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Alysha Martini

Alysha Martini is a driven young woman who knows where she wants to be and is adept at making the paths she needs to get there.

After finishing her bachelor’s degree in biology at Mercyhurst University, Alysha had plans to go on to grad school to complete the education needed to be a pathologists’ assistant. While she waited for the graduate school application period, she was waiting tables in her hometown near Chicago.

“I really felt like I was wasting time and not using my degree at all,” says Alysha. “I ended up missing the first application period for grad school, which meant I would be spending another year waiting tables, and I knew I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to do something in the healthcare field while I waited to apply to grad school.”

That’s what brought Alysha to Columbus State. “Columbus is such a great area. My aunt and my boyfriend both live here, so I decided to move to a new city, and go through Columbus State’s Phlebotomy program to get a new skillset that would let me work in the medical field right away.”

A phlebotomist is a specialized technician who collects blood samples for medical tests. Columbus State’s Phlebotomy program is a two-class certificate that combines theory and hands-on practice. The program qualifies students to sit for a national certification exam.

“I ended up getting a great education, plus a lot more. I never expected to make the contacts I made outside of the college and to build such a solid network.”

As part of the Phlebotomy program, Alysha got clinical experience at different hospitals around Columbus, and began volunteering at Riverside Methodist Hospital in their pathology lab. That experience paid off when grad school application time came around again.

“I applied to two schools and, in both interviews, I really talked a lot about my experience at Columbus State and how the program built my critical thinking skills. It went far beyond just the clinical side of phlebotomy; I Iearned so much about patient interaction and how the healthcare system works. Plus, I had references from the pathologists’ assistants I had worked with in the program. It really impressed my interviewers, and I was accepted to both schools.”

Alysha will begin working toward her master’s degree at West Virginia University in January 2016, but her success story doesn’t stop there.

Alysha says, “Only good things have come from my experience at Columbus State. I have new skills, new connections in my field, and I’m starting grad school soon. I’m right where I wanted to be, and looking forward to my next steps.”