, we were able to squeeze in an appointment for her. She kept saying, ‘Thank You, God Bless You.’ She was so happy that someone could speak her language and talk with her about her medical condition. Her gratitude made me feel happy. When that happens, you know you are doing good work.
At the start of school, I didn’t picture myself working in a vascular setting.
During internship, I became interested in vascular procedures. I was happy and excited when they offered me the opportunity to work there. I am comfortable working on a team with Physician Assistants, Nurse Practitioners and other Medical Assistants.
MTTI’s short-term training program packs a lot of information into it.
It’s not an easy course. At the end you definitely have the knowledge and skills to work as a Medical Assistant. The preparation is well worth your investment and hard work. Repetition of information and skills throughout the program increases your proficiency. Ms. Courtney expects a lot of you, but she knows if you work hard, you will be able to do it. Put 100% into the program, and you’ll get 100% out of it. Ms. Courtney will help you become a confident, competent medical professional.
Medicine is a rewarding career.
Medical Assistants are the first person the patient sees. When patients are in pain, or just not having a good day, it’s amazing how a smile on your face can change the way they feel. Treat patients with respect and you will become more than a Medical Assistant doing a job. You’ll be the caring, compassionate person who made their day a little better.
It feels great to back into the workforce!
I’m a go-getter—I don’t like to sit around. I’m so happy to be getting up each day and going to work. I tell myself, ‘It’s going to be a good day.’ Walking into the office each morning, I put my personal problems aside—Ms. Courtney taught me that the patient always comes first. My training at MTTI has taught me not only medical knowledge and skills, but the importance of staying positive while doing the work.
Top - Helen at graduation with Medical Assistant Instructors Ms. Roxanne (left) and Ms. Courtney (right)
Middle - Helen with her family at graduation.
Bottom - Helen with classmates wearing Ms. Courtney’s gift of class sweatshirts. Helen is in the back row, to the right of middle, wearing sunglasses.
Daphnee Alerte Combined 19 Years Of Business Management Experience With MTTI's Technology Training To Start A New Career.
2019 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer
IT Support Technician, New England Ice Cream
UPDATE 2021: Daphnee has changed companies and advanced to a Systems Admin at Manufacturers Resource Group. MRG is an electro-mechanical and cable assembly manufacturer based in Norwood, MA. "While working at NEICC, I updated my resume on Linkedin, just to see what was out there. Recruiters began contacting me. Even the lowest offer was pretty good.” When MRG made her an offer she couldn’t refuse, Daphnee wrapped up her projects at NEICC and made the move. “Being a Systems Administrator at MRG gives me the ability to touch every aspect of IT. Two-and-a-half years after graduating, I have moved up in responsibility and pay, and have made good progress towards my goal of advancing into a management position in IT. For students entering the workforce today, the IT industry offers so many openings at all levels of experience. The key is always to have a goal of where you want to go.”
EARLIER UPDATE: As she entered internship, Daphnee worked as a Tier 1 Support Tech for CVS. At the end of May, 2019, Daphnee accepted a new position with New England Ice Cream. In addition to being an ice cream producer, NEICC also does food distribution throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and New York. Daphnee feels fortunate that, during COVID-19, the company was able to stay open to service stores, including CVS, Walgreens, Papa Gino's, Roche Bothers, and others. Daphnee tells us, “I take care of everything IT, deskside support, troubleshooting of diverse manufacturing equipment necessary for production. I manage inventory and maintenance of all IT equipment. I also manage all IT and EDI (electronic data transfer) projects, company-wide, from start to end. I provide constant monitoring of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) Systems like Made4net, Integrasys and Micros to promptly report any anomaly to the appropriate vendors in order to ensure that production stays on schedule.”
I could have continued to work in business and made a good living.
I have over 19 years of management experience in business, sales and in transportation. For more than 10 years, I’ve owned and run an interior design and event planning business. In event planning, you work 7-days a week; you don’t even have weekends free. I wanted a more balanced work and family life, so that I could give more time to my daughters.
Returning to a corporate management position seemed a step backwards.
I hadn’t worked in the corporate world for 10 years. I was concerned that some employers prefer candidates who have been working for a company—not for themselves.
Then I broke my leg; it was a ‘wake-up call’.
What if something happened to me? An injury could mean 4-6 months in rehabilitation. I needed to change the way I was working.
If I were to go into a new career, I wanted it to be in technology.
I’ve always been interested in technology. My daughter goes to robot fairs–and puts together robots. This has become a shared passion—we love building robots together.
It’s not easy to return to school; if you are motivated, it can take you into your future.
Computer and networking technology has so many branches. You can work in pretty much any industry—in help desk, networking and security positions. And it’s fun!
After researching a lot of schools, I chose MTTI.
I wanted a cost-effective, accelerated program that would prepare me to start a job and a career. Because of my business management experience, I would like to advance to a management position in technology, within 2-3 years.
I enjoyed every part of the Computer & Networking program—none of it was boring.
We learned to set up active directories, network and troubleshoot. Key to the program’s success is having lab every day. Some days I didn’t think I understood the new material in the classroom. When we went into the lab, I felt back on track.
MTTI has great teachers, who make learning fun.
Boris, my primary instructor, is patient and pays attention to every student. Both Ken, who cross-trained us in cabling, and Boris, cared about having us understand what we were doing—and why. My classmates were a fun group; everyone focused on the learning process; we helped one another study for the weekly tests and prepare to take the A+ Certification.
The key to learning is to research what you don’t understand.
You aren’t just going to be given every answer. When you research by googling, you find out you are not the only person asking that question—it’s happened to someone before. You grow from troubleshooting and you learn from your mistakes. When you figure out why something happened, and then find the solution, it feels very rewarding.
Most challenging about returning to school was balancing life and study.
The program requires dedication and good time management to keep up with the work. Sometimes I felt over-challenged by going to school while managing my own design and event planning business. I would sometimes lose some sleep while studying. I knew it was important to be in class; I always came to school.
While searching for internships and jobs, I experienced some self-doubts.
I questioned myself: ‘Will I lose all of the time I’ve invested by not getting a job?’ I sent out more than 150 resumes. When people started calling, I recognized that I did have something they wanted.
Later, I wondered if I had been too hardline during interviews in negotiating salary.
What if I had talked myself out of positions? When out of 12 candidates, I was the only one called back for a second position, I became excited. Employers apparently valued the combination of my new technology skills and my business management experience.
From day one of the program, I wanted to intern with the State of Rhode Island.
MTTI prepares you to work anywhere, at large or small companies. By training hands-on I gained confidence. By the time internship began, I wasn’t worried—I knew no matter what, I would be ok. It was a privilege to be accepted for internship with the State.
Kiane, an MTTI graduate who works for the State of RI, trained me.
Robert Pelletier, Technical Support Manager for the Division of Information Technology, wanted me to learn; he exposed me to everything. I was able to touch on almost every aspect of tech support and of helping end users—in this case, the State employees.
I learned to use the ticketing system that ensures service requests are completed.
I imaged computers and set up stations with all of the software to get them ready for users. After that I deployed them. Working in this way, you can change a whole department or building in a shorter time than if you set up each computer, one by one.
I also answered calls from State employees.
The IT Division services almost 500 employees at multiple locations, including Warwick, Providence, Wakefield, Pawtucket, Woonsocket and Cranston. I traveled to those offices. When visiting other locations, I appreciated how important it is to be friendly, respectful and to listen to the employee who has the issue—before coming up with a solution. The client is the one who is experiencing the issue.
My business management experience helped me sympathize with the State employee.
Having been both a manager of someone, and also an employee and a customer, I understood the client’s needs and perspective. Once the client feels you are really listening and that you are respecting him and his space—it will go well. Demonstrating that you know what you are doing inspires the client’s confidence.
Internship with the State of RI bridged me from being a student to being ready for employment.
After internship, I was hired at CVS. I will work in a Tier 1 Help Desk Technical Support position, communicating with CVS stores. As I train for the new position, I’m continuing to learn. At home, friends and family are also calling me—I’m the go-to person for setting up printers and troubleshooting their issues.
MTTI has been a great experience—the school is very professional, but feels like a big family.
I didn’t expect that it would be so friendly—everyone has a big smile. The instructors care about what you need to enter the industry. If you are going to be successful in IT, recognize that there will always be new technology—you will always have to keep learning. When you complete the Computer & Networking program, you have learned how to learn, so you can keep current with changing technology.
Technology is evolving—not just in years, but in months.
There is a need for technical support at all levels—not only for experienced people. Some companies are willing to hire new graduates and shape them as Techs. Other companies want you to be ‘ready-to-go’ without needing a lot of supervision; MTTI’s program is strong—it prepares you well enough to do that.
Laura Simbron, Office Manager / Medical Assistant For AdCare in Rhode Island, Is A 2009 MTTI Medical Assistant Graduate.
2009 Medical Assistant Graduate
Lead Medical Office Manager & Business Manager / Medical Assistant at AdCare
“It’s a long story—since graduating from MTTI, I’ve worked as a Medical Assistant, Medical Receptionist/Biller and now as a Medical Office Manager. Somewhere in the middle, I hit a rough patch—I struggled with opiate addiction. When I let substance abuse derail my career, I felt I had thrown my integrity out the window. I knew I was capable of being a productive member of society and a medical professional. At MTTI, my Instructor had taught me to have integrity. After hitting rock bottom, I began the road back to recovery—and pushed myself to earn back my integrity.”
I came to MTTI with some real estate and medical office experience.
My friend, Kim, recommended MTTI. Kim is a Medical Office graduate; her daughter, Devon, is now a 2019 Medical Assistant graduate.
The atmosphere at MTTI is very welcoming.
We had fun, yet learned a lot. The course curriculum and hands-on skills prepare you to go into many avenues in the medical field.
At MTTI I learned how to work in a team.
My classmates and I studied together; we practiced phlebotomy and performed injections on one another. If someone was struggling, my Instructor would have everyone help one another. She taught us that each person learns at a different pace; in our class, no one was ever made to feel ‘dumb’. I brought the experience of working as a team member into the workplace.
I was hired as a Medical Assistant/Medical Receptionist at Hillside Family and Community Medicine.
Having learned both clinical and administrative skills, working in a busy practice—doing everything from taking vital signs to scheduling appointment for 5-7 doctors—was a good fit for me. Unfortunately, after a couple of doctors left the practice, I was one of two Medical Assistants they had to let go.
My next position was as a Medical Scribe for a Primary Care Physician.
Scribes accompany the doctor into the room while the doctor examines the patient. The scribe types the notes into a laptop, so that the doctor can face, and talk directly with, the patient. Not having to look at the laptop, the doctor can interact with the patient at a deeper level.
Unsure about working as a Scribe, I found I liked being the doctor’s ‘right hand’.
I documented each encounter, ordered X-rays, lab work and prescriptions—and also scheduled appointments—right from the laptop. Sometimes the doctor would turn to me and ask, “What do you think?”
We had a patient who needed two medications; his insurance only covered one.
The doctor was concerned that if he didn’t take the meds, the patient’s diabetes would not be controlled—it could be fatal.” After getting the Doctor’s permission, l called the pharmaceutical rep and said, “There’s got to be a way to get this gentleman his medication.” Helping the patient get both of his life-saving medications felt very good.
I always pushed myself to do a good job, as I had been taught at MTTI.
No one knew that I had begun taking opiates. Initially, I didn’t think it was a problem. I was managing my job and my family life; no one could tell. When it finally came to light, I had to leave my job. Fearful that Family Court might take my children away, I entered Rehab. Family Court showed me every respect.
Narcotics Anonymous (NA) saved my life.
I became an outpatient at AdCare, attended Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meetings and followed the 12-Step Recovery Program. At NA, they believe that you can lose the desire for drugs, and never have to use again. They offered me the hope that I didn’t have to remain an addict, and the belief that I could re-build my life.
I never again had a positive urine.
A week after my first anniversary of attending an NA meeting, I celebrated my granddaughter’s birth. During 2014, all charges were dropped and my record was expunged. In March 2019, I celebrated my 6-year anniversary of being drug-free.
I still didn’t know if I would ever again work as a medical professional.
Someone I knew in NA, said, “I think I can get you a job at RI Clinical Services.” The gentleman who gave me the job, Reinhard Straub, was in long-term recovery himself. He liked my Medical Assistant background. He has told me, “I saw something in you—you were inquisitive and hungry to learn. You understood the world of substance abuse.”
I am grateful for, and thankful to, Reinhard Straub.
He believed in me and gave me the chance to work again in the medical field I love. I started by working in the lab. Reinhard saw that I was meant to do more than collect urine. When they found out that I had learned at school to give injections, they had me give patients injections of opiate blockers. Before injecting someone, I would take a medical history and (for young adult women) conduct a pregnancy test. Once I gave the injection, I needed to continue taking vitals and monitor blood pressure.
Eventually Reinhard sold RI Clinical Services to the American Addiction Centers and opened Recovery Services of CT.
American Addiction Centers purchased AdCare. I now work for the AdCare Division, which has outpatient locations in Greenville, Portsmouth, and South Kingstown, Rhode Island. I opened the third site, in South Kingstown and became the Lead Office Manager/Business Manager for South Kingstown, Greenville and Portsmouth. As the Office Manager, I have taught Licensed Chemical Dependency Professionals (LCDP) and Licensed Clinical Social Workers (LCSW) how to collect the co-pays of the clinicians, conduct check-in/check-out and collect urine, to make the office efficient.
I’ve learned that having both hands-on patient care and administrative skills are helpful to a clinician.
I wouldn’t have known how to perform any of these skills—or even the language of medicine, if I had not attended MTTI. Learning the clinical skills, people skills—and how to think outside the box—has provided the foundation on which to build a career in medicine.
Doctors depend on Medical Assistants.
We give them all of the info so they can make the diagnoses. Because of my clinical training, I know how to look for signs of underlying illness and mental health conditions. Even now, as an Office Manager, if I spot blood in a urine sample, I recognize it, and will refer the patient to a doctor. If someone is light-headed, I can take a blood pressure. When I had to revive two patients in the office using NARCAN™ (Naoxone), thank goodness I had a medical background! I knew how to take their blood pressure and observe them.
I never know what my work day will be like.
I can be in South County and get a call from another location. They’ll say, “We need you here medically, to sit with a patient, take their history and observe her or him. After taking the medical and substance abuse history, I will connect the patient to the appropriate services.
This is my calling. I belong here.
I’m more comfortable working with these patients than I have been in any other medical setting I’ve worked in.
In my mind and work, I am still making amends.
I’ve apologized to the people I hurt—my family and friends, and the Primary Care Doctor I worked for. I pay my gratitude forward by being the best employee I can and by helping other addicts and their family and friends to navigate the journey of recovery. I am doing my best to be a good mom and family member. I’ve pushed myself beyond what anyone would expect of me. Part of it is me—but a part of it is the set of skills and ethics I was taught at MTTI.
Kimberly Wooten, 2019 MTTI HVAC/R Tech Graduate, works as a Service Technician at Santoro Oil in Rhode Island,
2019 HVACR Technician Graduate
Silver Wrench Award & Best Shop Skills
Service Technician at Santoro Oil in Providence, RI
When we spoke with Kim during August, 2021, she she told us: "I've never been happier at a job than I am at Santoro Oil. It's a company like no other! I've purchased a new home in Chepachet--and since graduation, I've lost about half of myself in weight!"
When Kimberly was injured at work, she lost her job as a diesel mechanic.
Kim’s hand got caught in an engine belt of a bus. Even after she healed, the orthopedic specialist couldn’t provide a release for her to return to work. Her career of almost 10 years was over. She moved on, earning Licenses in Real Estate and Home Appraisal, and a Certification as a Home Inspector. “I was looking for a spot where I fit in.”
During 2015-16, Kim filled a voluntary post on a regulating board in Rhode Island.
Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Kim to serve on the RI Contractors Registration and Licensing board. “I was a little apprehensive when the telephone rang and the caller said, ‘This is the office of Gina Raimondo; please hold for the Governor.’ Turns out I was the only female Home Inspector in Rhode Island and the Governor had a strong desire to place more female contractors on the board.”
Despite all of her accomplishments, Kim missed working with her hands.
“When I was young, mom bought me a bike. Within a couple of days I had taken it apart. I like to see how things work—what makes them tick.”
For Kim, the loss of her career as a Diesel Mechanic felt like much more than losing a job.
“I lost my identity, and purpose in life. I really loved what I did. Rescue trucks came to the garage for repair. Ambulances carry people. When you repair an ambulance, you know that, because you fixed it, that ambulance is saving lives. The work was very fulfilling.”
Kim didn’t know what trade she wanted to train for, or that MTTI had an HVAC/R program.
Living in the next town, Kim regularly drove by the school. “I visited MTTI to find out what programs the school offered. I knew medical was not what I wanted. I have a technical brain. Looking at the list of programs, I saw that I could be a motorcycle mechanic, a marine mechanic, or a heating and air conditioning technician.”
Kim chose HVAC/R, feeling it would be a trade that would sustain her year round.
“Because I have a mechanical background, I believed I could do this. I wish more young people would learn a welding or a mechanical or HVAC trade. If they don’t, as senior workers retire, we’ll soon be out of tradespeople.”
Kim describes going back to school at the age of 48 as 'something like staring at a mountain’.
“You know you have to start at the bottom to get to the top. Growing up in Alabama, my daddy told us not to let anyone tell us what we can’t do—show them instead what you can do.”
Kim says her experience at MTTI 'couldn’t have been better'.
She praises her instructor, Ash. “He’s passionate about working in the HVAC/R industry—it flows over to his teaching. He’s excited to see people learning, and clearly wants students to succeed. When the students asked questions about heating or cooling equipment they were trying to fix at home, Ash was always happy to provide help.”
The students in Kim’s class ranged in age from right out of high school to mid-sixties.
“One of my classmates was starting over again in his sixties, after the Power Plant he worked at for many years closed. He did well; he was hired at the end of the program.”
