Mom of three pursued her interest in science at BSC and found a lifelong career | Bismarck State College

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Mom of three pursued her interest in science at BSC and found a lifelong career

Posted: Dec 14 2020
Mom of three pursued her interest in science at BSC and found a lifelong career
During her eight years working at a credit union in Milwaukee, Katie Robinson (class of ‘19) had been promoted from part-time employee while attending high school to bank manager. While she enjoyed the work, she realized she had hit a plateau.

“There’s only so far you can go after that. I felt stuck. I wanted to go after my passion which was science.”
She and her husband decided to relocate to Bismarck in 2013 for his job with BNSF. Having never been here before, Robinson has enjoyed this community.Mom of three pursued her interest in science at BSC and found a lifelong career
“It’s a lot quieter, slower pace. It’s a wonderful place to grow a family. Milwaukee is just go go go all the time. Going back there gives me anxiety. It’s nice to see family, but it’s also nice to come back here.”
Robinson became a stay-at-home mom to their three children, but knew she wanted to get a degree and return to work once her kids were all in school. She decided to sign up for general education classes at BSC as an adult student.
“Back in high school, I really enjoyed chemistry. I was always intrigued with lab and scope work.”
While taking a microbiology class at BSC, she visited with her professor to find out what job opportunities there were.
“In that class, I learned that these tiny little monsters living among us can be so pathogenic and cause such terrible harm to us. I was really interested to see what you could do with that.”
Her professor thought she would enjoy and excel in the medical laboratory technician program. Next thing she knew, she was having an interview with the director and assistant director and was accepted into the program.
“The staff and faculty are absolutely wonderful. They really get to know you as a person. From the time you walk in to the time you leave with your degree, you aren’t alone and they make you feel very supported, especially for me being an adult student with a family.”
Robinson said she had her reservations about coming back to school more than a decade after graduating from high school, but was pleasantly surprised by how well she was received.
“My classmates didn’t treat me any differently. They treated me like a peer, because we were there to complete the same task. They made me feel young again.”
Her father earned his college degree a couple years ago, making her the second one in her family to earn a degree. She thought if he could do it later in life, she could too. Being a mom of three, a wife and a student, Robinson said she became very skilled at time management. She did meal prep on the weekends and spent time studying after her kids were in bed. Her husband was very supportive of her goals. And, her sister helped out by watching the kids, so she could use her time between classes to study.
“I have nothing but cheerleaders in my corner.”
She completed her clinical experience at the Sanford Medical Center Lab.
“It was really nice to be able to do hands-on work with what you’re actually going to be doing in the field. I loved that true life experience.”
She was one of three students to graduate from the MLT program in the spring of 2019. Robinson was thankful for the small class sizes at BSC that enhanced her learning experience and allowed her to develop close friendships with her classmates.

She also appreciated the fact that her professors were able to teach from personal experience because, in addition to teaching, they are also employees in the lab. Robinson so enjoyed her college experience, she is continuing her education. In addition to working a few days a month at the Sanford North Mandan Clinic, she is working toward a bachelor’s degree in medical laboratory science online from the University of Arkansas.
“I honestly didn’t think I would get this far. I think it’s my drive and the passion I had for these classes. They were all just so interesting. It really sparked something inside of me and lit that fire.”
Robinson enjoys working in the clinic, especially since she has direct contact with the patients in getting their samples, but said she may not always work there since there are so many possibilities in this field of work. She has contemplated a career in infectious disease or public health or as a professor or physician assistant. That’s why she highly recommends this program to others.
“If I had a chance to do it all over again, I definitely would. I really enjoyed BSC as my stepping stone to my future career path.”
Learn more about BSC's Health Science programs, including Medical Laboratory Technician.