Portland Medical Assistant Student now Teaches
Mar 4, 2019
More than two decades ago, as the 1980s were rolling into the '90s, Anita Marier was a typical high school student, preparing to graduate and wondering what she was going to do with the rest of her life.
Born and raised in Portland, she thought for a time about attending Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, 260 miles and four and a half hours to the west, but decided she wasn't ready to get that far away from home. What she did know for sure was that she wanted to work in a medical field.
Then, one day, Marier saw a TV commercial for Concorde Career College, right here in Portland. She enrolled almost immediately.
"I'm lucky I found Concorde," Marier said. "I never looked back."
Marier spent the next six months going through Concorde's Medical Assistant program, then began an externship. She was offered a full-time job as a phlebotomist at Southwest Washington Medical Center before she even finished her externship and worked there for the next 9 Â½ years.
Following that, she worked as a medical assistant at a series of health clinics in the Portland area, weaved in and around giving birth to each of her four sons.
Returning to school ... as a medical assistant instructor
The pull of Concorde never left her, however, and in July 2015, 23 years after graduating, Marier returned to campus, this time as a Medical Assistant Instructor.
"I was working at a clinic and was working with students on externships," she said. "I really enjoyed it and decided I wanted to do it full-time."
"Things fell into place."
Perhaps not-so-coincidentally, the Campus President of the Concorde-Portland campus, Kim Ierien, was Marier's instructor while she was a student and actually presented Marier with her diploma during graduation. Now, the two find themselves working together again.
"When we hired Anita, it was great to see her enthusiasm about being a Concorde graduate and becoming an employee to share her knowledge and experience in the field with new students," Ierien said. "It was a special moment when she brought in and showed me a picture she has kept more than 20 years of her and I on her graduation day."
A second home
Marier said she couldn't imagine herself at a better place to teach medical assistant students.
"If anyone asked, I'd tell them Concorde is a great place to learn," she said. "There's a lot of hands-on training. You learn cooperation and teamwork. That leads to friendships that lead to networking opportunities. I've held on to a lot of friendships I made here over the years. We all share a common goal."
"I still have a lot of papers I had when I went to school here because of the pride I have. It's stuff I hold on to. I'm very proud to have been able to work here also. The values the school has are values I share."