Starting over herself, some of her younger classmates called her ‘Mama Kim’.
She became a role model for younger class members. Her instructor appreciated that Kim would ‘step outside her box’ to help other people in class with their projects. “I love to share what I know.”
Kim felt confident in her abilities as she approached internship.
Although impressed with her resume, some companies she interviewed with didn’t offer a wage in keeping with her skills and training. Santoro Oil saw Kim’s value and in preference to just providing an internship, decided to hire her full time at the start of her internship. “They are a great company; I am very happy working here. When you get in with a good group of guys, who you can work with well, it’s fabulous.”
She rides in the truck with another Tech, Paul.
He has been surprised at how excited customers are that the company has a female on board. They hear from customers how nice it is to see a woman technician."
Kim takes pride in her work.
“Recently, when temperatures have been below freezing, we would pull up in the truck and see people sitting in the car. They were trying to stay warm, because their home had no heat. After a short service call, customers have heat and are no longer freezing. I’m tired at the end of the work day—but I feel a real sense of accomplishment."
Asked about her experience at school, Kim answered, “You’d be a fool not to go to MTTI.”
“Everyone goes out of their way to help their students. I received so much support at MTTI—from the Financial Aid Department, Instructors and Career Services. I could approach anyone at the school and say, ‘Can I ask you a question?’ They would stop what they were doing to help me out—you don’t run across that often.”
Before attending MTTI, Kim did check out other schools.
“MTTI is more affordable—what they offered was more attractive to me. The school is more ‘student-centric’—they are primarily centered on students’ education, not the price of tuition they are charging you.”
“Because of MTTI, I already have two licenses and a certificate in my pocket.”
“I’ve earned an EPA Universal Certification, and PJF Licenses in Gas and Oil. I’ve also gained the education hours toward my Pipefitter’s License. I will accrue the supervised work hours on the job to qualify for the exam.”
“Graduating from school, I haven’t come to the end—I’ve reached an end goal. “
“The reward for me is that, now when I get up in the morning, I get to go to work and fix something. I have an identity as a heating and air conditioning tech and a strong sense of purpose. I believe in the saying that ‘if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life.’ You’re not just working at a job—you are living your life with passion.”
Photo: Left - Kim accepting her Award for Best Shop Skills from HVAC/R Instructor, Asher Marshall; Right - Santoro Facebook comments from customers about the service she and Paul have been providing this winter.
Devon Gomes, MTTI Graduate, is a Medical Assistant at Coastal Family Medicine in East Providence.
2019 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant at Coastal Family Medicine in East Providence, RI
Growing up, I always wanted to be in healthcare.
During high school, I was in a biomed program that prepared me to be a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). We performed EKGs, became certified in CPR and First Aid, learned how to help patients with their medications and to manage their catheters. During my last year in high s school, I worked in a nursing home.
I liked helping people, but decided that being a CNA was not for me.
I tried, but it made me sad to see that people living in the nursing home felt lonely.
Afterwards, I had a series of customer service and administrative jobs.
I managed a Save-A lot grocery store. At the ACI, I handled inmate accounts, helping them make purchases; it was a rough environment. Working at a lighting store, I learned to manage accounts payable and accounts receivable, plus how to wire lights on the showroom floor.
I kept thinking about training for a medical career.
I didn’t necessarily believe that I could make this happen.
One day, while playing Xbox online, a guy joined in the game.
We talked over the microphone; he told me he lived in Louisiana. Austin and I began “dating” through social media, webcam meetings and phone conversations.
After a year of dating online, Austin moved to Rhode Island to live with me.
I had been in love with him for a year—but when we first met in person I was scared to look at him.
I thought, “What if meeting me in person, he doesn’t like me?”
Austin told me, “You look beautiful.” That’s what I needed to hear. I finally looked up at him and knew everything was going to be all right.
I began to believe that anything can happen.
One day you connect with someone online who lives across the country. You think you’ll never meet—and then it’s five years that you’ve been making a life together.
I started telling myself ‘someday I’ll find a way to go back to school’.
I still felt I couldn’t afford to stop working. After first living with my mom, Austin and I got our own apartment. I was making good money at my job. We needed that income to pay our living expenses. I could have gone to school at night while working, but didn’t think I could do my best work that way.
Returning to my job one day after vacation, I was laid off.
I knew it would be difficult to find a job that paid as well. I was tired of working at jobs I didn’t like. I wanted to do work that I loved.
One day I woke up and thought, ‘You’ve wanted to go back to school—just do it!’
I talked with Austin. We looked at our bills. He told me, “We’re going to struggle, but I want you to do what you want to do. “
I visited MTTI, signed up and started class.
I knew about MTTI from my mom; I called her and asked her to visit the school with me. I met with Amy in Admissions and also interviewed with the Lead Medical Assistant Instructor, Ms. Jen. A class had just started. Because I had a CNA background, they thought I could make-up two weeks of work I had missed.
I worked hard to make up missed work, while learning what was being taught in class.
My classmates were skeptical about my late start. They didn’t know that I was making up all of the work they had done during those first weeks. I felt stressed and alone.
I stayed late after class, and some days, stayed with the night class to catch up on the work.
I remained focused and pushed through. Ms. Diane and Ms. Courtney helped me. There was no room for failure. I told myself—‘You’re paying for this—you have to make it a success.’
I needed to bridge the distance between me and my classmates.
I thought that if they heard that I had made up the missed work—and how much I struggled to do it—they would better accept me.
I sat down and talked openly with each classmate.
When I let them in and showed them my personality, we clicked. It helps to be part of a class that stands together, in which everyone one helps each other.
I loved the hands-on clinical skills and labs—and the projects I did with my classmates.
Everyone at MTTI makes the school feel like family—the school even held a Halloween costume party and honored us with a Student Appreciation Day.
I scheduled extra shadow days to decide where I wanted to intern.
I was unsure if I wanted to intern in Urgent Care, Pediatrics or another type of practice. I knew from working on cadavers in high school that surgical procedures interested me—and that I don’t have a weak stomach or a fear of seeing blood. I wanted to be where I could work hands-on, using all of my skills.
After 7 shadows, I chose the Coastal Family Medicine practice on Wampanoag Trail in East Providence.
They see patients from newborns to seniors, and do pretty much everything. I expected the internship would start off slowly. The first week, they gave me a laptop and had me performing many clinical skills, including giving patients flu shots.
I was hired after my second week of internship.
Because they trusted me, I felt comfortable very quickly. The doctors I work for teach me to help with many procedures, including cauterizing umbilical cords. I conduct vision and hearing tests during well-child visits and assist with annual physical exams for adult patients.
Now I wake up with a smile on my face—excited—wondering what I’ll be doing that day.
Doing what I love every day makes me feel like a better person. I may come home tired at the end of the day—but I know I have succeeded, because I have helped people.
I appreciate everyone who supported me.
I thank Ms. Courtney for pushing me; without her, I might have given up. She and Ms. Diane were always there to teach me a skill, or to bring me up when I was feeling down. I am grateful for the love and encouragement that my mom and my boyfriend, Austin, gave me.
Returning to school helped me have faith in my abilities.
Going to MTTI showed me I have a lot more to bring to the table that I thought. I recognize now that I can pretty much do anything I want to.
If you are thinking about going back to school—just do it.
You won’t regret it. Medical Assisting is a great career. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make good things happen, you will fill yourself—and the world--with hope.
Middle Photo: Devon (left, back row) with her classmates and Instructor, Ms. Diane.
Cannissa Fort, 2018 MTTI Auto Service Technician Graduate is an Entry Level Auto Tech at Northside Auto Repair in Brockton, MA.
2018 Automotive Service Technician Graduate
Entry Level Tech, Northside Auto Repair in Brockton, MA
I like puzzles and solving problems—and I’ve always been interested in cars.
10 years ago the automotive industry was not welcoming to women. A medical career seemed to be more of a fit. But after 10 years of working as a Medical Assistant, Private Home Patient Care Assistant and a Lab Assistant, it became repetitive. I wanted a new challenge, in which every day would be different.
I like helping people—that’s why I stayed so long in the medical field.
People depend on help from medical providers to have good health. They also depend on their cars to drive to work or school, or to transport their family members. They need good technicians to keep their cars on the road.
I realized I can still contribute to society as an Auto Technician.
Every car is different; every engine is different. As a Technician, I’d be learning something new each day, while keeping my mind sharp—and helping people.
I made an appointment to visit MTTI and one other school.
The MTTI Admissions Rep, Cheryl, encouraged me: “Absolutely! Check out other schools—find out what you like before making a decision to enroll in a training program.”
The other school’s facility was beautiful.
Students attend for two years, and work on cut-away cars. I thought to myself, ‘How does working on a shell of a car prepare you to work on cars in the real world?’ People drive cars in the heat and cold—and through mud and ice. You need to know what to do when bolts get rusty or break.
MTTI’s shop has 10 bays for servicing cars; students work on all different types of vehicles.
MTTI’s daytime program is seven months. The tuition is reasonable. Students can bring in their own cars, or cars of family and friends. Half of the day is in the classroom and half is learning hands-on in the shop—who wants to sit in a classroom all day?
Rich, who was my instructor, is a really good mechanic and teacher—and an awesome person.
He’s patient and positive every day; ready to share what he knows. We called him the ‘walking Google’—there isn’t any subject you can bring up that he doesn’t know something about. I only hope I can be half as good an Auto Technician as he is.
My own car had a problem that no one had been able to solve.
If I had asked someone to help me work on it, most people would have shaken their head ‘no’ and said, “That’s a lot of work.” Rich asked me “Are you willing to do the work?” I answered, ‘yes’.
With Rich’s help, I took apart my Mercedes R350’s engine and replaced the valve seals.
The engine had to be completely taken apart to make the repairs. The labor charge in a shop would have been thousands of dollars. I paid only $30 in parts—and got a great education while doing it.
Finding an internship was a little tough.
Not everyone was as welcoming to me as a woman as I would have liked. Driving around, handing out my resume, I got some funny looks. Some men were skeptical about a woman’s ability to do the hard labor—and lift heavy things.
I chose a place that had a positive view of women techs; they were willing to give me a chance.
I worked on all types of vehicles, just like we did at school. Some of the commercial vans we serviced had large tires. At first the male techs would grab a tire to help me. I told them that I came expecting that some things would be heavy—I’m capable of doing the job. I reassured them, ‘If I need help, I’ll let you know.’
They wanted to hire me, but there wasn’t enough work.
I looked for another shop that had an open position. I offered to work one week for free, so they could decide whether they wanted to hire me. At the end of the week, they told me, “You’ve got the job, kid!”
You never know what will come through the door—a new car, an old car, an economy car or a luxury vehicle.
I’ve changed out a radiator, replaced spark plugs and installed new batteries. When customers see me working, they say, “You’ve got a woman in the shop—I want her to fix my car!” They’ll come right into the shop to talk with me about their cars’ problems.
I expected I wouldn’t immediately earn as much as in medical, where I have 10 years of experience.
I still work some hours in medical to support myself and my kids, while establishing myself as an auto tech. As technicians gain experience, they can earn a good living, and also make money on the side. Good auto technicians will always be in demand. Automotive Service is a trade you can’t lose.
The changing auto technology will be a great career opportunity.
When someone hits the button for a car to self-drive—and it fails—they will need a technician to diagnose and fix the problem. The change will be that Techs will need to use a computer. The basics I learned at MTTI about electrical / electronic systems and diagnostics gave me a foundation I can build on as new technology evolves.
I have only good memories about being in school.
I had a good time and learned a lot. I knew when I walked in the door and met the instructors—Glen, Arturo and Rich—and staff people like Cheryl, that I had made the right decision. My classmates and I worked well together. The seven months in the program went by quickly.
Going to MTTI was the best career decision I’ve made.
The Auto Tech program was an awesome experience. The program helped me build my technical and problem solving skills—and boosted my confidence. It’s given me a great start in an industry I love.
You should love the work you do—not be bored or lack interest.
Then you will be whole-hearted in bringing your best to the job you do. If you truly want training to become an Auto Technician, I recommend you go to MTTI.
Photo: Shop Skills Instructor, Arturo Ramos; Graduate, Cannissa Fort; Instructor & Department Chair, Rich Barth.
Karen Chaiken - Medical Billing & Coding - MTTI Success Story
Karen Chaiken, 2013 Medical Billing & Coding / Office Administration Graduate
Clinical Coding Specialist at The Miriam Hospital (Lifespan)
I believed that I would always be married.
However, married for close to 30 years, it turned out not to be true. After an unfortunate divorce, I needed to create a brand-new beginning—and to earn a living.
I was in a tough place; I needed a full time job—and a lot of help.
In keeping with the traditional role of mother and wife, I had worked part-time jobs, volunteered and kept house. I felt fortunate to have been at home for my daughters while they were growing up.
I knew nothing about medical coding—or that it could be a career.
Shopping at Kohl’s in Seekonk Square, I saw the building across the street, with the large letters “MTTI”—and underneath, the smaller letters that spelled out “Education for Employment”.
When I returned home, I looked up MTTI online.
The life changes that had led me to move to East Providence—and then be shopping in Seekonk that day—felt guided. I scheduled an interview to see if this could be an option for me.
I’m a perfectionist—typically going for what I think I can do well.
Science and math were not my favorite subjects. Because I had been elected ‘Top Business Student’ when in High School, and had studied to be an Executive Secretary (now Administrative Assistant) when I attended Bay Path College (now University), I thought perhaps—YES—I could learn coding!
I enjoyed MTTI’s billing and coding class, the instructors and the warm school environment.
The Career Services Rep recommended me for an internship at The Miriam Hospital, in part because my instructors declared that no one had ever achieved as high a grade as I did on the midterm. The Rep said she advocated for me primarily because of my communication skills and professionalism. I was both amazed and honored!
I met with the then Director of Inpatient and Outpatient Coding.
The interview went very well. I started the internship by practicing on older records—coding the diagnoses for patient encounters.
Although everyone at Miriam was friendly and helpful, I worked largely on my own.
MTTI had taught me the proper way to utilize the CPT Procedural and ICD-9 Diagnostic Books. I was comfortable learning on the job because of what I had learned in MTTI’s program. Without that knowledge, I would not have been successful during my internship.
I missed passing the AAPC Professional Coding exam the first time—by one point.
I re-took the exam, and again missed by one point. Each test is different—and I’ve always had difficulty taking timed tests.
Miriam hired me in a per-diem position.
Wanting to hire me permanently, The Miriam Hospital needed me to first pass the coding exam.
I left Miriam after 6 months for full-time employment with Newport Hospital.
Under the umbrella of Lifespan, I worked for the Manager who took care of the Emergency Department at Rhode Island Hospital. I told Miriam’s Coding Manager to please keep me in mind, should a coding opportunity come along—of course, after I passed the exam!
I was determined to pass the coding exam and to learn all I could.
I continued taking the American Academy of Professional Coders’ (AAPC) practice exams. I was intent on passing the exam before the change from ICD-9 to ICD-10. My perseverance paid off—I passed the exam!
From Lifespan, I went to Southcoast in Fairhaven, MA.
I had worked hard to get to where I could code full-time from home, which is one of the greatest benefits of many coding positions.
While I was working at Southcoast, Miriam contacted me about an open position.
Initially I declined, as I thoroughly enjoyed working for Southcoast. However, I soon learned an organizational change was about to happen. At this time I was the last employee hired. After some thought, I accepted the position back at The Miriam Hospital. From coding the Emergency Department, I was now about to learn coding Observation.
I love coding Observation!
I code the diagnoses and procedures for patients who have come into the Emergency Department and are admitted into Observation, while it is still uncertain whether they will be admitted as a patient in the hospital.
There are many steps to coding Observation.
I especially enjoy charging for medications given to the patient while in the ED, and then in Observation. Rules for the hierarchies and medications make it so interesting to me.
All coders now work for Lifespan Corporate.
Instead of working for one hospital, we work for the whole entity, which provides more avenues for learning. I consider myself so fortunate to be part of such an amazing team of coders.
Things are always changing in medical coding; I enjoy continuously learning.
On the job, I was trained on two Electronic Medical Records Software programs. In addition, I was given on-the-job training for the transition from ICD-9 (ICD: INTERNATIONAL Classification of Diseases) to ICD-10-PCS (PCS: Procedure Coding System) (Hospital) Coding Manuals. All of this, in addition to CPT Professional Coding, is now part of MTTI’s curriculum.
During the winter months, I am working from home.
In the spring, I will alternate between working at home and going into the office. I look forward to the social interaction when I return to the office.
A career in Medical Coding is one of flexibility and opportunity.
A coder can work in a variety of settings and positions, including hospitals, private clinics and private practices. Career paths can range from a Validator position, checking other coders’ work, to an Auditor, who travels to various locations to review the accuracy of coding and even to a position in Management.
Medical Specialty Coding is another option for career growth.
Should I be interested in coding Inpatient or Chemotherapy, I would have the opportunity to do so.
More and more, I see that people need an education for entry into medical coding positions.
In the past, people could enter a coding career by first working in an administrative position—or even the laundry department—in a hospital or health center. No one has time now to train someone on the job—it is expected they will come with the basic knowledge learned at school.
As a Coding Specialist, I am able to support myself.
Pay increases with experience. I’ve had a number of increases during the five years I have been coding.
I have a favorite quote about handling adversity in life.
“Things turn out best for those who make the best of how things turn out.” For me, there is great satisfaction that I have not just a job, but a career.
I have done this for myself—with determination and fortitude—by taking baby steps.
I was lucky to have strong support from my entire family. One thing led to the next, then the next and next—all starting with MTTI.
Initially I was nervous about returning to school to train for a new career.
It was a delightful surprise to find that going to school was fun. At MTTI you feel everyone is in your corner—classmates, teachers, staff & administration. MTTI has the human touch. You can feel the caring.
Apprentice Electrician, Joshua deSousa, 2018 MTTI Residential and Commercial Electrician Graduate Success Story.
