Making a Change
A visit to George Brown turns into a new career
Jeny Benedict can trace a dramatic change in her life back to 2007 when she accompanied a friend to George Brown College. She picked up a George Brown Continuing Education course calendar and read the student stories.
“Those stories sealed the deal for me,” Jeny remembers. “They were real people with experiences similar to my own.”
Four years later, Jeny was working full-time at a multi-specialization medical clinic in Mississauga and living her dream. She loved the job and the people she worked with, and was able to spend her free time with her husband, their young daughter and their extended family and friends. But her life wasn’t always so idyllic.
“I arrived in Canada from Sri Lanka in 2004 and settled in Mississauga,” Jeny says. “For three years, I didn’t work, and it was definitely getting to me, but I didn’t know what I wanted to do.”
That was when Jeny decided to visit George Brown. Her first stop was the Student Service Centre.
“My first experience with the school was very positive,” she remembers. “They told me that in order to register for a program, I’d have to take, and pass, the General English Assessment.”
Jeny successfully completed the assessment but was unsure which program to pursue. She started by taking courses that would improve her skill set for any career: Computer Keyboarding, Computer Literacy and Windows and Computer Basics and Microsoft Office I. Any fears about returning to school were quickly assuaged.
“I was an adult, with English as my second language, yet I still felt at ease in the classroom from the very beginning,” she says. “In fact, there were a lot of my classmates who were in the same position, so we encouraged each other, helped each other and shared our experiences. The diversity of the students, and the closeness to my classmates, made George Brown always feel like home.”
In December of 2007, Jeny decided to enter the health care field and began working toward the Medical Office Assistant Certificate. She threw herself into the program, building her computer capabilities and honing her skills in reception responsibilities, record keeping, medical transcription and OHIP and WSIB computer billing and payroll. Her perseverance and dedication paid off – she had a job lined up before completing her certificate in December 2010.
Jeny is currently working for MCI The Doctor’s Office. In her day-to-day activities at work (which include correspondence, document creation, appointment scheduling, patient registration and file management), Jeny continues to lean on her George Brown education. Medical Office Procedures I and Medical Office Procedures II helped her learn many of the clerical duties involved in maintaining a doctor’s office.
“The Medical Terminology [Medical Terminology for Medical Office Assistants I and Medical Terminology for Medical Office Assistants II] classes also continue to pay off," she says. “In a fast-paced and busy office, time is of the essence. If I don’t understand what’s being said to me or what’s written down, it slows me down.”
Thanks to her George Brown courses, Jeny does not worry about slowing down. And she is quick to share her experience with others.
“I’m so impressed with the school and what it has done for me. I never thought this would happen to me,” she says. “I’m so proud of myself, and I’m very proud to say I’m a George Brown student. It not only helped with my education, but my time at the school changed my personality and my life for the better.”