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NOVA’s National Student Employment Week Spotlight, Shonia Bates on Balancing Motherhood and Certified Clinical Medical Assistant Training

Shonia Bates

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background:

I am originally from Philadelphia but moved to Dallas, Texas in 2017 with my fiancé who received a promotion at work. In a few years, he was promoted again, and we moved to Virginia. We have a five-year-old daughter, whom I adore so much! She’s my motivation for everything I do in life and, honestly, I wouldn’t know what I would do without her.

What brought you to NOVA?

For a while I’ve been fighting with myself on whether I wanted to go back to school or not. I knew I wanted a career, but I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to work in the medical field, so when I found out about NOVA’s Fast Forward program, I figured this would be a great start.

What are you studying or do you plan to study at NOVA?

I’m studying to be a Certified Clinical Medical Assistant (CCMA).

Tell me about your experience at NOVA; i.e. professors you’ve liked and friends you’ve met:

Honestly, I’ve had the best school experience here at NOVA. My instructor, Mrs. Lassiter, is a wonderful teacher. She’s knowledgeable, and her style of teaching makes learning something with many complexities easy. I have also met some great goal-oriented people in my graduating class. We all have goals and future plans within the medical field. I felt that being around people who are as eager to learn as I am made the class fun.

What are your thoughts on G3/REV/Fast Forward?

I think the program is great. The program length made juggling life and school work a breeze. NOVA gives you the tools you need to be successful in the program. The guaranteed interview portion is an added plus.

There are so many resources put in place to help you with resume building, interviews, and potential jobs! It’s important to us as students that we feel that the school we chose cares about us and our futures. I felt that with this program at NOVA.

What would you tell a student coming to NOVA?

I would tell them not to let anything stand in the way of their future. NOVA will prepare you for the careers you seek, you just have to put in the work. I would encourage students to take advantage of all that NOVA has to offer and they’ll succeed.

Where do you see yourself after NOVA or what career pursuits are you exploring?

Here at NOVA, I’m studying to become a CCMA, but my plan afterwards is to become a registered nurse (RN). Whether that happens or not, I am glad I chose NOVA for the start my career. I’ve learned a lot here and I’m excited for what is ahead.

Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) is the largest public institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth of Virginia and one of America's largest community colleges. NOVA enrolls nearly 80,000 students at its six campuses in Alexandria, Annandale, Loudoun, Manassas, Springfield (Medical Education Campus) and Woodbridge, through NOVA Online and high school dual enrollment. We offer more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs to help our students reach their academic and professional goals through university transfers and access to the most in-demand careers. At NOVA, we strive to ensure that every student succeeds, every program achieves and every community prospers. For more information about NOVA and its programs or services, visit our website, www.nvcc.eduor call 703.323.3000.