2018 Residential and Commercial Electrician
Silver Award for Academic Achievement, Shop Skills & Attendance
Electrical Apprentice at Wayne Electric & Alarms in Fairhaven, MA
I first thought about an electrical career during high school.
While participating in an ‘exploratory’, we made lists of the shops we were most interested in. I liked both electrical and steam engineering.
For five years after high school, I worked in steam engineering.
Then I made a change when a commercial fishing opportunity became available. My father was a fisherman. I got a spot on a boat and fell in love with the life of working on the water.
As a fisherman, I didn’t have a health or retirement plan.
Commercial fishing for a living is physically hard on your body. Also, I had become a family man with kids. I needed to think about a long-term career in which I could support my family.
I knew that a professional career as an Electrician pays well and has a good future.
I’m not a sit-at-a-desk kind of guy; I’m content when doing any kind of hands-on work.
I searched online for fast-track career training—MTTI came up.
When I visited the school, they were building the new shop for the electrical program.
Jason, the lead instructor, knew what he was talking about.
When we met, he didn’t sugar-coat anything. He was honest in telling me I wouldn’t make lots of money right out of school. The pay would increase as I gained experience on the job, and after I passed the Journeyman licensing exam.
School was the pathway to doing the work that I enjoy.
I could have been out making money; instead I chose to enroll in the Electrician program. The hands-on training at MTTI gave us real experience for the workplace.
Installing an actual surveillance system in the school gave me a sense of accomplishment.
I like jobs that count—not just putting something up once, testing it and taking it down. We had to make the surveillance system work. Now it will be a permanent installation at the school, until the system needs updating.
Before enrolling at MTTI, I applied for an electrical job—I didn’t get a call back.
As I was completing the Electrician program, I could say ‘yes’ to items on employers’ checklists—like holding an OSHA 10 Card and having experience.
Searching for an internship, I found a company that does it all.
Wayne Electric & Alarms is an electrical contracting, and a full electronic security company that specializes in fire alarms, burglar alarms, security cameras, electric locks and card access systems. If it has wires—we do it!
MTTI’s Electrician program gave me a good base to build on.
I felt pretty confident that what I learned at school had given me the basics a company expects of an apprentice. Now, when the job involves something we didn’t cover extensively in the program—like fire alarms—I know enough to learn more from the guys I work with.
I do something different every day.
I might start a job working on a surveillance system for a large commercial installation, and the next day be pulling original knob and tube wiring in an older home. I’ll likely come back to the larger commercial job, and see it completed.
Looking back, it was definitely worth going to school.
I enjoyed school and learned a lot in the Electrician program. Now it feels good to be out of school and getting a paycheck.
I still keep in contact with my former Instructor, Jason, and some of my classmates.
We had a good batch of guys in the class; some of us will remain friends.
I love what I am doing; I’m excited to go to work each day.
If you are considering becoming an electrician, the work is interesting and stimulating—never boring. It’s a good career--go for it!
Alejandro Puente, MTTI 2018 Medical Assistant Graduate Success Story.
Alejandro Puente, 2018 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant, Lincoln Urgent Care
Excited to be caring for patients in a busy Urgent Care setting, Alejandro's future mission is to provide medical care to wounded soldiers in the battlefield.
I was working as a mold remediation specialist—the money was great.
Although eager to learn the different strains people had in their homes, I felt there must be more I could do to help people be healthy.
I looked up Medical Assistant training in Massachusetts.
I left the job to go to school.
When I visited MTTI, everyone welcomed me.
They asked me questions about what kind of career I wanted to get into. I visited another school that didn’t catch my eye during the walk-through; the students there just didn’t have positive things to say.
The MTTI Instructor I interviewed with gave me step-by-step guidance about how to be successful in the course.
Ms. Courtney advised me not to be afraid to ask questions in class, and emphasized the value of teamwork. She encouraged me to move out of my comfort zone and challenge myself.
I was nervous when I first saw the amount of material in this fast-track program.
I was working full-time nights as a bartender, while attending school five days a week. I often stayed up late to study. The program is challenging but doable, provided you have enough passion about becoming a Medical Assistant to make time to study.
Many classmates had health courses in high school; the course contents were new to me.
I hadn’t studied physiology or medical terminology before. I knew it would be important to understand terms and how the body works, so I could communicate with doctors about patients’ symptoms and treatments.
I struggled to make up school work missed while serving in the Army National Guard.
I had to go away some weekends and for couple of weeks during the summer. Ms. Courtney went above and beyond to help me catch-up so that I could go forward.
The Instructors helped us develop the personal traits we need to be successful in a medical practice.
Part of being a medical professional is the ability to ask patients questions that may be uncomfortable for them. We practiced patient communication with student volunteers from other programs.
I earned the additional Phlebotomy Certificate by completing 50 blood draws and 25 capillary sticks.
Auto Tech and other students, plus family members, came to ‘donate’ their arms for us to practice drawing blood.
We learned health specialty information from students in another program.
The Personal Fitness Trainer students gave us a class about broken bones and how to help people be in the best shape they can be in. We also had a class in nutrition that included health effects of soda, sugar and preservatives in the diet.
Shadowing at different locations was a good way to choose an internship.
When I shadowed at an Urgent Care, I recognized that this was the setting I was looking for. The fast pace would keep me busy; I would see a wider range of symptoms and conditions than I could in a general practice.
My first day as an intern was a little nerve-wracking; I kept moving, taking notes, learning and smiling.
I was excited to see and learn new procedures. I knew this was what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be.
Medical practitioners put a lot of trust in Medical Assistants.
They count on us to make sure the patient is comfortable, get the patient’s story and perform the indicated procedures.
Hands-on repetition in MTTI’s program gave me a ‘muscle memory’, making it easier to remember clinical skills.
The doctors at the Urgent Care have been impressed that, just coming out of school, I have been able to give injections and perform many hands-on procedures.
Hired as a full-time Medical Assistant, I am always busy.
I take vital signs, give flu shots and vaccinations; suture; perform EKGs, spirometry, Rapid Strep, Monospot, glucose, urine and pregnancy tests; test for STDs and perform phlebotomy. When patients come in who should go to the ER, we perform tests and stabilize them until Rescue comes to transport them.
We also do the follow-up appointments for Workers’ Compensation.
I make follow-up calls to patients to see if they are getting better and schedule appointments for those who need continuing care.
My ‘stamp of confirmation’ as a Medical Assistant came from a patient.
She had multiple lacerations from an auto accident. I sutured her cuts and calmed her anxiety. As I finished the procedure, she thanked me—both for the treatment and for helping keep her anxiety down. When I later followed up with a phone call, she complimented me and the whole staff.
Friends ask me about being a male Medical Assistant.
Some male patients are more comfortable talking with another male about certain symptoms. When providing care to female patients, if you are professional, women will respect you. I always ask young girls and women if they feel comfortable having me do a procedure, or if they prefer a female medical practitioner. If you can make a patient—male or female—comfortable, you can be successful as Medical Assistant.
I’ve been able to help soldiers in my National Guard unit with skills I learned at MTTI.
The Army recently sent me to the Combat Lifesaver Course, which prepares Soldiers for the actual experience of saving lives in battlefield or other hostile situations. Although someone can volunteer for this, they take the people they believe will retain the knowledge and handle the stress of the battlefield.
I expect to be deployed next year.
Recently promoted to Sergeant in an Infantry company in the Army National Guard, I look forward to the deployment. I trained for this—what would the point be of training if I did not go? I want to apply the medical knowledge and skills I learned at MTTI and in the Combat Lifesaver Course.
When people ask about MTTI, I tell them—absolutely—go for a tour!
It’s hands-on and the instructors will help you become successful as a medical professional. The staff sets you up for employment and interviews—they will assist you in every way possible to enter your chosen field.
Joshua Perry, 2014 MTTI HVAC/R Graduate Success Story.
Joshua Perry, 2014 HVAC/R Graduate
Journeyman / HVAC Service Technician at Dead River Company in Maine
After dropping out of high school, I went to work.
I got a third-shift job in a factory, working overnight. It was a pretty good job for a high school drop-out.
I wanted to do something better with my life
When I decided to get my GED, I left the job.
My mom, Joan, graduated from MTTI’s business program during 2006.
She has since turned her education into a great administrative career at the school.
I first thought about attending MTTI’s Automotive Tech program.
I had earned an Auto Collision Repair Certificate before leaving high school. I decided I liked working on cars for myself—not as a career
I had done some sheet metal work in high school.
I felt that I could transition my mechanical and sheet metal skills into the HVAC/R industry.
Pursuing an HVAC/R career made sense to me.
Everyone in this region needs heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. There are so many different areas of HVAC/R—from the simplicity of a woodstove to the complexity of refrigeration used to cool the superconducting magnets in MRI (medical diagnostic) machines.
Excited to learn something new, I started the program during April 2014.
I had just begun dating Katie—who is now my wife. I could imagine myself supporting a family in an HVAC career.
Going back to school felt funny at first—a little like going back to high school.
Unlike high school, I had classmates of all ages. I became good friends with Aristedes, who was about 50 years old.
While high school had not been good for me, MTTI was a really positive school experience.
The whole staff was nice. My classmates were great—everyone was there because they wanted to be in the program.
The classroom atmosphere was always friendly.
If I had a question, I could ask it—no one ridiculed me.
I learned more in the seven-month class at MTTI than I had during my lifetime.
I went back to school to refine my skills and become a professional. I had always been good with my hands and did some work around home. But when you take apart a customer’s oil burner, it has to go back the right way, or it won’t work.
I enjoyed learning about oil in the HVAC/R program.
Oil is big in Rhode Island—so it’s practical to learn about it. Compared with gas and A/C, oil is the oldest technology
Oil equipment is somewhat standard.
It’s pretty easy to look at it and understand how it works.
My classmate, Aristedes, referred me to Wesco Oil Company.
He had two offers of internship. I had a good grasp of oil, so he thought I might want to intern with Wesco. I felt I should work in the area that was most comfortable for me, so Wesco was a good fit.
Interning with Wesco made it pretty easy to transition into full-time employment.
While interning, people I worked with were happy to help me learn. The Service Manager liked me; he talked with the owner who hired me for the season.
Working at Wesco, I finally considered myself a professional.
Wesco was my first job in the field—and my first real job other than working in the factory. At the end of the oil season though, I needed to find another position.
ARE (All Renewable Energy, Inc.) saw my resume online and contacted me.
Located in the Boston area, my starting pay was twice what I had earned in Rhode Island.
My first day on the job with ARE was kind of a shock.
I showed up expecting to be working in someone’s basement. Instead they sent me to a construction site to run refrigeration line sets for an apartment building.
I was doing mostly installations on construction sites.
ARE has big contracts with both large scale residential and light commercial organizations, including apartment buildings and nursing homes. Working with a crew most days gave me the opportunity to learn more.
I liked the company and learned everything they threw at me.
ARE is a company where you get more responsibility—and are rewarded—if you work hard. I was made foreman for a project in New Hampshire. The company gave me a truck while I was foreman for multiple projects, and then a van when I became a dedicated service tech.
Before leaving ARE, I was working on roof top units worth ½ million dollars each.
I was doing mostly low voltage controls. It helped that I had learned electrical basics at MTTI for oil, gas, A/C and refrigeration.
After Katie and I married, we wanted to move to Maine.
I was offered an opportunity in Maine to work for a company that I could buy over time. I wasn’t ready to take that responsibility or to put up the personal capital.
I visited HVAC companies close to Island Falls, where we planned to live.
I was able to choose between two companies that were really interested in me.
The company I chose does oil and propane in five states.
We provide services in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and New York. Much bigger than Wesco, where I first worked, there are over 1100 employees.
At Dead River Company, I’m once again learning a new HVAC technology—propane.
Although similar to natural gas, which I worked with at ARE, propane is not supplied by utility companies. Instead we deliver the propane to the customers.
MTTI gave me all of the basics.
The program teaches the theory and the major components of all the systems—and lays the groundwork for installing, troubleshooting and servicing of them. Even if you don’t know the particular equipment you are asked to install or service, you know the theory about how it works. You can usually figure it out.
The correct terminology and industry jargon I learned at MTTI makes me look professional.
This is important when talking to supply houses or company representatives. I’m able to tell someone exactly what a part is called, so they can understand me.
These days you can’t just walk into a job without training.
College can be a good choice, but you need to have a plan to make it worth the expense. So many people have degrees that aren’t worth what they paid for them—because they can’t get a job.
MTTI is an investment, but you get the knowledge to get a good job.
The careers you go into after school pay well. You can pay off any loan debt in a reasonable amount of time.
The tool bonus I earned at MTTI really helped me get hired and start on the job.
I had never had professional tools to work with before.
I like my job and enjoy what I do for work.
I can see a good future in the HVAC/R industry. I plan to work in HVAC for many years—and to retire from this company.
Scott Mlynek, 2000 Computer / Networking Graduate and Site Technology Manager at IGT, has an 18-year partnership with MTTI.
2000 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate
Site Technology Manager at IGT (International Game Technology)
I credit my success in the technology industry to the partnership between MTTI and me. MTTI’s success depends on delivering training that translates into productive careers. I needed quality education to prepare me to successfully enter a new career. 18 years after graduating, MTTI and I continue to benefit from that partnership.
I came to MTTI with limited technology experience.
I served in the US Army for 9 years, troubleshooting mechanical / electrical systems on wheeled vehicles. While in the military, I received some instructor and leadership training. At the time I was Honorably Discharged during 1988, I was a Sergeant E-5.
I wasn’t thinking about changing careers while working in the freight industry.
I made $36,000.00 a year. I was a first time home buyer, and a single parent with shared child custody. I was comfortable, and felt fine with life as it was.
Then one day, I was injured on the job.
I had to have major back surgery. I was no longer able to return to any employment that required physical labor.
Months of convalescence turned into two years spent healing from the back surgery.
Fearful of losing my home, I understood that I had to find a new career path.
I took the initiative to research several technical schools that offered career education.
I documented the information and presented the choices to the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA), which oversees the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation System.
The DIA recognized that I was proactive and eager to get back to work.
They cut through some red tape and helped me enroll at MTTI.
I graduated from the Computer Service Technician / Network Installer program during 2000.
After graduation, I was hired by the school to work as a lab assistant, helping students practice hands-on the skills taught in the classroom.
Entering into a new career, I expected I would need to step back financially.
Initially I had to take less pay than the salary I had been making in the freight industry. However, it was a life saver compared to living on Workers' Compensation.
The opportunity to assist in MTTI's program helped launch my career as a Technology Instructor.
I gained experience about how to assess individual learning needs and engage students in the lessons that would prepare them for working on the job. I also benefitted from MTTI’s Teacher Training on Lesson Planning, Lab Activities, Learning Styles and Methods of Teaching, Evaluation and Testing, Classroom Management and Motivation plus Curriculum Development and Implementation.
My decision to start a new career paid off.
During 2004, I was offered a position with GTECH Corporation as a Gaming Technology Instructor. The starting salary was $50,000.00. For the next 11 years, I traveled worldwide—to over 60 countries—delivering training to the company’s customers.
I continued challenging myself to learn new skills for IT and networking—and to excel as a Teacher.
While still in school, I earned the CompTIA A+ Certification. Afterwards I achieved the Network+ Certification through self-study. I’ve since earned additional Certifications as a Master Instructor and Facilitator in the Langevin Learning Services.
In 2018, I continue to work for the former GTECH—now IGT (International Game Technology).
As a Technology Site Manager, I provide services for the State of Massachusetts to obtain revenue from casinos. I feel fortunate to have work that I enjoy—and feel rewarded by a salary that has increased in proportion to my responsibilities and experience.
Ultimately, I owe my success to the partnership between MTTI and me.
I gained knowledge and skills in MTTI’s program that built my foundation in IT and Networking. That foundation, and the opportunity to developed instructional skills at MTTI, helped me secure the position at GTECH / IGT.
Continuing that partnership, I return to MTTI to serve on the Program Advisory Committee.
Having both attended, and assisted in instructing in the Computer and Networking program—plus extensive industry experience—I can offer feedback that helps MTTI continuously improve the program.
I love helping the institution that helped me change my career—and my life.
I look forward to continuing the partnership as an advisor to the Computer & Networking program.
David Euzebio, 2014 MTTI Building & Property Trades Graduate Success Story.
2014 Building & Property Trades Technician Graduate
Maintenance Technician at the Landings Real Estate Group
Even while in high school, I helped out on construction projects.
After high school, I worked in commercial construction. I’d ask the electrical or plumbing foremen if they needed an extra hand so that I could learn from them.
I had to leave the company I was working for when they went Union.
For six years after that, I worked as a Crew Leader building stairs, doing finish work and framing. Then for a brief period, I did finish carpentry and cabinet making for another company, until their workload slowed down.
For three years, I worked at Home Depot.
Instead of doing hard physical labor, I talked to customers, made orders and stocked shelves. It was easy work, and honed my customer service skills—but it wasn’t what I wanted to do long-term.
Finally I worked as a Wood Truss Assembler and Crew Leader, building frameworks for roofs.
I even ran a department. There was nothing I couldn’t do there. Although the shop supervisor valued that I ‘knew my stuff’, after three years I was still only making a minimum wage.
I had lots of construction skills and experience—but I needed proof that I knew what I was doing.
The proof would be a Certificate from a career and technical school. I also wanted to gain more knowledge and experience to work as a Maintenance Technician.
Someone I had worked with told me about MTTI.
He was an MTTI Auto Tech graduate. Knowing my background, he told me that the Building Trades program covered plumbing, electrical, carpentry and HVAC—he said, ‘It is all you.’
I visited MTTI just as a class was about to start.
I filled out the application, had my interview with the Instructor, Pat, and started school.
Pat is a great Instructor—and a great man.
He’s also a great confidence builder. Many repairs require you think outside the box; Pat challenged me to increase my critical thinking skills. Out of all the people I have worked with, he remains a mentor to me.
