HOSA informs students about healthcare opportunities


Photo by: Kei'yona Jordon

Rita Abuaita is a recent health care administration graduate and now works for McLeod Hospital.

FMU’s chapter of Health Occupational Students of America (HOSA) hosted a Healthcare Administration Alumni Panel virtually from 3:30-5 p.m. on Nov. 4.

The panel was originally supposed to be an in-person event, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions they felt having the event on Zoom would allow the maximum number of students to attend.

HOSA invited four FMU alumni who are currently working in healthcare administration to speak to students who are looking for jobs.

Rita Abuaita, a health care administration employee at McLeod Hospital; Tevin Leary, a new patient welcome center manager; and Kyle Matthews, site administrator for orthopedics at McLeod, as well as several other healthcare administration alumni, all joined the event as panelists.

Each of the panelists was asked to introduce themselves, state their job title and talk a little bit about how they got there.

Leary told the students he had been working at Hope Health for about three years and that he had been in his current position since the beginning of 2020.

Leary said the HOSA meetings gave students the opportunity to learn about the opportunities that are available to them and how to find employment.

“It was something that definitely wasn’t there before I left,” Leary said. “There was nothing at all because the program had just started in the spring of 2017.”

During the panel, Leary told students about how important it was to get some type of experience in their respective fields.

“Try and find where you can do these things and get experience, whether it’s volunteering, job shadowing.” Leary said. “That way you will know if you will like it. Because if you don’t like it, then you won’t succeed.”

Leary said this was the third time he had been invited back as an alumni to talk with students.

The other panelist, Abuaita, talked about her job as a billing account representative.“I didn’t have a job straight out of college,” Abuaita said. “That made me a little anxious because I wanted to get my life started.”

Abuaita urged students to not be scared if they are close to graduating and feel like they don’t have things lined up.

“It’s okay if you don’t get the first job you apply for,” Abuaita said. “Just keep applying and working hard.”

There were several other panelists who were able to speak to students throughout the meeting.

HOSA advisor Sarah Kershner said the panel was incorporated into their monthly HOSA meeting. Kershner said inviting the alumni back to speak with the students is extremely beneficial, especially for seniors.

“If it weren’t for the alumni coming back and sharing, it would be hard for the current students to know what to work on and how to go about finding jobs,” Kershner said.

Kershner said she wants students in healthcare administration to know there are a variety of places they can work.

“Many times, our healthcare administration students think they can only work in a hospital when there are a lot of other options out there for them,” Kersherner said.

While the majority of HOSA members are seniors, the meetings are open to all students.

Kershner said she would like to start reaching out more to freshman students as well so they can begin building their resume and professional portfolios.