08:54 AM

Using her strengths to forge a career

Student of the Week: Kimberly Gawlik

My experience at STC gave me the ambition to do more. And that’s when I found out I could go for the bachelor’s degree in Medical and Health Service Management. I realize that, even now at 21, I want to be a hospital administrator.

STC Student of the Week Kimberly Gawlik

Kimberly Gawlik, 21, was on a mission to find the right career path that would highlight her natural skills and she found it at the Nursing and Allied Health (NAH) campus at South Texas College.

Gawlik will earn her Associate of Applied Science Degree in Medical Assistant Technology in December 2023, and will begin pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Medical and Health Service Management also at STC.

Gawlik said she changed her major a few times during her first year at STC. She initially wanted to become an elementary school teacher but then discovered the NAH campus and became inspired by the students there.

"I found out about the Nursing campus and it always struck me as a possible place for me to go," Gawlik said. “When I saw someone here in scrubs and I thought, ‘I want to be in scrubs.’”

She thought her nurturing personality would assistance her in the health care field and applied to the Medical Office Specialist (MOS) certification program.

As the first in her family to pursue higher education, Gawlik was thrilled to receive her MOS certification.

“I did a huge graduation party for my first certification,” Gawlik said. “Because it was such an achievement for me as a first-generation student. And, once I got my certification, I realized that I wanted to keep going.”

The spark of ambition struck, and Gawlik knew it was possible for her to keep advancing her education by pursuing an associate degree in Medical Assistant Technology.

Medical assistants are multi-skilled health care professionals with a strong background in basic patient care and assessment, medical laboratory procedures, appropriate emergency medical care procedures and proper medical office administrative procedures.

“My experience at STC gave me the ambition to do more,” Gawlik. “And that’s when I found out I could go for the bachelor’s degree in Medical and Health Service Management. I realize that, even now at 21, I want to be a hospital administrator. It’s the main title that I want for myself. And, thank God that with this bachelor's program, I can actually pursue that.”

The Bachelor of Applied Technology in Medical and Health Services Management Program prepares graduates for entry to mid-level management positions in health care. The coursework focuses on the management principles for health care facilities, health information processing technology and government regulations related to the health care industry.

“It took me such a long time to find out what I was good at and to realize what I wanted to do,” Gawlik said. “I knew I was nurturing, caring and very organized. So, when I learned about the responsibilities a hospital administrator has regarding schedules, payroll and the office, I knew that’s something I could do because that’s my strength.”

Along with her studies, Gawlik is an active student on campus. She has a work study position with Student Activities and Wellness and said she finds her job enjoyable because of her coworkers and the satisfying work they do to uplift their fellow classmates' spirits.

“I remember my boss telling me that she didn’t want me to stress about the job,” Gawlik said. “The job is to help students who are experiencing stress themselves. We do a variety of events, from giving out candy to karaoke. We do things to make them smile. The students’ faces actually do light up after taking an exam.”

Gawlik also served as secretary and then president of the Medical Assisting Tech Club and recently joined the campus Student Government Association and Student Leadership Academy. She was recently invited to join community college students from across the country for a seminar in Washington D.C. to learn more about student government.

“It’s a great opportunity and will give me more knowledge about student government and how to better serve,” she said. “I hope to grow more into the qualities needed to be a greater leader.”

Gawlik said she hopes STC students find their own way to a profession by taking a moment to look at their strengths and how they can fit into a career.

“I feel like the best thing you can do is actually ask yourself what your strong qualities are,” Gawlik said. “Then with those qualities that you have, find a major that highlights those skills. There’s a job out there for every skill.”