Gateway graduate Issela Pulido started her college career at a four-year university, but it just wasn’t the right fit.
"I wanted to get my bachelor's degree because I thought that was the way to go. So, I started out somewhere else studying physical therapy, but after a few years, I realized that wasn’t for me."
Shortly thereafter, a conversation with her sister gave Issela the perfect path forward.
"My older sister graduated from Gateway's Dental Assistant program, and she said I should look into Gateway. So, I came across the Surgical Technology program and thought I’d give it a chance."
Issela did – and she graduated a couple years later with the skills to enter her career. Now, she is putting all her hours in the classroom to work in the real world.
"I've been in the surgical technology field for over a year now, and the program at Gateway most definitely prepared me for the job," says Issela.
"You can’t just go into the operating room and wing it. Gateway teaches you every basic necessity, and they rewire you to think in a whole new way."
Issela's academic adviser helped her to connect with and earn credit for prerequisite classes, aided by the courses and credits she already earned at a four-year college. Many times, credits earned by students at other colleges can be transferred and applied to a Gateway degree, saving them time and money.
"It helped that I had a lot of those done from my time at a four-year university, so I got to the Surgical Technology courses pretty quick," she said.
Those program-specific courses quickly affirmed Issela's interest in the profession.
"I wanted a job that would be more innovative and technology-driven than nursing. And when you think about it, surgical technology is the cleanest job in the hospital – because it has to be. And I love that," says Issela.
"Plus, I found that in this program, I was learning a whole new language and a whole new way to work. It was cool. And I think Gateway did a really good job at preparing me for my job today through each course."
Issela looks back fondly on her time with Gateway’s faculty.
"The instructors were really great here. They went above and beyond to help you understand course concepts. And they were really into hands-on learning. During our four-hour lecture classes, they would grab stuff from the labs, show us the equipment and how it works and keep students engaged the whole time," says Issela.
"Gateway is definitely a great college. I’m probably going to continue on and get my bachelor's degree now, and I’m so grateful to have stumbled upon Gateway because it gave me a career. Today, I’m excited to go to work every day."