The whole program was fun.
Pat picked crew leaders—who then picked their crew for different phases of building the house module. I was the crew leader for electrical, drywall and painting; I enjoyed working with a great crew of mostly younger, less experienced students.
I learned a lot from the other students in my class.
I’d look at something someone was working on and ask, “How did you do that?”
As I was getting ready to intern, I applied online to the Landings Real Estate Group.
One day, I left school, and drove to the Landings, with my application and resume in hand. The Supervisor hadn’t yet looked at my online application.
Several weeks went by; I returned to the Landings.
The Supervisor told me. “I need someone with electrical background.” I explained that my father was an electrician and had passed some of his knowledge and skills to me.
He responded, ‘I need someone who is good with plumbing.’
I told him my grandfather had been a Master Plumber, who had done the refits on all of the mansions in Newport during the 50’s. My grandfather taught my father, who then taught me.
The Supervisor said, ‘We’re doing a lot of drywall right now.’
I replied that I had hung miles of drywall. And of course I had refined all of these skills during my training at MTTI.
Not convinced, the Supervisor said, ‘I need someone reliable during the winter’.
I pointed to my truck with the big tires, and told him, “I’ll be here in the wintertime.” He asked, “But can you plow?” I told him, “Yes, I can.”
I hadn’t convinced him; he still wouldn’t hire me.
I went home, and saw that the Landings was advertising the same position on craigslist. I applied again—and also applied to other companies.
A Temp agency in Cranston saw my resume online and contacted me.
They asked me to come in for an interview. They had a position that looked like a good fit for me.
After the interview, the person I had met with handed me a piece of paper.
On the paper was an address. He asked, ‘When can you start?’
I looked at the paper; it was the position at the Landings where they wouldn’t hire me.
I said, ‘This is awesome’. I told him about my interview with the Supervisor.
A couple of days after I began working as a Temp, the Supervisor came by.
I asked him if he remembered me; he said he remembered my name. I laughed and said, ‘Right—the guy you didn’t want to hire.’
The Supervisor shook my hand, and said, ‘Let’s see what you can do.’
I showed him what I was working on—a full renovation of an apartment–kitchen countertop, cabinets, appliances, plumbing, and a bathroom—new toilet, vanity and linoleum, medicine cabinets and vanity lights.
Two weeks later, the Supervisor called me into his office.
The Landings bought out my temporary contract and hired me permanently.
I chose to be a Maintenance Tech because I didn’t want to do the same thing every day.
I haven’t done that yet! There is never a dull moment.
Instead of dreading going to work, I look forward to the people there and what I am doing.
I love the Landings—the people I work with treat me like family. Some of the residents have lived there since the eighties; they appreciate my customer relations skills.
When I complete a remodeling job, I look around and say with pride, ‘I did this’.
I feel a sense of accomplishment –especially when a resident who knew how the apartment looked before the renovation says, ‘Wow’.
While I was in school, my son saw me doing homework.
He knew that there had to be a good reason for me to do homework—I told him it was because the program’s fun! I showed my son how to wire a light the same way Pat showed me—and how to do some plumbing, the same way Pat taught me.
This past summer, while recovering from an injury, my son worked under my supervision.
With my guidance, he maintained the pool at the Landings. Every morning he’d get the pool up and running and then go to work with the other maintenance guys.
While working with me, my son got the ‘bug’.
He enrolled in the Building & Property Trades program at MTTI. He started classes this September.
The pay and benefits as a Maintenance Tech are great; I’m no longer living paycheck to paycheck.
I am able to more than just pay my bills. On the third anniversary of my job at the Landings, I bought a new GMC truck.
I recently visited my former instructor, Pat.
Pat asked me, ‘Can you believe that you went from minimum wage to making the salary you get now!’ I do believe it because, in addition to loving what I do and where I work—I am making a very comfortable living.
Nicholas Bumpus, 2018 MTTI Auto Tech Graduate, is a Service Tech at Tasca Ford in Seekonk, MA.
2018 Automotive Service Technician
Service Tech at Tasca Ford
Growing up, I thought I wasn’t smart.
I had difficulty reading and writing; no one knew why.
Finally in High School, a teacher tested me to find out why it was difficult for me to read.
We learned that I couldn’t sound out new words, the way other kids could. I’m grateful to the teacher who taught me to memorize words, so I could begin to recognize them and understand their meanings.
Outside of school, I worked alongside my dad fixing cars in our home garage.
While still in grade school, I worked on brakes, with my dad watching over me.
I was good at learning hands-on.
As far back as middle school, I was taking things apart and putting them back together. By the time I was in High School, friends would ask me to fix things for them.
In High School, I started focusing on repairing and maintaining cars.
Knowing I was ‘smart’ about working on cars helped me get through high school. I knew that, once I graduated, I could go to a trade school and train to get a better job.
I first heard about MTTI from a friend who graduated from the Marine Tech program.
He told me that he had been able to work while going to school. I thought to myself, ‘I can do that, too’.
I checked out another school before enrolling at MTTI.
The program took twice as long as MTTI’s to complete—and was twice as expensive.
I worked full-time while enrolled in the Auto Tech program at MTTI.
I delivered pizza more than 40-hours a week—every evening. On weekdays, I’d leave school at 3 or 3:30, drive 30 minutes to my worksite, and then start working at my job.
MTTI has a good atmosphere for learning.
It feels more like a work place than a typical school, where you learn about something you are interested in doing. Once I do something once hands-on, I always know how to do it. Working in the shop on what I had just been taught in the classroom worked well for me.
Glen was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had.
He coached me to read the textbook. He broke down the information so I could understand it, and helped me with the terminology. He also kept the classroom fun, so we weren’t falling asleep.
Glen had a lot of patience in the shop.
If we made a mistake while learning, he didn’t get angry or upset. He just taught us how to do it the right way.
At MTTI, you learn a lot by working on many different types of cars.
You get to learn about many manufacturers’ parts, and how they work. Even if you work in a dealership, people bring in different makes and models of cars for maintenance and repair.
I enjoyed working on big projects in the shop.
I helped a friend with his Honda Civic transmission.
The most difficult part of the program was learning about electrical and electronic systems.
I didn’t know much about that when I came to school. It’s the future of the automotive industry, so it’s important to start learning about it now.
A big part of being a Technician is diagnostics—finding out what is wrong.
You think you know what’s wrong with a car. Listening to noises, and figuring out what’s making them, sometimes leads to a different conclusion. During school, Glen and I diagnosed a problem I had with my own car. Whenever I went over a bump on the road, I heard a squeaky noise. Thinking it would be struts, I sprayed PB Blaster (a lubricant) on them. We kept hearing the noise;, and finally traced it to the ball joints.
MTTI’s Career Services Department is really good.
Erin sent emails to us about places that were hiring. She helped us write resumes and made sure we had somewhere to go for internship.
When you go to school, employers know you have knowledge and experience.
Without paid work experience, places aren’t willing to hire you. Even though I worked on cars for years at home, without a work history, I couldn’t show people I have experience.
While interning at a small shop, working on all makes and models, Glen told me Tasca Ford had an opening.
Glenn had worked there in the past; he said I would like the Service Manager. I knew I would like working at a Ford Dealership, because I had owned three Fords. I like their newer trucks—especially the F150s.
Working at Tasca Ford in the Quick Lane, I work on cars while people are waiting.
I have to get the work done right and on time. MTTI taught me how to work on cars the proper way—and faster—than the “backyard way”. Everything becomes less of a struggle when you have the right training.
At MTTI, I’ve earned one year of the two years of work experience required for ASE Certification.
I will study for, and take the ASE Certification exams. I feel confident that I can keep learning new electrical, electronic and computer technology and earn the certifications.
I’m a big guy; I would like the challenge of working on big rigs.
My dad drove tractor trailers all his life, so I know somethings about them. We were introduced to diesel technology during the program at MTTI. I hope to continue learning about diesel and to work on trucks.
I can see ahead to a good future in the automotive industry.
I don’t have to work a second job delivering pizza any more. I am making more money than I was working 45 hours a week delivering pizza--and I can pay my bills.
It feels good to have the security of knowing that I will always have a job.
I will be able to work anywhere in the country. Best of all, I will be making a living doing something I like to do.
Ter'esa Philip, 2018 MTTI Medical Billing and Coding Graduate Success Story.
2018 Medical Billing & Coding / Office Administration Graduate
Promoted from Billing Specialist to AR Manager (2021) at Priority Management Group (PMG)
I first heard about MTTI from my husband.
He had attended MTTI as an auto mechanic student about 5 years earlier.
I came to MTTI with more than 15 years of experience in healthcare.
I had worked as a HUCNA (Health Unit Coordinator) and a Certified Nursing Assistant on an oncology unit.
I was troubled by how much the delivery of patient care depends on insurance.
We sometimes had to discharge patients because the insurance company would not cover additional days. The patient would then be required to pay out-of-pocket or leave the hospital.
I wanted to understand why this happens when a patient is ill and needs medical attention.
I enrolled in the Medical Billing & Coding program to learn more about medical insurance.
MTTI put me at ease about returning to school in my forties.
Everyone was very warm and welcoming, and also very helpful. From day one, when I visited the school, through the interview process—and even on the first day of school—I felt right at home.
I knew during the first week I started school at MTTI that I had made the right choice.
The other students in my class had nothing but positive comments about the school, the teacher, and the Medical Billing and Coding program.
Still, there were times I was ready to throw in the towel.
Even with my medical background, the course wasn't easy. From the first day of class, Ms. Roc instilled in us that if we dedicated ourselves to our studies, we would pass the class.
Ms. Roc made learning fun.
She also drilled into us all of the information we needed to work in the medical billing & coding industry, and to prepare for the Professional Coders exam. After class ended at 3 pm, if we had a question, Ms. Roc was available by phone, email or text.
It did take dedication to go to school while maintaining a family life.
I attended class fulltime—five days a week—plus studied at home. It was challenging, but manageable.
I am thankful for all of the support I received.
At school, my classmates helped one another. At home, my family took care of the household while I dedicated myself to my studies.
I interned at Priority Management Group (PMG) in Pawtucket, RI
PMG appreciated my professionalism and work ethic; my years of medical background was a plus. PMG also liked that I was trained at MTTI; they have had good experiences hiring medical billing and coding graduates from the school.
I feel fortunate to have been hired by the same company where I did my internship.
Working as a Billing Specialist, I am able to use all of the skills and knowledge that I learned at MTTI.
I’m excited to have landed a fulltime job at a very busy and very successful company.
PMG treats me like I’ve been a valued employee at the company for many years.
I strive to be the best medical biller I can be.
MTTI prepared me with the knowledge of billing, coding and office administration. Best and most exciting was learning all about medical insurance, hospital billing and coding, and how to work with Excel spreadsheets.
My biggest accomplishment is being able to know and understand medical codes.
Having a good knowledge of coding enables me to work through appeals, charge entries and payment exceptions.
MTTI helps students become successful professionals, while remaining very family-oriented.
Instructors and Staff nurture you. You feel like you have been adopted into a family. Even after graduation they still reach out to see how you’re doing.
Because I had a good experience at the school, I recommend MTTI to others.
In October, my step-daughter will be starting school in MTTI’s Medical Assistant program.
I’m proud of being an MTTI graduate, so I make that known at work.
The funny thing is that, even without reminding them where I went to school, my employers can tell. They know, because of the knowledge and skills I bring to my position, that I attended school at MTTI.
Tom Menchi, Service Director for Toyota of Dartmouth - An MTTI Success Story
Tom Menchi, Service Director for Toyota of Dartmouth
As technology changes, there is such a good future for Automotive Techs.
There will be no shortage of jobs. If anything, the trend towards hybrids and self-driving cars makes the future even brighter.
We need Techs who are skilled in diagnostics.
Newer cars don’t need transmission fluid and anti-freeze changes or timing belts replaced. We do less maintenance—but more diagnostics for electrical / electronic repairs.
We’ve done well with students trained in MTTI’s Auto Tech program.
Learn the basics in MTTI’s program and then intern with us. Show us your worth—show up on time, have a good appearance, demonstrate your interest in learning. Ask your supervisor, ‘What can I do for you?’ Learn from the other Techs.
If we like your work, we want to hire you and start training you to work on Toyotas.
We pay for employees to take tests at home—as you pass the tests, we can send you for training to become a Toyota Master Diagnostic Technician. It takes five years to complete—but you can go anywhere in the country with it.
Depending on your willingness to learn—and how efficiently you work— the opportunities are endless.
Put in the time and effort to become both book smart and work smart. As you work towards becoming a Master Diagnostic Technician, your earning potential will be big!
Richard Barth, MTTI Auto Tech Department Head & Instructor
MTTI agrees with how Tom characterizes the changing market. That’s why we’ve included a whole course on diagnosing an engine’s conditions, including:
— Check engine lights
— ABS (anti-locking brake systems)
— Scan tool use and goals
—Diagnostic flow charts
—Connector end views
We teach students according to the “fix it right the first time” diagnostic approach that addresses the customer’s complaint and fixes the vehicle right—first time, every time.
Victoria Posner, 2017 MTTI Personal Fitness Trainer Graduate, Coaches Clients At PumpFit For Celebrity Trainer, Hannah Eden.
2018 Personal Fitness Trainer Graduate
Fitness Coach & Brand Strategist at PumpFit Club in Florida
& Trainer/Owner of Train the Terrain
Following in my father’s footsteps, I was working in the jewelry industry.
My father owned a manufacturing company. I was employed by a different jewelry company, servicing big accounts, including JC Penney and Macy’s.
I wasn’t doing anything of value, or helping anyone.
I worked hard and made good money—but felt empty.
People would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up.
Maybe it sounds corny, but it’s my truth—I said I wanted to do something ‘impactful’ that would affect the lives around me and make the world a better place.
Finally, I decided not to just think about it, but to do it.
I left the jewelry industry with the intent find more meaningful work.
I founded Train The Terrain in Rhode Island.
Train The Terrain is a workout experience that combines using the chosen terrain and minimal equipment to create the ultimate fitness experience. Using outdoor elements, for example a park bench, this high intensity workout helps people shed fat and gain lean muscle mass. I also instructed Jounce (Trampoline) Fitness classes.
I was successful in fitness, but wanted to learn more—and to have the ‘Gold Standard Certificate’.
I commend anyone who furthers their education—whether online or in the classroom. If I was going to invest in training, I wanted to stand apart from those who have an online certificate.
I asked myself, ‘Do I really want to return to studying and taking tests?’
I had just turned 35; maybe was it too late in life to go back to school.
There never was a time, during MTTI’s Personal Fitness Trainer program, when I felt it was a bad decision.
It was of great value to me that the training was live; I had both classroom instruction and hands-on practice.
I benefitted from the guidance of having an experienced instructor.
Chris Raymond told us, “There are no bad questions. He answered every question we asked. If we didn’t get it, Chris found another way to answer the question.
At times, I felt overwhelmed by going to school while working—it was because I cared so much.
I was up late studying most nights. It wasn’t easy working before and after class. I had to write up programs for clients for personal training clients and music for Jounce Trampoline Classes.
I learned I had to get out of my own way.
I can be very hard on myself. Although I aced skills tests in the gym, I needed to study more for written anatomy tests. I had to accept that I can’t be good at everything, and that I needed to take the time to learn things that are more difficult.
At MTTI, I always had all the resources and opportunity to do better.
If I was not doing as well in a particular area, I could stay after school to get additional help.
Knowledge is power. Chris would add “...if used correctly”.
You can learn all of the info—but you have to apply it to have a powerful impact on others—and to help them access their own power.
I contacted Hannah Eden, a celebrity trainer, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
I wanted to intern with someone successful—who goes beyond speaking about it, and is doing it.
She offered me a position as a Coach and Brand Strategist at PumpFit Club in Florida.
I train, teach classes, run the gym’s Social Media and come up with ideas for events that we can do in the community.
It’s never easy leaving those whom you’ve formed a bond with.
I continue to speak with my clients from Rhode Island and still coach a few via Skype and email.
My Rhode Island clients cheered me on.
After arriving at PumpFit in Florida, Hannah left to run the Ring Road in Iceland to honor a friend of hers, and others who have gone through cancer. She delegated the gym operations to me and another trainer.
I sometimes coach eight classes in a day—back-to-back.
I had to earn the respect of PumpFit Club members. While members were just getting to know me, I could feel they were asking themselves—“who is this person, what does she know?”
I might have been intimidated by the clientele—all of whom had been training with Hannah and the other coaches.
I thought to myself, ‘You earned this spot. You worked your butt off in school—you had better act like it.’
I told club members, ‘I know that I’m new, but I came here—to this gym—for you.’
From that moment forward—everything changed. Afterwards, when I corrected their form, they were willing to listen.
Outwardly, my coaching style is bold.
Inwardly, I’m sensitive and can be a bit timid about confronting others. Chris made us very aware that we had all the tools necessary; we just needed to believe we did.
I never want to be a trainer—I want to be a coach.
Clients learned that I notice the small things and that I am focused on getting the results they want. I try to remember everything about each client—their birthday, or if they just returned from visiting family out of state. I take time to check in with them and relate to them one-on-one.
Now I am taking another leap of faith.
I am launching a website: www.victoriaposner.com; Victoria Posner – Find Your Power—is about finding your power within.
Coaching clients, through the website, I’ll serve those who are fit to those struggling with osteoarthritis, like my mom.
Some of us are looking for a program to challenge us to the next level; others are looking for a program to help them stay accountable each day. The website will have online programs, in the form of e-books, including: “Core Strength” and “Pelvic Floor”.
My program requires very little equipment and can be done from the comfort of home.
The only thing you need to do is FIND YOUR POWER and commit. Be the best version of yourself. You can achieve anything;
you just need to believe you can and GO FOR IT!
I will always stay in my lane, which is fitness.
If I can help someone, I will. If what they need is outside of my scope of practice, I’ll bring someone else in to do that.
Anyone can sign up to go to school and get through.
