Robert Griggs is a radiography student at South College. In addition to working on his associate degree, he also works full time and finds little time to spare. Robert sat down with us and told us how, through different techniques and a lot of discipline, he finds a balance and gives the best of him in everything he does.
South College: What made you decide to study Radiography?
Robert Griggs: My brother is a nurse practitioner so I got interested in the medical field through him. I already have an associate degree in architectural design, but the jobs in that field were paying less than I expected so I decided to start my career all over again.
SC: What did you do before you started at South College?
RG: I was working a lot of customer service jobs. Call centers, sales, basically customer-oriented positions.
SC: Why did you decide to go back to school?
RG: I wasn’t happy. I was stuck in a dead end job where I wasn’t able to advance. I kind of jumped from job to job and got tired of chasing that job happiness.
SC: Why did you decide to go to South College?
RG: South College had the field that I was looking for and they were able to work with me and my schedule. I took a few classes at Pellissippi, but they have a set schedule and it was really hard to work around that. South College offered a lot of flexibility. I had the option to take online classes and night classes if I need to.
SC: What’s unique about South College?
RG: Flexibility in the schedules. I’ve been to a big state university in Louisville and the difference between how it’s taught there and how it’s taught here is night and day. Here there are a lot more one-on-one opportunities.
SC: What’s unique about the radiography program?
RG: From the research that I’ve done, not a lot of schools in Tennessee offer it. As far as I know, South College is the best one and I’ve heard such great things about South College’s medical programs.
SC: How do you manage to go to school and work at the same time?
RG: It’s tough. I’m in class pretty much Tuesdays and Thursdays and I work the other five days a week. I am a very scheduled person so what I’ve learned to do is to sit down and write when to study, what to study andfor how long. I make an itinerary week by week and sticking to it helps out a lot.
SC: What would you say to someone that’s thinking about going back to school?
RG: I would absolutely encourage them especially if they are in a position like I was, in a job where you are not going anywhere, or just looking for a career change. If you are working full time and studying full time, it is a commitment. For me it was almost a two or three month lead-up because I wanted to make sure I could make that commitment.
SC: What’s your favorite part of South College?
RG: The program has a lot of medical based classes so it’s not just sitting in lecture for two hours. You also get a lot of hands-on experience which is nice to see especially in the medical field. You can look at a textbook all day but I am a very visual person and being able to look at certain parts of the body makes it really enjoyable.
SC: What’s your advice to someone who would like to get their degree at South College?
RG: The schedule flexibility is a big part but to me, they have a great financial aid office and that’s very important. They will sit down with you and walk you step by step on what you need to do and make sure you don’t miss anything. When I was looking at other schools their process was essentially to print out some forms and send them back, but there was not really a lot of help. Here you can make an appointment and it’s not a hassle.
To learn more about South College and our radiography program, contact us today and learn more about our associate and bachelor’s degree options.