Welcome to Baker College’s Spotlight feature, a series of brief interviews with notable BC students, faculty and alumni who are making news and reaching new heights in their educational and professional pursuits.
This edition of Spotlight features Erika Horak, who earned her associate degree in health science concentrated in Medical Assisting in 2016 and her bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration through Baker Online in 2018. Here we learn more about Erika’s professional path and her passion for healthcare.
Baker College (BC): Hello, and thanks for making the time to chat with us today! Can you start off by telling us what degree(s) you’ve earned through Baker College?
Erika Horak (EH): Yes, I received an associate degree in health science concentrated in Medical Assisting which I completed in 2016. I was also able to obtain my bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration through Baker College online, which I completed in 2018.
BC: Two degrees! Congratulations on your achievements! With all the options out there, why did you choose Baker College for your educational pursuits?
EH: I chose Baker College of Owosso as it was close to family members and was able to commute to class. It is an affordable college with great class sizes and I loved the feel of the smaller campus.
BC: So many of our students love the size of our campuses and the personalized attention they receive in class. Tell us, what is your current job title?
EK: I am currently an Administrative Assistant for Memorial Medical Associates, which is a department of Memorial Healthcare.
BC: What was it that drove you to pursue a career in the healthcare field?
EH: My mother has suffered from migraines since I was ten years old. With her diagnosis, this meant many trips to the doctor’s office and emergency room. All of the healthcare workers were so compassionate, and my mom appreciated them immensely. I wanted to be the person that patients looked to for help and know that they could count on me to help them within my scope of practice.
BC: You started your educational journey at BC studying medical assisting. What interested you about that particular program?
EH: Before I committed to the Medical Assistant program, I participated in many job shadows to determine which option best suited me and I ended up loving the Medical Assistant career path. You can establish a stable career as a Medical Assistant or you can use it as a stepping stone to further your career in other areas of healthcare.
BC: Yes, and you used it as a stepping stone to achieve your bachelor’s degree in Healthcare Administration. Tell us about how you made that decision?
EH: I decided to pursue my bachelor’s in Healthcare Administration as I wanted to further my education and my career in healthcare. I very much enjoyed my time as a Medical Assistant and wanted to add the administration piece to combine my clinical and administrative knowledge.
BC: How do you feel your time at Baker College has contributed to your professional successes in healthcare?
EH: Baker College helped me to start and build my career in healthcare. I started at Memorial Healthcare as a Medical Assistant student where I was able to train in many specialties and family practice locations. Upon completion of my externship, I was hired as a Medical Assistant in a very busy family practice clinic. I worked in this family practice clinic for three years while I gained valuable clinic experience and gained professional connections.
I was then able to complete my Healthcare Administration internship with key administrative members within Memorial Healthcare. After completion of my bachelor’s degree, I was awarded a higher level position as the Education Coordinator. Then I was later promoted to Administrative Assistant, where I currently provide support for the Associate VP and Director of MMA. Without Baker College I would never have had a basic entry level experience within Memorial Healthcare that would further my knowledge and career in healthcare.
BC: Congratulations on your string of promotions! After earning two degrees and everything you’ve learned on your career path, what best piece of advice would you share with current college students?
EH: Take the initiative, work the late nights and your hard work and dedication will pay off as education and knowledge are things that no one can ever take away. It is never too late to add to your skillset.
BC: What would you want others to know about Baker College?
EH: Baker college provides an excellent experience as there are smaller class sizes that allow for more individual time with your professor, if necessary. Baker also provides excellent resources relating to tutors, stress relieving techniques and individual financial planning.
BC: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
EH: I want everyone to know that they can obtain their educational dreams as Baker College offers many in-person and virtual class options to accommodate schedules. I worked full time as a Medical Assistant while obtaining my bachelor’s degree online. It was not easy but I am proud that I was able to complete my bachelor’s degree and further my education.
BC: We are BakeProud of everything you’ve achieved up to this point, Erika, and we’re excited to see everything you do in the future! Thank you for sharing your story with us!
Working in the health sciences is an exciting and rewarding career path. If you’d like to learn more about Baker College’s program options, visit our College of Health Science Program Page.