MTTI prepared me to excel in my career. Chris dotted all of the “I’s” and crossed all of the “T’s. Ali Ring was great at getting people ready for internship. The mock interviews she set up helped me feel I could confidently speak about myself.
I’m happy I chose to go to school at MTTI.
Everyone at MTTI greets you with a smile. It’s nice to come into a place where they know your name and what you are doing. I had the support to push through the tough moments. Coming out the other end—I felt accomplished.
You have to want what you are aiming for—that applies both to school and to fitness.
There is always the risk of not getting to the goal. My life lesson has been to accept that not everything will be easy.
By first accepting where you are, you will be able to move forward.
Keep your focus on the goal. Weather any storm that comes your way—and Find Your Power!
Victoria Posner – Find Your Power – www.victoriaposner.com
Victoria with her MTTI class in the gym
Victoria with Hannah Eden (left) and the PumpFit Trainers
Victoria with Instructor, Chris Raymond, at her graduation
Rita Miranda, 2018 MTTI Graduate, Is A Medical Assistant at Reliant Medical Group in MA.
Rita Miranda, 2018 Medical Assistant Graduate
Registered Medical Assistant & Medical Assistant at Reliant Medical Group
“Harder than caring for any patient is to care for your own child who has cancer. I made a promise to my daughter before she died that I would go back to school.”
I always put my kids first—and put myself on the back burner.
I was 16 when I had my first child, married at 17. I’ve been married to my soulmate for 28 years; I’m a mom of five—and a grandmother. My husband and my children have been my greatest support throughout my journey.
For almost 25 years, I dreamed of getting into the medical field.
I’ve had a lot of obstacles thrown at me. I worked through them, determined to follow my dreams and reach my goals.
My biggest inspiration was my second child—my daughter, Ashley.
She was 16 months old when she was diagnosed with a brain tumor—an astrocytoma. Before her third birthday, she had endured 30 doses of chemo and radiation and 25 surgeries.
I became my daughter’s primary caretaker.
I cleaned her endotracheal tube to help her breathe, and managed the J-tube, for feeding her directly through her stomach.
As a mother, I am supposed to protect my daughter; why couldn’t my love save her?
She had all of the medical treatments possible. She never gave up—never stopped smiling. My love for her—even for her to have been born—saved me. That love gave me the courage to keep fighting for her life—and later for myself, when I decided to go to school.
Of the many ups and downs in life, the toughest was letting go of my daughter.
Ashley was born on November 21, 1991. On November 15, 1994 she passed away. Ashley was here to teach me; now she is my guardian angel. She is always with me, and continues to guide me to where I need to go.
More difficult than caring for any patient is to care for your own child who has cancer.
I made a promise to my daughter before she died that I would go back to school.
Urged to move forward by my son, Josh, I earned my GED when I was 43.
Afterwards, I completed RIRAL’s Transition to College in Woonsocket with good grades. I went to CCRI for a couple of years. Then I stopped taking classes so that I could help my daughter with her pregnancy.
I was looking for Medical Assistant classes.
I checked out all of the area schools. I could have earned a degree at another school in 1 – 2 years. I knew people who did not like their experience there—and it was expensive.
At MTTI I could “fast-track” to complete the program in 7 months.
In addition to the Medical Assistant diploma, I could also earn Certificates in Phlebotomy and EKG.
I fell in love with MTTI.
Coming to MTTI was the best decision ever.
We were very well trained at MTTI.
Everyone learns at their own pace. My instructor, Ms. Jen didn’t move on until everyone was comfortable with what we had covered. She also gave us one-on-one help. It’s not just a job to her—her passion for teaching inspired my passion to become a medical assistant.
The most difficult part of my Medical Assistant training was learning Phlebotomy.
I had been petrified of needles in the past—and I didn’t want to hurt anyone.
Ms. Jen is very compassionate and caring—as well as knowledgeable.
She eased us into phlebotomy—there was no pressure. She helped us relax and overcome our fears. She would say, to me, ‘Rita, breathe.’
Overcoming my fear of needles, so that I could draw blood from patients, felt incredible.
While in school I kept saying “sorry” when I had to practice phlebotomy on someone. Now I tell patients that it will ‘just pinch a little bit’. I am getting additional training to certify at my jobsite. I’m comfortable doing this because I did it first at MTTI.
I became a Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) before completing MTTI’s program.
I took the American Medical Technologist’s exam while still in school. I studied and studied--and passed! It’s so exciting to have my RMA card.
I interned at Brookside Medical Associates / Ocean State Primary Care.
I got up at 5 am to arrive there at 6:30 am, and then worked until 5 or 6 pm. I was trained by a fantastic Medical Assistant. Unfortunately, they didn’t have an open position at the time.
Shawn, the Career Services Specialist, was phenomenal.
He helped me with my resume and connected me with employers. He called Reliant Medical Group. I went in to shadow, to see if it was the right fit. It was a match made in heaven.
At Reliant Medical Group, I am part of a team.
I work with one provider, one nurse and one Patient Service Specialist secretary. I put patients into rooms, take vital signs, do patient assessments, perform phlebotomy and lab tests, including strep and urine testing. Soon I will be giving immunizations.
Every day is a new adventure; I will always be learning.
I was hired at my first Medical Assistant job at 45. I never in the past would have believed I would be here. At one point I didn’t think I was smart enough to do this.
It is never too late to go back to school.
I wanted to be a role model for my kids—so they know that, because I did this, they can make their own dreams and goals come true. Most special to me is that I can look at my husband, kids and grandkids and see that they are proud of me. It makes all of the work I did to get here worth it.
This is my passion.
When I’m doing what I love to do, it’s not a day of work. It is a day of caring for people. It feels good to know that I am helping patients feel better.
Photo: Ashley was born on November 21, 1991. Her hand is like an imprint on my heart.
The plaque was made for Hasbro Hospital's emergency room, on November 15, 2013.
On that exact date, one year later, Ashley Miranda, our miracle baby girl, passed away.
Shalem Cabezudo, 2018 MTTI Computer & Networking Graduate, Works at Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts.
2018 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate
Slot Technician at Plainridge Park Casino
I came to MTTI with over 30 years of quality control and assurance experience.
I was an Aviation Structural Mechanic in the United States Navy. In recent years my positions involved microelectronics. I worked a series of jobs for great companies—but the contracts were always short-term.
I have a passion for both electronics and computers.
I thought by earning a Certificate, I could get hired into a position that had more stability. I explored training programs, but had difficulty finding one that interested me.
The Computer & Networking program at MTTI caught my interest!
I learned at the Career Center in Fall River that MTTI’s program includes both computer technology and electronics. This training would give me so many different options for IT!
The atmosphere at MTTI has a family-like feel.
When I visited MTTI for the first time, I was impressed by how everyone on staff speaks with you. Even at the Front Desk, they were so willing to answer questions.
My Instructor, Ken, was always able to give me one-on-one assistance.
This made it very comfortable to learn. Ken is so knowledgeable! He will go out of his way to help you accomplish what you need to in the program.
Even though I was not in his class section, the other Computer & Networking Instructor helped me, too.
I could go to Boris with questions. He was right there, and wouldn’t let me go until he was sure I understood his explanation.
My classmates were a great bunch.
We got along well and helped each other when we were in the lab. There is always going to be someone who knows more about a specific aspect of the technology than another.
I completed a Network Technology Internship at Progresso Latino.
A non-profit organization in Central Falls, RI, they take their business seriously and give back to the Community—for example, to women who have cancer. They support other charities, including for children who have muscular dystrophy.
I was nervous at first to be out of the classroom and at a real work site.
When I had some questions, I called Ken. He said, “Google it”. That was good advice; I’ve since solved many technical problems by “googling”. I gained confidence as the internship progressed. I was able keep Progresso Latino’s PCs and computer systems going. By the end of the internship, I could teach others how to maintain their own systems.
The last weeks of the program were especially challenging.
I was interning, while studying for the A+ Certification exam—and looking for a job!
I made contact with Plainridge Park Casino.
I chose to go in person to drop off my resume. They liked the customer service and communication skills I demonstrates by making direct contact with them.
I was hired at Plainridge Park Casino two weeks after graduation.
I’m in a position and business environment I want to be in. People at Plain Ridge Park interact with each other professionally. There is an exceptional feeling of equality—Managers, VPs and the President all talk to you on an equal level. They say, “My office is open—you are welcome to come in anytime.”
MTTI Computer & Networking Graduate, Ashley Duarte, trained me.
He showed me the ropes. We work well together as a team.
The company wants to train me in their IT operations.
I will do that, after first learning the slot position well. In an IT position I will use skills I learned at MTTI to set up user accounts, monitors and systems and active directories.
The knowledge I got from the program at MTTI paid off.
My boss is impressed with how I am able to analyze a problem and come up with a solution. Another tech was assuming that a faulty component was the problem with a slot machine. I learned at school not to assume that any one area might be the problem—but to check everything. The fault was actually a cable—a wire. When I inspected it visually, I saw a spark. The wire had to be replaced. I did that and it worked perfectly.
The training at MTTI challenged me to use my mind.
I learned at MTTI to look things up online so that I continuously learn more. Every day I read something about technology. I used to fall asleep after reading a few minutes, but I am excited about technology— it holds my interest.
MTTI is the place to learn and to meet and make friends.
It is a family-oriented environment that will help you get where you need to start or make a career change.
When asked about MTTI, I say, “Go—it will be a very good decision.”
You will not just like it—you will LOVE it!”
Lucia (Lucy) Lincoln, 2018 MTTI Graduate, is a Medical Assistant at the Primary Walk-In Center in East Providence, RI.
Lucia (Lucy) Lincoln
Lucia (Lucy) Lincoln, 2018 Medical Assistant
Medical Assistant at the Primary Walk-In Medical Center in East Providence
I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field.
I couldn’t afford to go to nursing school after high school; I had to work. For a while, I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA). Life went on and I became a stay-at-home mom with four children.
In 2011, I started nursing school part-time at a community college.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer during 2014, I was still taking classes. I tried to continue while having chemo and radiation—and caring for my family. I would get chemo on Tuesdays and miss classes later in the week
My grades reflected how much class time I had missed.
I had to leave the nursing program. I would have been required to wait for five years to re-enter the program, and to re-take all of the nursing classes I had originally completed.
Nursing programs within commuting distance were too expensive.
I knew someone who had graduated from MTTI’s Medical Assistant program. She liked the program and was working as a Medical Assistant.
I chose MTTI because I could have a career in seven months.
The cost of the program was lower than at other schools. The class size was smaller. I liked MTTI’s friendly, easy going environment. Hands-on learning was a big plus—many skills in Medical Assisting are hard to learn from a book.
Typically a very calm person, I panicked while learning patient assessment.
I was nervous about what questions to ask—for example, when someone presents with a stomach ache.
I remembered I had dealt—all the time—with these same complaints at home.
And I knew how to handle them! I have a strong stomach and am naturally nurturing. When someone has something go wrong, I’m typically the first one there to help. I just needed to transfer my confidence in caring for family to what I was learning at school.
Initially, I was very nervous about drawing blood.
I didn’t think I would be able to do phlebotomy. My instructor, Ms. Jen, was awesome. She stayed very calm—even when one of us messed up. She talked me through it, saying, “See, see—you can do it!”
We also practiced giving injections a lot.
When I began internship, I initially felt nervous—but soon I was asking to give injections.
On our internship ‘search day’ I visited the Walk-In Center in East Providence.
I wanted a place where I could l learn a lot in many areas of medicine—not just one specialty. I don’t care for office work. I wanted to be busy doing hands-on clinical work.
The Walk-In Center agreed to intern me.
When I began, they didn’t have an open position in which to hire me. During the second or third week of interning, they asked if I would work ‘on call’ after graduation. I would have done that to get a foot in the door. Then in my last week of internship, someone gave notice. The Walk-In Center offered me a full-time position.
East Providence Center does it all—Walk-In plus Primary Care.
I work with three Physician Assistants, a Doctor and a Nurse Practitioner. I perform EKGs, Injections and assist with other procedures. I can ask another Medical Assistant for help, but I like to do as much as I can myself.
It’s hectic working in a walk-in center with primary care.
Patients want to be taken care of on their own time. It’s demanding--but I’m used to that with family. I’ve adapted to things quickly all of my life—even when it has been stressful. My life experience juggling kids has helped prepare me for working in a walk-in with primary care.
I’m the Medical Assistant that triages patients.
I take the vital signs, determine why they have come in that day, put them into rooms for the docs and see what needs to be done.
Patients ask plenty of questions!
When I don’t know the answers, I find the information. Patients feel I am attentive to their needs. The docs have told me that patients like me because I am pleasant and informative. I’m a good listener and I’m patient with people.
I just ‘clicked’ right into place at the Walk-In Center.
Everyone is supportive; the staff is easy-going. I’m learning new procedures, and becoming faster at what I do. I feel very comfortable.
Attending the program five days a week, while caring for family, was challenging.
My husband and I worked out a schedule to bring kids to and from school. I cooked and cleaned and helped with homework. Evenings I had ‘kid activities’.
The Medical Assistant program helped me learn time management.
Even when I was exhausted from receiving chemo, my kids saw me doing everything for the family. Then I still took care of family while going to MTTI. Since graduating and going to work, I’ve backed off a bit; I cook dinners in the crock pot. I’ve learned to moderate the feeling that taking care of everyone is solely my responsibility.
I’m truly happy and content being a Medical Assistant.
I’m not missing being a Nurse. I get a lot of responsibility, work hands-on and do a lot that nurses do. I feel fortunate to work at the Walk-In Center.
Nicole Bakelman, a 2016 MTTI Building Trades Tech Graduate, is pursuing a career as a Carpenter's Assistant.
Nicole Bakelman, 2016 Building & Property Trades Technician Graduate
Carpenter's Assistant at JP Remodeling in RI
“If you feel you are at a stand-still in your career, MTTI is the place to go. The training gives you hope for a better future. You’ll gain the knowledge and confidence to move forward in the right direction, in the field in which you want to work.”
I was always interested in the building trades.
My grandfather was a handyman; I watched him work in his home shop, while he built shelves for the family.
I wanted a better career to make a better life.
I wasn’t in a good place in my life. I was working in a warehouse; it wasn’t a steady job. It was difficult to pay my bills. I started thinking about going back to school.
A friend and I enrolled together in MTTI’s Building Trades program.
We chose MTTI because we knew a couple of people who had attended different programs.
I was excited to start!
At first, as we progressed from hand tools to using power tools, I felt a little overwhelmed. You have to get comfortable with power tools so that they become like any other tool you use.
Some things were easy, some were rougher to learn.
After the first weeks, it was smooth sailing through the program. The class came together to help each other out. It was fun to interact with other students, and see how different people worked. By the end of the program, we all had more confidence in our abilities.
I began to see myself working in this career.
By the time we had framed, put up sheetrock, installed plumbing and electrical in the module we built—and started the finish work with paint, wallpaper and trim, I felt ready to enter the field.
What I did in school prepared me for internship.
A classmate recommended me to a design-build-remodeling company in Boston. When they accepted me for internship, I felt excited and nervous to be working on real jobs. Quckly, I became comfortable. After internship I continued working as an employee for six months.
We were doing the same work I had done in school.
We built a deck for a Brownstone on Commonwealth Avenue and installed tile for a kitchen backsplash; I helped install windows. The guys on the crew were nice and taught me how they worked in that company. I learned to use the trade language, when talking about tools or laying out measurements and framing--like ‘kings and jacks’ for vertical studs used in framing out roughed openings for windows.
I answered an ad for a small company close to home in Rhode Island.
The owner liked that I had knowledge and training in MTTI’s school program, plus some work experience in Boston. Now I work alongside the owner, remodeling and renovating kitchens and bathrooms; installing windows and doors. We also build decks. I set up the tools, measure for framing and cut boards.
My employer likes that I come prepared to work.
I work hard and am always occupied doing something. I keep everything neat and clean on the job.
I ask questions so that I can get all the knowledge I can about the trade.
I’m continually learning, for example about foundations that are drilled down 48” (something we couldn’t see at school). I can go at my own pace, as long as I am productive.
The work is different every day.
We work both inside and outdoors. It feels freeing compared with the repetition of being in a warehouse job. Seeing that clients are happy with our work is a good feeling. It’s also a good workout—it keeps me fit!
I’m still part of the MTTI Community.
Even two years after I’ve graduated, Erin, the Career Services Specialist for the program, will help me update my resume. She still keeps me on the email list for job opportunities.
When I visit my former Instructor, Pat, he remembers me and is happy to see me.
I appreciate how much Pat cares about the people he teaches. He always gives students his all. He was sometimes hard on us, because he really wanted us to be good at what we do, and be successful in our careers. He definitely pushed me to do my best, which was great. Pat’s training helps me deliver professional quality finish work on the job.
MTTI is a great place to go to start or further your career.
Education is important. The school has many opportunities in different fields for people—wherever they want to go.
MTTI feels different from most schools.
The instructors really care about your well-being. Everybody cares about your future and wants to see you succeed. The smaller classes, plus one-on-one help in the classroom and shop, help you hone your skills. I have recommended the school to lots of people.
I feel proud to see what I have accomplished.
I feel I can accomplish anything. I’m definitely happier in my work and as a person.;
I can see myself in the field long-term, and moving up in the trades.
One day I would like to be a project manager.
This was one of the best decisions I had made in my life.
I wish I could do it all over again!
After Completing MTTI's Auto Tech Program, Veronica DosSantos Moved From Sales Administrator To Automotive Technician.
2018 Automotive Graduate
Gold Wrench Award Winner & HIghest Academic Average
Express Service Technician at a Subaru Dealership
I was always fascinated by cars.
My mom remembers that I asked for a jeep for my Barbie doll—I thought, ‘How can Barbie go shopping without a car?’ During my middle school years, I had a little hot wheel toy. I hated the green color—so I stripped the color, and used nail polish to paint it red.
