June 06, 2024

“Education is important because you learn more about other perspectives when attending school with people of different backgrounds and ages.

Education has been a driving force in Century College alum Mikaela Sturz’s life, opening doors beyond career opportunities and providing opportunities to connect with individuals whom she would not have known otherwise. She started at the College while in high school as a Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) student.

The Legacy of a Century College Family

Growing up in a Century College family, Mikaela chose the College because it’s close to home, and is affordable. “Century has a great reputation for quality instruction,” Mikaela notes. “My mother and brother also attended the College, and there was a period when we were taking classes at the same time. We ended up taking the same Art History course, which was fun.”

In 2015, she completed a two-year AFA in Music with a focus on voice and proficiency in multiple instruments. The College’s Music program helped her build strong connections with her peers and professors. Despite her intention of becoming a music therapist, Mikaela realized that the field did not suit her after working as a CNA. However, she continued to work in the music industry, working in a store that manufactured musical instruments, and another that sold band instruments.

In time, she decided she needed a more stable career with better benefits, leading her back to Century College for another degree.

Gaining Valuable Work Skills in Office Technology

In 2021, Mikaela received her degree in Office Technology (Medical). “The program was perfect for me because it was online,” she says. “I gained valuable skills and experience in the electronic systems and documentation used in medical settings.”

With ample preparation, Mikaela entered her first job at Mayo Health Systems in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, as an appointment scheduler, skillfully maintaining professional documentation. Amidst the chaos of the pandemic in a struggling rural community, Mikaela persevered, rarely taking days off while pregnant with her second child and feeling unwell.

Following the birth of her son, Mikaela took a hiatus to work in retail before returning to healthcare. She soon realized that a day shift would not be a feasible option for her and her family.

Finding the Perfect Work-Life Balance

Mikaela’s current job as the Health Unit Coordinator for the Mother/Baby unit at United Hospital has given her the freedom to prioritize her work-life balance by working evenings and weekends. In a happy coincidence, she now occupies the same position that her mother once held at the same company. What Mikaela cherishes most, however, is the ability to spend quality time with her children during the day.

Drawing from her extensive background, Mikaela underscores the vital role that creativity plays in tackling complex issues in healthcare. With empathy, flexibility, and a patient-centric approach, she tries to find optimal solutions that suit the unique needs of each individual.

Future Plans: Following a Family Tradition

Mikaela intends to enroll in the Nursing program at Century College in the future, following in the footsteps of her mother who currently serves as a nurse at United Hospital.

Nursing and a desire to help others runs in her family, and she plans to become the fourth generation of nurses, continuing a proud family tradition.

Advice for New Century College Students

For new students, Mikaela encourages taking full advantage of everything Century College has to offer, building relationships with professors, and establishing connections with fellow students.

“My professor, Carla Tobin, showed compassion and provided invaluable support and understanding when my daughter was sick for a few days,” Mikaela remembers. “And years ago, my music professors went out of their way to accommodate me when I contracted mono. They were committed to helping me succeed in my classes.

“I hold Century College in high esteem, and I am a firm advocate for community colleges.”


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