As a young person, I liked to troubleshoot and fix things.
A family member who enjoyed working on cars introduced me to the automotive industry.
When I graduated High School, my classmates were taking SATs to apply to college.
I didn’t want to put my money into going to a two or four-year school to learn something I wasn’t interested in doing. I decided to take a year off after High School—that one year turned into eight.
In 2016, I started working at a dealership, providing customer service and sales.
As a Sales Administrator, I scheduled service appointments through CareConnect and reviewed orders with customers. Learning about PDIs (Pre-Delivery Inspections) on vehicles coming in from the Port taught me a lot. But I wanted to do something I have a passion for—I wanted to work on cars.
I looked into different career training programs.
At first, I considered a program in which I would work on a specific brand of vehicles. That, and the long commute, didn’t feel right for me.
Someone mentioned they knew a person who had attended MTTI.
Another friend encouraged me, and came with me to my Admissions appointment. After the tour, I thought, ‘What would it hurt to fill out an application?’ I completed the financial aid paperwork and decided I would start in a few months, during September.
At the program's start, four of my classmates were women.
Later a fifth woman transferred in from another class. The first four of us got pretty tight; it took a while to get used to another person. Now we are all friends and chat together on Facebook.
Smaller classes make a real difference.
My instructor, Rich, got to know each person in our group; he could relate to all of us, regardless of age, interests or background.
You learn from scratch or build on the auto tech skills you have.
We learned about something in the classroom and then went right into the shop to practice the same skill.
At MTTI you work on many makes and models of vehicles.
We learned to troubleshoot, diagnose and repair anything that comes in the door—our own or our classmates’ cars, and vehicles community members bring in. Similar to working in a repair shop, we saw or performed diagnostics almost every day—whether we used a scan tool or visually inspected a vehicle, to know what needed to be repaired.
We learned about bolts—and what to do when they break.
Someone I know went to a more expensive school—but had no idea what to do when a bolt broke.
The Auto Tech program dealt heavily with electrical systems.
It was the hardest part of the course—but knowing how to work on automotive electrical is so important. To work on today’s cars, you need more than mechanical training to become a technician. Rich told us, “Hybrids and electrical cars are the technology of the future—you can’t stop the future.”
When I tried something my own way, I had validation from the Instructors.
Instead of asking, ‘Am I doing this right?' I could say to them, ‘Do you see what I see?’ It supports, and even pushes you, to go for the answers when someone shows you how to do it yourself.
Rich would say, “Do it this way and this might happen. I’ve made this mistake myself.”
He would tell us, “Try it that way.” HIs guidance gave me a great foundation. Now that I am working on the dealership’s brand, I take what I’ve learned in school and figure out what I need to do differently.
We built up an understanding about how a car works as a whole.
That makes it easier now, on the job, to explain repairs to customers.
MTTI gave us a student discount for tools; we also earned a Tool Bonus after verifying that we were hired.
Having professional tools gave us an edge in starting a new career.
The internship made a nice transition into employment.
Interning at a dealership or repair shop builds on the basics we learned in school.
I moved from my Sales position into the Service Department at the start of internship.
During my internship, they threw me into anything that came in for service—they treated me like a regular employee. It’s the same work you learned in school, even if it is on a different brand than you’ve worked on before.
Doing tasks multiple times makes it easier—and makes you faster.
After a few weeks of repetition, it becomes comfortable. If you mess up, you learn from the experience; you make sure you don’t make the same mistake again. Your customer will appreciate if you check your work a second time, so they won’t have to come back because you didn’t do the job right the first time.
Being a female in the automotive industry, I can sometimes reassure female customers.
We give customers a color-coded multi-point inspections sheet to explain what work needs to be done. Female customers sometimes worry they’ll be charged for repairs they don’t need. Even though I work with nine honest males, sometimes I’m the best one to relieve a female customer’s concerns. By showing her what needs to be replaced, she knows she won’t be paying more than necessary for the repair.
A lot of people today are scared to enroll in a school program because of finances.
People get anxious about owing a large amount of money after four years of college. They worry about being in debt after school and not finding a job.
MTTI was affordable; leaving MTTI I had only a little debt—and I had begun an Auto Tech career.
Going to school to learn something we really like puts us on the path of doing something better in life.
Darien Fortes, 2017 MTTI Computer Service Technician/ Network Installer Graduate Success Story.
2017 Computer Service Technician/ Network Installer Graduate
Jr. Network Engineer at PacketLogix
“I got real-world training at MTTI. After completing the Computer & Networking program, I am pursuing an exciting career that enables me to make a really good living. At MTTI you are not just a student—you are someone with potential. MTTI is a steppingstone to a better future.”
I’ve always loved working with computer technology.
While still in high school, I taught myself software programs and how to edit audio and video. I didn’t second guess myself when deciding what type of career training to take. I toured multiple schools and chose to enroll in the Computer & Networking program at MTTI.
MTTI is more about quality than quantity; I enjoyed the small class size.
In High School I had 30 kids in some classes. Having one-on-one help from the teacher was difficult. At MTTI, the instructor walked around during lab to provide help--even the quiet students got his attention
Boris, my instructor, really cared about my success.
He worked with me to overcome my challenge with taking tests. I knew the answers, but when I read the test questions, I put too much pressure on myself. I would overthink the answers and second-guess myself.
Boris encouraged me to trust my initial response to test questions.
He read questions out loud until I learned to be a better test taker. My course grades improved. Now employed in the industry, I am comfortable taking tests to earn vendor certifications.
MTTI teaches you the terminology to talk about technology with clients.
Customer Service skills are essential to success in technology careers. Running my own DJ business, taught me the power of dealing well with people. Whether you are in a help desk position, communicating with customers on the phone—or a field tech, talking with clients in person—you have to be able to find out from them what the problem is and what happened.
MTTI taught me to work on a larger, more complex scale, with bigger companies and more corporate environments.
When I am on a vendor’s site, I can quickly research information about their system. Because of my training, I know what I am looking up. There are times when configurations are done incorrectly. I am able to identify what went wrong and fix the issue to go forward.
Immediately after graduating I worked as a contractor.
When I interned at Packetlogix, they didn’t have an open position. My first contract position was as Help Desk Support for a large corporation. My next contract was as a Field Tech. I traveled to different companies, resolving anything from installing PCs to replacing multiple switches. Although valuable experience, I wanted a networking position.
Packetlogix contacted me again about six months after internship.
They offered me a contract opportunity with the potential for hire. When someone left, I was hired in a permanent position.
PacketLogix is a smaller company in its number of employees—but not in its size or scope of projects.
I get a lot of varied experience working on larger, high end projects. At St. John’s Preparatory School, for example, we set up wireless for eleven buildings in two weeks. By replacing existing access points and adding new ones where needed, we built them a network.
I worked on the network PacketLogix installed for the NBA.
The National Basketball Association’s Headquarters in New York and New Jersey relies on us for strong, reliable wireless network support so they can broadcast video nationwide. They pipe live footage in from every broadcast camera, in each of the NBA’s 29 arenas, and quickly send edited replays back throughout the games.
PacketLogix specializes in wireless installation, maintenance and upgrade.
Because I continuously make extra efforts to learn our vendor’s products, I can confidently say to my boss, ‘You can put me on any Cisco Meraki project.’ Knowing he can send me out on my own makes me a more valuable employee.
Less than a year out of school, I am realizing my goal to work in networking.
Networking is the future. What I learned in MTTI’s program, and during internship, has given me the ability to jump into new projects. Earning Vendor Certifications has helped me move up quickly from Wireless/Telecommunications Specialist to Junior Network Engineer—and to receive a raise even before my six month review.
More than getting another job, I am proud that I am building a career.
I’ve never had difficulty getting hired for a job. After completing the Computer & Networking program, I am pursuing an exciting career that enables me to make a really good living.
I got real-world training at MTTI.
I don’t regret my choice to go to a tech school instead of getting a college degree. As I show more proficiency in configurations, my pay increases. I’m in a company where the CEO cares about, and supports, my success. I’m learning so much working on-the-job; my professional growth is unlimited.
At MTTI you are not just a student—you are someone with potential.
They bend over backwards to help you accomplish your goals. MTTI is the place where they teach you what you expect and more. MTTI is a steppingstone for a better future.
Photo above right: Darien at MTTI during the week that Computer & Networking students cross-train in Data Systems Cabling.
Terrence Boylan, CEO
PacketLogix is a solutions provider of specialized network technologies primarily focused in the IT security and wireless networking fields. PacketLogix assists customers in the design, acquisition, implementation, and training on the solutions the company implements.
16 Cutler Street, Warren, RI 02885
Check out Darien’s DJ Business:
DJ Fortes Digital DJ
New Bedford, Massachusetts 02740
Stacy Perry Describes Preparing To Pass The AAPC Coding Exam And Working As a Billing Specialist.
2017 Medical Billing and Coding/Office Administration Graduate
On Assignment as a Senior Billing Specialist at CVS Corporate Finance Center
After I lost my job in Accounts Receivable, my search for work was not going well.
I took classes, seminars and attended Job Fairs to improve my job search skills.
I found out there is not a high demand for bookkeepers anymore.
It was difficult to find work, particularly at the pay I wanted. Few people hire someone to sit at a desk and perform bookkeeping—they send the work out to accounting firms.
I met an MTTI Career Services Representative who came to the Attleboro Career Center.
Shawn caught my attention when he described the Medical Billing & Coding / Office program. I took his information folder home.
I made a quick decision to visit MTTI.
I interviewed with the instructor, Ms. Roc—she’s an awesome person. Ms. Roc makes sure prospective students understand the medical administrative industry and the work and commitment needed to complete the program. After asking me questions, she told me, “You got this, if you want to take the program—you can do it.”
I looked at starting school as an adventure!
I was excited to sign up for a class beginning in January 2017.
I wanted to get back into the workforce quickly.
It had taken me four years of part-time study to earn an Associate’s degree. Now, more than ten years later, and in my mid-forties, I was going back to school full-time. I was newly married and also needed to maintain a personal life.
The program is not for the ‘weak at heart’—it is intense.
Unlike going to college classes two or three nights a week, you are here all day—five days a week. Be prepared to feel frustrated at times. Once or twice, I even thought I might quit. Expect that you will put in time at home to prepare for the next day, which can be difficult for people who have children.
It helped that I had a lot of support.
My family and friends all encouraged me. Michael, my new husband, supported me when I needed to go to the library. He put up with pizza for dinner and watched hockey in the other room while I studied. He didn’t mind when I brought my books to study during weekends away.
My fellow classmates helped one another.
People going through the program together become very close; our camaraderie helped us get through.
I suggest that new students ‘get a buddy’.
Friends and family can’t completely understand what you are going through. Having even one person with whom you are comfortable, and that you can bounce your feelings off of, will help you.
My instructor was a major support.
Christine, my instructor knows the material. She is a knowledgeable teacher who inspires you to do your best work.
You could choose to see the AAPC coding exam as a monster that’s going to crush you.
The test is your goal. As you practice taking timed tests during class, you begin to gain confidence in yourself. You start feeling that maybe it won’t be so bad after all.
Life happens—you have to adapt.
When a family member underwent emergency surgery just before the weekend of the test, it blew my study plans out of the water. Because I had been studying all along, I already felt prepared and took the exam.
Waiting for the test results was the longest 3-4 days of the entire school experience.
A couple of my classmates told me they got their results. That evening, while I was driving, I stayed logged into the AAPC website on my phone to see my results. They weren’t posted yet—Michael kept hitting ‘refresh’ on my phone.
Suddenly Michael shouted, ‘You passed!’
Since he’s been known to joke, it took a moment for me to believe him. When I had left the testing room a few days before, I expected to ’just pass’. I was surprised that I did better than that. What a relief! All of my hard work paid off!
Internship was important to my success.
I knew I wanted to work in billing. I was fortunate to intern with the Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) in Cranston. My supervisor showed me everything; it gave me a good few weeks of experience in billing.
With Career Services’ assistance, I submitted applications and sent out resumes.
My first position after graduation came through a staffing agency. Don’t be afraid of working through an agency—it gets your foot in the door. The Agency handles the paperwork—and most give you benefits. It can also give you the opportunity to try different jobs.
I moved on to a temporary position as Senior Billing Specialist for CVS.
This position has the potential of becoming permanent at the Corporate Finance Center. The position focuses on processing claims from CVS Minute Clinic facilities across the United States.
Careers Services is there for students, even after graduation.
I continue to receive regular emails about job opportunities from Shawn—he’s always on top of that.
It’s a journey you can take pride in.
MTTI has a good crew of people—who care. You have to do your part. You have to want it—show up and do the work. The program goes by so fast. It’s only seven months—it takes less time than having a baby! Michael said, ‘I’m glad you stuck it out, because now you are on a new road.’
Before starting school at MTTI I researched and read all of the online reviews.
The school has a good reputation. I’m very satisfied with my outcome. Provided I keep up my AAPC Membership and Continuing Education Credits, I can take my Certification to any state. Attending the Medical & Billing/Office program was a good investment. I am proud of what I have accomplished!
Photos: Right side of page: Stacy with Career Services Rep, Shawn & Instructor, Christine. Left side (bottom): Stacy with her husband, Michael.
Joely Rodriguez, 2017 MTTI HVACR Graduate Success Story.
Joely Rodriguez, 2017 HVACR Graduate
Gold Wrench Award for Academic & Skills Excellence and Attendance
Sheet Metal / HVAC Assistant at R.W. Bruno in Lincoln, RI
"MTTI is a good place to start because it is not as expensive as other schools. Now, it’s a whole new world for me. MTTI opened the door for me to enter into the trades. This is only the beginning—I look forward to taking on more responsibility and earning a good living in the HVAC trade."
For almost 7 years, beginning when I was 17, I worked at my father’s market.
I organized and stocked, handled the orders, opened and closed the store. Each day the routine was the same as the day before—I was bored.
Someone recommended MTTI to me.
I kept that in mind. Then a second person—a distant cousin—told my family that he was attending MTTI’s HVAC/R evening program part-time, and was already working in the industry. He suggested I check out the school and told my mom, ‘Do it now-classes are starting soon!’
Right from the beginning in the HVAC/R program, we did something new every day.
Unlike my brief experience taking Gen Ed courses at a community college, I was interested in everything we were doing in class. I especially liked learning how to read electrical schematics, and wiring electrical boards and thermostats.
I took MTTI’s course seriously—I didn’t miss a single day of class.
I appreciated that my instructors were always ready to answer questions about HVAC and Refrigeration. I learned a lot from my classmates’ questions—things that I wouldn’t have thought to ask.
My instructors taught me how to do quality work.
I learned how to make the wiring neat and organized—both for safety and so the next person could identify them. The Instructors organized the course to build our skills—starting with basic electricity—until we were prepared to learn the more complex information about refrigeration.
The course progressed easily; I was never nervous about going to class.
The only scary thought I had was that I worried, ‘what if I make a mistake out in the real world’?
I started working on the first day scheduled for the start of internship.
I sent my resume to an ad for an HVAC Assistant at R.W. Bruno. They called, interviewed and hired me. The day after I began working, I was contacted by a major HVAC and Plumbing Company for an internship-to-hire; I chose to stay with R.W. Bruno.
The other employees I worked with were a lot more experienced than I was.
The first day as a new hire was a little intimidating. Some people had worked in the industry for at least 18 years; one had more than 20 years of experience in sheet metal.
Everyone I worked with has been nice; they walked me through tasks and gave me tips.
R.W. Bruno specializes in commercial heating and air conditioning. The first project I observed was ductwork in a utility company building. They taught me the steps of how to make good connections and seal the joints well with mastic.
I always aim to do quality work.
I make sure the insulation looks good, with everything wrapped and nothing exposed. If I’m stapling insulation, I place the staples every couple of inches, to be sure the insulation won’t fall down. By doing quality work, I want to encourage the company to put me into situations where I can learn more, and take on more responsibility
MTTI inspired me to keep learning about HVAC on the job.
I ask questions before doing something new—and make sure my supervisors know what I am doing. I want to do each job once—not have to redo it because I made a mistake or didn’t take care to do the best quality work.
I research everything before working on a new task or project.
By researching what we will be working on, I have been able to answer the questions the more experienced techs ask me. One of the guys tried to throw me a curve; he tried to test my knowledge about air balancing through the air duct system in commercial buildings. The company foreman was surprised when I could answer the question.
I’ve applied a lot of what I’ve learned in the real world.
I’ve been able to troubleshoot problems at my family’s market. When a cooler went down, and no power was going to the unit, I recognized the clicking noise. I thought the issue must be electrical. Looking at the at the back of the unit, I saw that the last person who had serviced it had left the box cover off. I was correct—the problem was an exposed contact.
MTTI is a good place to start because it is not as expensive as other schools.
The HVAC/R program has a flexible schedule—you can attend full-time during the day, or part-time in the evening program.
MTTI opened the door for me to enter into the trades.
Before coming to school, I didn’t have much of a plan for the future, or sense of direction. Now, it’s a whole new world for me.
This is only the beginning—I have so much more to look forward to.
I feel like I am making progress. I’m saving for a new car that I hope to buy sometime this year. I look forward to taking on more responsibility and earning a good living in the HVAC trade. I still help out part-time at my dad’s store—but ultimately, I’d rather work eight hours in an unheated building than four hours in retail!
RW Heating & Cooling
RW Bruno specializes in commercial heating and air conditioning, design elements and more
42 Albion Rd, Lincoln, RI 02865
Logan Torrence traveled the world before coming to MTTI to learn to do what he loves--working on cars.
2017 Automotive Service Technician Graduate &
Gold Wrench Award for Academic Average, Shop Skills & Attendance
Technician A at Pep Boys
Traditional Education is not suited for everyone; I definitely did not think it was for me.
I promised my mother I would go to college. My father is a fine artist, so creativity is in my genes. After getting my GED, I enrolled in a well-known art school.
After six months at college, I knew a career in art was not the right path.
I was only 16 and my roommates were in their 20's.Not only was the age difference a huge culture shock, but I could not see a financially sustainable future as an artist. I knew there was something better—I just had to find it.
Knowing the military would be a pathway to specialized training, I joined the army.
I went to a recruitment center and asked them to put me into the infantry. Life in the service was a big shift from painting. At the end of three years of honorable service, I wasn't sure I could find a career as high speed and meaningful as my time in army.
Coming out of the infantry, I wondered what skills I had for the workforce.
My hard skills had been honed for the battlefield. Many veterans enter the police force; that wasn’t what I wanted to do.
For a while I worked in corporate security at a Fortune 1000 company.
I moved up quickly to middle management. I spent 8 hours at a desk all day. I was financially stable, but knew a sedentary lifestyle didn't suit me.
I decided that traveling would give me the freedom to find out what I loved to do.
To change my life, I sold everything I owned—even my bed. I drilled holes in the wall to hang a hammock for sleeping. I used the money from selling my possessions to purchase a passport and a plane ticket.
I gave two weeks’ notice at my job—when the two weeks were up, I got on a plane.
In Bangkok, Thailand, I was able to live well on very little money. I loved talking with the Thai people; I learned they could do almost anything with just about nothing.
Moving on to Singapore, I found the culture was very different compared with Bangkok.
Everyone seemed to be a millionaire; they all owned Lamborghinis and worked as hedge fund managers, bankers, or in similar occupations.
I eventually arrived in Australia, where I felt more at home with the people.
I worked at different jobs, but felt I was in the right place when I entered the automotive industry. I talked my way into working for a man who knew the car business inside and out. He put up the money to buy and flip cars; my job was to fix them up for sale. Coming home covered in grease, working hands-on as a mechanic beat sitting at a desk any day!
I told him I could do light mechanical and electric work.
We both quickly realized that I still had a lot to learn. Although I had worked on motorcycles and cars as a hobby, I hadn't had any formal training.
I worked 16-17 hours a day to accomplish what a trained, experienced tech could do in five.
Recognizing that I had the drive and passion to learn the job, he kept me on and taught me about the industry.
A year after I left the US, it was time to come home.
On the trip home, I returned to Bangkok, where the people were nice and the food was good. I rented a scooter and drove to Cambodia and Myanmar (Burma).
Back at home, I was determined to learn to work with my hands in the Auto Industry.
I didn’t care what it took to be able to do that. I wanted to be the best I could be at whatever I chose to do.
I took a job detailing cars and motorcycles.
It was the one thing I knew I was good at doing. I took detailing seriously—but the company I worked for, and the people I worked with, did not respect what I did.
I searched for a technical college in New England.
I was already good with cars—I just wanted to learn the right way to work on them, in preference to using duct tape and zip ties to patch things together.
I looked at more expensive schools.
I found that at many schools, students worked on cars that were cut-in-half. The students never see the cars actually run, either before or after working on them.
At MTTI, you work on real cars.
You learn how to remove rusted and broken bolts. You do real life repairs on your own car, other students’ cars, and cars that people bring to the school. You have the satisfaction of helping your community with repairs and maintenance—and watching them happily drive their cars away.
MTTI gave me the tools to make it happen.
Not just the industry tool set—which I continue to use after graduation—but the knowledge I gained from the experienced instructors. Rich and Arturo taught me the basic concepts about everything you need to know. Nuts and bolts might be different according to the make and model—or a repair might require special tools—but if you know the theory of how things work, you can fix anything from a farm truck to a Ferrari.
I also learned soft skills.
Erin in Career Services helped me prepare for job search, including writing a resume and practicing for interviews.
MTTI helped me find a good job.
When only part-way through the program, Pep Boys came to the school to interview students—they hired me. I worked part-time until I graduated. Now, full-time, I’ve doubled the salary I was making at my middle management desk job in corporate security.
My instructors at MTTI taught me the key to working flat rate.
You need to know the steps you will take before you even see the car you are working on. Especially for things you do a lot—tires or general maintenance—you can set it up to be fast and efficient. I count the steps from the car to the toolbox and set up, within arm's reach, the 10% of the tools that I will use 90% of the time. This was one of the many skills they taught me.
Working flat rate, I keep up with the more experienced techs in the shop.
The day I was credited 15.4 hours for 8 hours of physical work, I knew I had chosen the right career—and I love it. It is always challenging and exciting to find the right—and the fastest—way to do something.
While working, I am continuing my education.
Pep Boys is paying for me to take ASE tests. Only a few months out of school, and I am well on my way to becoming a Master Technician at Pep Boys; a couple of more tests and I will also be ASE Certified as a Master Tech!
MTTI is the best choice if you are ready to master your craft.
The Automotive Service Tech program gives you the opportunity to experience what it is like working in a real shop, solving the problems you will experience on the job, and using industry tools.
You get out what you put into the Auto Service Tech program.
Commit to your program—be at school every day, don’t text on your phone during class. If you set project goals for yourself, you’ll accomplish more than you ever thought was possible.
When you love something, you get good at it quickly.
I went from loathing high school to earning a 97.4 GPA at MTTI. I was awarded the Gold Wrench for my class. When you put in the work and are passionate about what you are learning, then you will be successful. I have the fire to learn more and to push myself to be the best I can be, in an industry I love.
Christian Tsoi-A-Sue, 2016 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate Success Story.
2016 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate
Desktop / EPIC & iMAC Technician at UMASS Memorial Hospital
At 24, I had no plans to go back to school; I wasn’t even thinking about training for a career.
I was an easy-going guy, working as a bar-back. Life was focused on having fun.
Driving home on Route 95 late one night, my life changed in an instant.
I was hit head-on by a 26 year-old drunk driver going the wrong way. I remember seeing his body shatter the windshield as I watched him lose his life.
After I came out of my first surgery at the hospital, I coded.
I woke up to witness doctors working to revive me. Before I regained consciousness, I ‘saw’ in my mind the number ‘66’—then I came back to life. Much later, I learned the meaning of that number.
The doctors and nurses said it was either luck or a miracle that I was alive.
They later told me that only about 3% of victims survive an accident like this.
During the three weeks in the hospital and over the next year, I had four surgeries.
I had six broken ribs, a collapsed lung and both knees were shattered. My femur (thigh bone) had to be replaced with a metal rod. One foot was sewn back on. I had facial surgery to repair my nose, which had been split from bottom to top.
The accident was a huge wake-up call; afterwards I looked at life very differently.
I lived with pain every day—but I was alive. I kept thinking, ‘I should be dead, or have only one foot. What have I accomplished so far in my life? Where do I go from here?’
The accident happened just days before the memorial service for my step-dad.
In 2011, at the age of 45, my step-dad, Brian Pereira, graduated from MTTI’s Computer & Networking program. After graduating, he worked as a Network Service Technician at CORE Business Technologies, until he passed away during 2014.
I saw what attending MTTI’s program had done for my step-dad.
I wanted to set myself up for success the way he had.
I wasn’t yet able to walk—but I couldn’t just sit at home.
No longer able to stand for long periods or do heavy lifting, I realized I couldn’t participate in sports anymore—or work as a bar-back. I had to find another way to earn a living.
My first visit to MTTI was in a wheel chair.
Initially I couldn’t drive, because I had no feeling in my right foot. At the program’s start, I walked with crutches and a brace. On the days when I was in too much pain to come to school, I studied at home.
At MTTI, I put everything I had into the program.
In high school, I just wanted to get by and graduate. At MTTI, I understood I would have buckle down and work hard to get the full benefit from the Computer & Networking training.
MTTI’s environment supported my healing.
Even though I could not be as physical as I had been before the accident—and emotionally I felt less joyful—the daily routine of coming to class helped restore some normalcy to my life.
Classes at MTTI are small; everyone knows one another.
Developing relationships with other students lifted my spirits and helped motivate me. My classmates and I wanted to graduate together as a team, so that we could go out ready to take off in our new careers.
IT (Information Technology) is a career with longevity and potential for advancement.
I was concerned about the impact of the accident on my mom and brothers. I needed to help my family by earning money to pay the medical bills that insurance hadn’t covered.
Everyone at MTTI was honest about employment opportunities.
Although I knew that Career Services would help me in every way possible, I understood that not everyone would get the best jobs. Employers would naturally be more interested in hiring students who applied themselves during the program.
I didn’t sell myself short when searching for a job.
I had confidence in my education at MTTI and my internship experience at CORE Business Technologies (where my step-dad had worked). I knew that what I had learned was sufficient. I didn’t hesitate to apply to any company—small or large.
After graduating, I was hired at Rhode Island Hospital.
While there, I earned an increase in salary. I knew though, that I could do even better.
I applied to, and was hired at, UMASS Memorial in Worcester.
Now I set up systems for new hires and teach employees how to use them. I deal with software applications and problems every day. I image computers and deploy all equipment, including dictation mikes, scanners and credit card machines.
In the field you have to be knowledgeable to accomplish many different tasks.
Although the applications I work with are specific to the hospital, I built upon what I learned at school about Windows Servers; Windows Event Log; troubleshooting with remote access and changing settings in BIOS before imaging a computer.
I was well-prepared by MTTI to excel in my work at the hospital.
Based on my ability to adapt quickly and take on additional responsibilities, I was given a promotion and a salary increase. I am still hungry to grow. I am studying EPIC software applications to be able to expand my abilities.
I wake up every day feeling good about going to work.
The people and the culture at UMASS Memorial make me want to do more, as part of the team. Everyone here is willing to teach me.
MTTI was the stepping stone to a networking career.
The Computer & Networking program is awesome. The small tight-knit class, hands-on learning and the experienced instructor, Boris—who was always there to answer questions and provide help—set me up for success.
I am having a phenomenal life now.
It’s been a long road and a bumpy journey. The first time I walked again was a euphoric experience. I see myself continuously improving in health and in my career. It amazes me to look back and see what I have accomplished.
I am thankful for everyone who gave me love and support.
My mom and brothers, friends, co-workers at the hospital and the MTTI community—all have helped me move past pain and overcome the odds to recover from my injuries. My late step-dad, Brian, continues, even after passing, to be a mentor to me in learning life’s lessons.
I see the number ‘66’ now whenever something good is about to happen in my life.
The number I saw in the hospital when my heart stopped is said to be a message of unconditional love and healing from your angels. I have learned to have faith and to trust in God’s Grace and the benevolence of the universe.
I’m not angry at the driver who hit me.
I’m grateful that the accident helped me grow up and see my future differently. In the past I would ask ‘what if’ or think, ‘I should have done this or that’. The question I had always failed to ask myself was, "what's next"?
When you have the passion, drive and tenacity, there are no limits in this industry—or in your life.
Although you can’t predict the future, I‘ve learned that ‘what’s next’ is largely up to you. If you are a student in MTTI’s program—apply yourself and you will get the benefit of the education. If you work hard at your job, you will make your career, and yourself, a success.
I keep asking ‘what’s next’.
I know I was kept on this earth for a reason. In due time, everyone who loved and supported me will see what’s next!
Brian Pereira, 2011 Computer Service Technician/Network Installer Graduate, passed away on September 2, 2014.
MTTI remembers Brian as an excellent student, whose work ethic and positive outlook inspired others. Brian once told his Career Services Representative, Rick, that his favorite word was “yes” and least favorite was “can’t”. Brian’s advice to future students and career seekers was, “Attitude Determines Altitude. How far are you willing to go?”
If you would like to contribute to Christian’s GoFundMe to help him repay his medical bills: https://www.gofundme.com/ehnmgcz8
Rosa Brown, 2016 MTTI Medical Billing & Coding / Office Admin. Graduate.
2016 Medical Billing & Coding / Office Administration Graduate
Billing Specialist at New England Medical Billing
Before coming to MTTI, I worked for ten years in retail at Lowe’s.
A friend of mine was thinking about going into the medical field; we talked about it, and I thought, ‘why not’?
I couldn’t wait to go to school.
I did lots of internet research and read all of the reviews about MTTI before enrolling in the Medical Billing and Coding / Office Administration program.
Going back to school was overwhelming at first.
I had been out of school for so long. Working in retail, I hadn't need to learn computer skills.
My biggest challenge was becoming proficient at using a computer.
I needed to catch up to equal the comfort level of people who had been using computer technology at their jobs or in their lives. Thank goodness MTTI could show me how to use a computer—the office administration part of the program was very helpful for me.
After a month in the program, I felt less overwhelmed.
Students in my class supported one another. With help from the instructors, I was beginning to feel more positive about working on the computer. I learned how to use PowerPoint and other programs. The instructors constantly gave me positive feedback, telling me that I could do anything I set my mind to do.
What I learned during the program could also have helped my family.
I lost my mother and my sister, within four months of each other. I wished I had known, during the 20 years I took care of Mom, what I know now about medical insurance.
When I didn’t pass the Coding exam the first time, it was not the end of the world.
Fortunately, the fee the school pays to the AAPC, for students who qualify to sit for the exam, covers two opportunities to take the test. I felt that I needed more on-the-job experience actually using the CPT codes and modifiers before taking the test again. I feel more ready now to take the test again.
I was confident I would get a job.
I had faith in the education that MTTI had given me. I also knew that the Career Services Specialist for the program, Ali, would help me with my search.
At the end of internship, I emailed New England Medical Billing to thank them for the opportunity.
There was no open position at the time I completed my internship at NEMB. In my email to the Billing and Operations Manager, I told her how wonderful it was to intern there. I asked her to please let me know about any open positions.
I heard back from the Billing and Operations Manager within one week of sending the ‘thank you’ email.
They were hiring for a Registration position. I accepted the position; I was happy to start at the bottom and to work my way up.
The computer skills MTTI had taught me were essential to the position.
I worked on the computer, inputting data, including patient demographics, into the database. I also used the financial management skills that I learned at school. I would not have known what to do without having attended MTTI!
I like every aspect of being a biller.
My work has now evolved so that it includes billing in addition to Registration. I have my own Doctor’s office to work with; I do the billing for the practice. I love putting in the charges and using the modifiers (procedure codes) we learned in school.
What I love most is the knowledge that I am helping people.
A clinical patient care career wasn’t the right fit for me. I have a tender heart for people when they are suffering. I’d be crying all of the time—and tempted to take home every child and older person who is ill or in pain.
I can best help people from behind the scenes.
If a patient calls us, we try to help them as much as we can. A lot of older patients get confused when they receive a medical bill. I am able to help them understand co-pays and how we use the codes. I’m there to listen to them. If they can’t pay the whole bill, we can work with them by setting up monthly payments.
NEMB is great to work for—especially the people I work with.
My supervisors provide training to help me grow in the job. NEMB is a family-oriented company. They recognize that you have a family outside of work.
Certain qualities are helpful if you are thinking about becoming a medical biller or coder.
Are you ready to work hard? Can you be patient in talking with people and insurance companies on the phone? You will need to enter charges and balance accounts, and be a good problem solver when resolving claims that are denied.
I didn’t know before I enrolled in MTTI’s program that I would love it.
My mind was set on making this my career. I was pleased to find out how much of what I learned can help me to help other people.
My experience at MTTI has been tremendous.
The school atmosphere is very welcoming. All of the people at the school—instructors, staff, other students—are always willing to help. Ali supported us in every aspect of finding employment. Ms. Roc is an experienced, well- educated medical billing and coding teacher: she will go above and beyond for her students. Everyone at MTTI is so friendly and helpful that they make you feel like family!
Ross Allen 2016 MTTI Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate Success Story.
2016 Computer Service Technician / Network Installer Graduate
Enterprise Customer Support at Cox Business
If you are looking to change your life for the better, and want a new exciting career, MTTI is the place for you.
Before enrolling at MTTI, I was cooking in all different restaurants.
I worked long hours, in stressful environments, and didn’t have health care benefits. When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease (a chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract), I recognized that restaurants were not the ideal place for me to work.
I always found great joy in working on computers on my own.
I knew I wanted to pursue a career in the technology industry. I also recognized that I did not want to go back to school for four years.
I had tried college before.
I had taken some general business courses at the Community College. They weren’t tailored to the ways I like to learn. I wanted a hands-on program that was quicker, without the general studies.
I didn’t know how to build a computer before joining MTTI.
I had technical knowledge, but going through every single component was a great stepping stone to working in the industry.
Small classes made it easy to learn.
In the classroom, if I didn’t understand something, my Instructor, Boris and I would work it out.
MTTI makes everything easy, all the way through the program.
Financial Aid assisted me in setting up a loan, and later, transitioning to paying for it as I left.
I was hired to work at Cox on the first day my class was scheduled to begin internship.
I applied to Cox and interviewed for the position while still in the program. I was a little nervous about the interview, but I was well- prepared for it.
I was used to working to a different beat.
It was a little nerve-wracking going into a corporate organization—400 people compared with 20 employees in the restaurants where I had worked. I was accustomed to working directly with a private restaurant owner. When you are employed by a corporation, you may never meet the owner.
Before accepting a corporate job offer, I suggest thoroughly researching the organization.
Find out everything about it. Talk to people who have worked for them. Know what you are getting into.
My first position was as a Network Support Center (NSC) Technical Specialist I.
In Tier 1, you work as part of a launch team for additional services and products; it is a customer-facing position. I moved up to NSC Technical Specialist Tier II, where we become leaders. Assisting the Tier 1 Representatives.
Recently, I moved into a separate group that deals directly with carriers.
I work with high-end customers, including Verizon and Time Warner, who pay premiums to work with us. I help troubleshoot and support the internet network backbone that delivers data via fiber optics.
Today the internet has hundreds of thousands of miles of cable that span the globe.
These fiber optic cables continuously transmit data between countries. Companies have to work with each other to manage and maintain all parts of the network. Cox will sell or rent another carrier portions of the fiber so that those companies can provide their customers with service. Those carriers do the same for Cox Communications.
You have to find the type of education that works for you.
I chose MTTI because it was a 30-week, lower cost option. The program pinpoints what you need to know to enter into a specific industry—in my case, computer and network support technology.
I was motivated to work as hard I could to get out of the restaurant business.
A shorter, program, focused on preparing me for employment in my chosen industry, was better for me than going to school for four years—not knowing what I was even going for.
I like working for Cox Communications.
I enjoy the people I work with. Working at Cox has stepped me into a more networking-based position. Now that I am not in a customer-facing position, it’s fun working on the architecture of the infrastructure. Everything works on a global scale. I like problem-solving things that could go wrong and resolving problems even before they impact customers’ services.
I wanted a career that paid more than restaurant work.
I have tripled my salary over the two years since I was hired. I appreciate that I have health care benefits and savings. The amount of money I am saving will enable me to move from my parents’ home into a house that I buy for myself.
I don’t think I will miss not having a college degree.
I’ve been able to get my foot in the door. I could always transfer the skills I’ve learned to another opportunity if I needed to.
Wilmary Silva, Wilmary Silva, MTTI 2016 Medical Billing & Coding Graduate Success Story.
Wilmary Silva, 2016 Medical Billing & Coding / Office Administration Graduate
Lead Secretary at Coastal Medical in East Providence
I came to MTTI in a very emotional state, from the life events I had experienced. MTTI helped me get the training I needed to be successful at Coastal Medical, where I was hired. It’s a great, quick, hands-on training. The staff is wonderful and willing to help students anytime. Only three years since I’ve been back in the United States and I’ve gone from arriving with just five pieces of luggage to looking for a house to buy.
I arrived in the United States several years ago after leaving Puerto Rico.
I had five pieces of luggage, a small amount of cash—and my 8 year old daughter. I was 27 years old.
I was born in Providence, but moved to Puerto Rico with my father when I was 14 years old.
I returned as a single mom. My daughter experienced culture shock—she didn’t speak a word of English—only Spanish. She still misses the dogs, cats and horse she left behind.
In Puerto Rico, I had studied to be an English teacher and trained as a cosmetologist.
You had to know someone to get a teaching position. By the age of 25, I had held 25 or 30 retail positions. The wages were way below the cost of living.
Back in Providence, I worked first as a cashier at the Dollar Store.
During 2015, I was hired at Sam’s Club in Seekonk. I thought about starting school at MTTI when a friend of mine enrolled in the Medical Billing & Coding program. Instead I decided to focus on working and having some financial stability.
On January 15, 2016 I was laid off from Sam’s because the store was closing.
I was unemployed; I had a daughter to support. But I didn’t want to work in retail anymore!
The day I left Sam’s I came to MTTI to learn more about the Billing & Coding program.
I was tearful—emotional. I walked in to see the Admissions Rep, Cheryl.
Cheryl told me: ‘The program is starting today—it’s the first day of class-go!'
I had to call my babysitter to say that I wasn’t going home—I was starting school that day.
Four days after I started school, I was involved in an accident.
I totaled my car and hurt my back. Why was this happening? I just lost my job and started school. I want to change my life!
The school was very understanding; they agreed to hold my seat in the class.
The instructor told me not to worry. When I returned after a week, I was able to stay after class and make up work. Still, it was tough. I had no job and had to live on unemployment. I decided to dedicate myself to school; my main focus was finishing the program and finding a job.
MTTI’s training was consistent—we never had downtime and never had a dull moment.
I had expected to be bored during class like I had been when I attended the Community College for one semester. It was all talk at the college. Right from the beginning it was hands-on at MTTI. I was working on the computer, learning how to make presentations and practicing public speaking.
Ms. Roc, the Billing & Coding Instructor, always gave examples from real life.
We even went to Body Worlds to learn more about Anatomy & Physiology.
Ali, the Career Services Specialist for the program, helped me prepare to search for an internship.
She was especially helpful in practicing for interviews, including what questions to ask and how to dress.
The last place I visited on Search Day was Coastal Medical at Warren Avenue.
I walked into the first office I saw—It was the imaging department They directed me to the corporate office at Davol Square. The person I spoke with said, ‘Go for it—good luck!’
I showed up at the Corporate Office unannounced.
They asked if I had an appointment; I said, 'No'. I apologized for not knowing the process; I told them about my program at MTTI. Kindly they called Human Resources—she was in a meeting.
I got nervous waiting; my hands were sweaty.
I used the time to look up Coastal Medical using my phone. I learned that the organization has doctors in many specialties, including cardiology, pulmonary and internal medicine. They even have imaging and a laboratory. I thought, 'This is a place I would like to work for!'
When I met with the Human Resources Representative and gave her the run-through about me.
She liked that I am bilingual (English-Spanish). She asked if I had a resume, and I said ‘Yes’! She circled ‘bilingual’ and my phone number. She said, ‘Let me make some calls and I’ll get back to you'.
Less than an hour later, the HR Representative called me at home.
I was surprised to hear from her so soon. ‘We’re going to give you an internship’.
A week before internship was scheduled to begin, HR called again.
Coastal has an office in Providence Edgewood that serves a Hispanic community. Because I live in Providence and speak Spanish they decided I would intern there. I googled it and the office was so close to home that I could walk!
At the start of internship I felt overwhelmed.
I had no prior medical background. Ali reassured me. She said: ‘Yes you do! You did our course at MTTI and it is hands-on.'
I had the greatest Practice Manager.
She saw how well I was doing. A week-and-a-half before internship ended, she offered me a full time position working as ‘'check-out’' at that office.
I accepted the position.
I handled referrals and prior authorizations; I made orders and sent out orders. I made calls to document patient visits to Emergency Rooms at area hospitals.
While working at Providence / Edgewood, I saw a posting online for a Referral Coordinator position at Coastal.
I applied and got an interview. They told me they were going to hire me! I had only been employed at Coastal Medical for seven months. The policy was that I could transfer after one year—so I had to wait until August.
Instead of starting the Referral Coordinator position, they asked me to work in "check-in" at another Coastal location.
I had only worked in "check-out". but had some cross-training. I learned about "check-in" by watching videos and studying a lot. Coastal Medical is a great place to work for; they encourage learning and provide online and live training.
The office where I work now, at 450 Veteran’s Parkway, is the "office of the future."
We are going all-electronic for 'check-in'. The workflow is changing as calls and referrals are re-rerouted to the Call Center.
As the workflow changes, my focus is now to verifying charts.
I make sure charts are up-to-date, insurance information is accurate, demographics and emergency contact numbers are current and a credit card number is on file. I can also see if someone is using the Patient Portal, if not I can help them set that up.
I am passionate about patient communication.
I am a patient, too. I will not treat a patient the way I don’t like to be treated. I want to make sure I have the right information when I talk to a patient. If it is red—it is red, not pink. I make sure what I tell them is clear, and on their level, so they can understand.
In less than one year of employment, I was promoted.
When the Practice Managers saw me get in there and learn everything quickly, they told me, 'You are not going to Corporate to take the Referral Coordinator position—we are promoting you to Lead Secretary.'
Now I am overseeing the front office administrative staff.
I am second in charge; when our Practice Manager is out, I am in charge. I never say no to anything I am asked to do—even if it is challenging.
I came from retail to train for a medical career. MTTI polished me.
My instructors and Ali taught me how to present and express myself—to be a professional. Ms. Roc helped me by teaching a little of everything. I learned about insurance and how to gather information, to do a proper assessment and documentation. This helps at Coastal where I do many different things.
Ms. Roc also gave me a lot of support.
She always told me I would be successful. She saw I had that hunger and passion to learn and succeed.
I tell other students never to give up hope.
MTTI shrunk two years-worth of school into seven months—the course is not easy. But you are going to be successful—all the tools are here.
MTTI helped me get the training I needed to be successful where I got hired.
It’s a great, quick, hands-on training. The staff is wonderful and willing to help students anytime.
The door at MTTI is always open.
I saw graduates come back even after a year to get help updating their resume.
450 Veterans Memorial Parkway
Building 9A, East Providence, RI 02914
Kristen Selley, 2017 MTTI Medical Assistant Graduate
2017 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant at Ocean State Medical
"Medical Assistant skills go beyond CNA training; I have been trained to give injections, perform EKGs and draw blood. I can work in single or multi-doctor offices, specialty practices and urgent care settings. I loved MTTI's Medical Assistant program more than I thought I would--it’s very hands-on. Going to MTTI to become a Medical Assistant was the best thing I’ve done!"
I loved being a Certified Nursing Assistant, but I ended up hurting myself.
Lifting patients led to bulging discs in the lumbar area of my spine (the lower back). I couldn’t do the lifting required to be a CNA, but still wanted to work in a medical career.
I love learning about medicine and helping patients.
I always wanted to go to school to learn more about the human body.
I kept hearing about MTTI’s Medical Assistant program.
I would see MTTI’s TV commercials and hear the radio spots. I have a friend who graduated from the Medical Assistant program and was hired at an Urgent Care.
I came to tour the school with the Admissions Rep, Cheryl.
Then I interviewed with the Medical Assistant Instructor, Ms. Jen. Everyone at MTTI is so nice; I’ve never been to a school that is so helpful and caring.
I felt overwhelmed during the first week of the program.
I wondered if I could do it. It felt like so much work in such a short time. Ms. Jen encouraged me—she believed that I could handle the work.
By the second week, it was still stressful, but you find ways to manage the work load.
It helps to make a schedule and organize your time. I would go home after class, help my step-son with his homework, and then study every evening. The seven months in the Medical Assistant program go by very quickly.
It helped that my Fiancé was so supportive.
He said, “You have this—you’re just feeling stressed. I have your back 100%”. He volunteered to be my final blood draw, to help me complete the 50 that I needed to earn my Phlebotomy Certificate.
I loved the Medical Assistant program more than I thought I would.
It was exciting to actually perform phlebotomy—draw blood—from a human arm (not just the fake practice arm).
We had a full class of 18 people.
My classmates all got along well; many of us studied together. Ms. Jen was very helpful—both her notes on the board and her willingness to work with us before or after class and during breaks.
I shadowed at a pediatric practice and an ENT practice before choosing an internship.
They were interesting but I chose to intern at Ocean State Medical in Johnston, RI.
Internship was challenging at the beginning.
Suddenly you are in the ‘real world’. You are trying to do your best at what you learned in school, but you no longer have your teacher to help you. I would tell myself, ‘You have this. You learned it at school, and now you have to be tested.’ I would remind myself that if I make a mistake, this is how you learn.
I wanted to do things right, so I asked a lot of questions.
The practitioners I worked with encourage me to ask questions. They said that it is better to ask and learn the right way than to do it the wrong way.
Three weeks into the internship, I was hired as a Medical Assistant / Medical Secretary.
I weigh patients, put them in rooms, take vitals, and perform EKGs when needed. I also schedule patients and send messages to the doctors about medications. I check insurance, email referrals, and handle lab work slips and prior authorizations. I also follow-up with patients and liaise with doctors to have patients’ questions answered.
Medical Assistant training was more focused on one-on-one patient care than CNA—and on being caring.
My CNA training did help by giving me the experience of taking vitals and using medical terminology. CNAs provide more physical care—they feed and change patients. It is hard physical work, often performed in nursing homes and other care settings.
Medical Assistants work in single or multi-doctor offices, specialty practices and urgent care settings.
The skills go beyond CNA training; I have been trained to give injections, perform EKGs and draw blood.
As a Medical Assistant, I can do more than a CNA to make patients feel comfortable.
I can help them figure out their issues and give that information to the doctors. Patients sometimes feel upset or scared about their medical concerns. I have learned not to take it personally when they are emotional. I let them know it is going to be ok, which helps make them feel less nervous and more calm.
I learned a lot at Ocean State; it is a very busy Patient-Centered Medical Home.
A Patient-Centered Medical Home is a team-based approach to encourage the partnership between patients and their physicians. Patient treatment is coordinated through their primary care physician to help patients receive quality care when and where they need it
I honestly wouldn’t have wanted to start working as a Medical Assistant anywhere else.
The patients are nice. The doctors are caring. It is heartwarming when a patient expresses appreciation for my care. I like feeling that I am doing a good job. It makes me want to do this even longer.
I was excited to pass the Registered Medical Assistant (RMA) examination.
The RMA is a national credential. We covered the material and took practice exams during school. I also studied after I graduated plus used an app called “Quizlet” to be sure I could retrieve the information during the test. The Quizlet app is like ‘flashcards on the phone’.
Friends sometimes ask whether I think they could become a Medical Assistant.
I say, ’You don’t know until you try--but go for it’. I recommend MTTI to them—it’s very hands-on. For someone who needs to learn by doing more than reading a book. You’ll get it, and feel more confident in yourself.’ Going to MTTI to become a Medical Assistant was the best thing I’ve done!
Ocean State Medical, LLC
"We believe that every patient deserves a Medical Home where health care is accessible, continuous, comprehensive, patient-centered, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective. Together, following evidence-based guidelines for medical care, our team will work to provide the best health care services possible for you."
1539 Atwood Ave, Suite 101
Johnston, RI 02919
(401) 272-3410 phone
(401) 272-3417 fax
Rebecca Degagne, 2017 Medical Assistant Graduate
2017 Medical Assistant Graduate
Medical Assistant at Prima CARE
“Coming to MTTI was one of the best decisions I ever made. Maybe you are wondering if going to school to become a Medical Assistant is right for you. If I can do it as a single mom with a five-year old—you can do it, too!”
After working as a CNA for six years—the last four with adults who have disabilities—I needed a change.
I always wanted to work in a doctor’s office, so I became interested in training to become a Medical Assistant. I knew a graduate of MTTI’s Automotive Technician program--Peter Montigny—who was the Gold Wrench Award Winner in his class. He told me MTTI is a really good school. I thought to myself, ‘If he can do it, I can do it!'
I went to MTTI’s website and clicked on the ‘Contact Us’ button.
Cheryl, the Admissions Rep for the Medical Assistant program called me the next day.
Enrolling in the program was a big decision for me.
I hadn’t been to school for six or seven years, so I was a little nervous. I also wondered how, as a single mom, I could afford going back to school.
I quit work. I had child support and an affordable rent, based on income.
It was a struggle, but the program was short—only 7 months, including internship. It went by in the blink of an eye, and it was amazing!
At first it felt awkward for me to sit in class instead of working.
I had to adjust to going back to school, and having homework. I learned to focus, knowing at the program’s end I would be going into a good job. .
My Instructor, Jennifer Carter, is very thorough; she’s a good teacher.
Good thing, because the course was more demanding than the CNA program I had taken during High School. In High School my teacher would say, ‘You need to learn these 100 abbreviations by Friday of this week.’ Ms. Jen would go more in depth, but even though it was harder, we also had more help from Ms. Jen than we had from my high school instructors.
My classmates ranged in ages from 18 into their 50’s.
Some were just out of high school, while others had years of work and life experience. I learned at MTTI that you don’t just form friendships with people your own age. We all helped and supported one another. I loved my classmates and continue to talk with them, even now after we are out of school.
I had to re-learn how to take vitals, compared with how I had taken them as a CNA.
Everyone teaches taking blood pressures a little differently. In high school, we pumped it up as high as we could—to 180. At MTTI we learned you don’t need to over pump. We pump up according to an individual’s brachial pulse rate.
I appreciated that in the Medical Assistant program we were given time enough time for hands-on practice.
In the high school CNA program, everything had to be learned quickly, with little time to apply what we were taught. High school teachers have so many classes to teach—they are not available to help outside of your time in class with them. At MTTI, Ms. Jen was willing to help before or after class.
It’s amazing that this program gives you the opportunity to shadow different medical practices.
As I began the program, I thought I would want to work in OB GYN or Pediatrics. I was surprised that, after shadowing at a gastroenterology practice, and in a medical call center listening to them triage patients, my goals changed.
I interned in an Internal Medicine practice at Prima CARE in Fall River.
I gave injections, took vitals, performed EKGs every day; some days I performed ear lavages, flu swabs and also urine dips. I loved the internship. Doctor Bassaly likes to teach and was very helpful. Unfortunately the practice only takes interns; they didn’t have an opportunity for hire.
After completing the internship, Prima CARE hired me to work as a float, going wherever I was needed.
I worked at their Walk-In Center for a month. Then the Vascular Surgery practice needed a float for a couple of days. I knew nothing about vascular surgery except what I had learned at school about veins and arteries. They asked me, ‘Are you good with blood? We take out veins and perform other procedures, where you may be uncomfortable if you are squeamish about blood.’ I told them I could handle seeing blood.
After working as float for the vascular surgery practice, they hired me as a full-time, permanent Medical Assistant.
I never planned to work in a vascular or surgical specialty—but it is so interesting! I assist with phlebectomy and ablation procedures. I practice the aseptic techniques I learned at school to set up sterile fields for procedures, and to perform sterile bandaging to prevent infection.
Working in a private practice is different than working in a hospital or large medical facility.
In a hospital, the nurse sees lots of people. When a patient comes into our office, they see me—a familiar face—at their visits and during their procedures.
I love what I do now as a Medical Assistant.
Prima Care is a great organization to work for. There are many specialties in addition to vascular that you can work in: walk-in, x-ray and labs, cardiology, gastroenterology, urology, primary care, physical therapy. The medical field always has new technologies and information to learn. I enjoy continually learning--and I especially love knowing that I am helping people as a Medical Assistant.
It’s never too late to go back to school.
I enrolled in college at 18 but dropped out; I wasn’t ready. It has to be your time, when you are there because you want to be—not because your parents want you to go to school.
MTTI is like a family—they are here for you even after you graduate.
After graduating high school, I thought I would never go back to school. I loved attending MTTI and looked forward to coming to school every day. It felt more like an on-the-job training than a school program.
Coming to MTTI was one of the best decisions I ever made.
I wish I had done it even earlier. Maybe you are wondering if going to school to become a Medical Assistant is right for you. If I can do it as a single mom with a five-year old—you can do it, too!
Prima CARE, P.C.
Center for Vascular Diseases
901 South Main Street
Fall River, MA 02724